Ornate Travel Keepsake Box

Carolyn Madvig makes a practical, yet ornate, travel keepsake box.


Carolyn Madvig believes art is better when it’s functional. Thus, she likes to create useful crafts, like this keepsake box.

Materials and Tools:



wooden box
4 wooden doll heads with one flat side
acrylic paint, silver and gold
photo or image for top of box
various matching scrapbook papers or cardstock papers
cutting mat
craft knife
polymer gloss medium
1" paintbrush
high gloss polyurethane
1-1/2" foam brush
The Ultimate glue or instant glue
permanent marker
wood glue
lace trim
mirror tiles




1. Glue four doll’s heads onto the bottom of the box for feet using wood glue. Allow approximately two hours to dry.

2. Sand the edges of the box and feet.

3. Paint the outside of box with silver acrylic paint. Let dry.



4. Paint the inside of the box with gold acrylic paint. Let dry.

5. Measure and cut scrapbook or cardstock papers. Cut the papers just slightly under the full width of the side because the boxes are bound to be somewhat irregular.



6. Apply papers to the sides of the box using polymer gloss medium. Apply medium over the paper, and then rub carefully with your finger to ensure that the paper adheres well and all air bubbles are worked out.



7. Apply papers to the lid of the box in the same way, including the photo. Let the box dry, about an hour.



8. Attach the embellishments such as buttons, metal accents or lace trim with super strong glue.

9. Apply two to three coats of polyurethane to the box for a nice, even and glossy shimmer in the light. Allow the box to dry completely between each coat, approximately 1/2 hour to an hour.



10. Glue mirror tiles on the lid of the box and your ornate travel box is complete, except for adding your keepsakes.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Paint a Moose Trinket Box

Dress up an ordinary wooden box with a painted woodland creature design.

How to Paint a Fiberglass Window Screen

Trace a photo with paint to create an intricately-detailed scene on a fiberglass window screen.

Marbled Silk Scarf

Transfer paint onto white silk scarves to create an attractive marbled silk scarf.

Upcycle an Old Cutlery Box Into a New Jewelry Box

Vintage cutlery boxes are a frequent fixture at estate and yard sales — usually in pretty worn condition. With just a little elbow grease, you can refinish and re-line them for a massive upcycled jewelry box.

How to Paint Decorative Tile

Use tile as a canvas for painting any design you desire.

House Trinket Box

Peggy Johnston makes a trinket box from polyester sheeting in the shape of a house.

Collaged Box Clock

Brenda Marks attaches bee charms as clock hands to her collaged box clock.

How to Make a Vintage Souvenir Travel Scarf Purse

Turn a vintage scarf into a traveling tote featuring a beaded fabric flower.

How to Make a Rustic Tin Trinket Box

An ordinary mint tin seems like it's been around for ages with this aging technique.

Expressive Box Wall Hanging

Marie Weichman embellishes this clay box wall hanging with objects that reflect her creativity.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.