DIY Vintage Love Letter Box

This post is about something very special. It’s about love letters. Old love letters. Very old love letters. They are so old and so special that they deserved to be stored in a special vintage love letter box.

love letter box by createandbabble.com

I’ll show you how I turned a jewelry box into a lovely vintage-looking love letter box. But first take a look at the letters.

love letters for a box by createandbabble.com

These love letters were written and exchanged by Dan’s parents 70 years ago. Some were written before they were married, and some were even written after they were married. I think I can hear a collective: Awe!

love letters collage for love letter box by createandbabble.com

These letters were found, along with old photos, jammed in boxes that Dan brought over to our house after his father passed away a few years ago. Dan brought the boxes upstairs to sort through them this weekend and I knew immediately that I wanted to make a special box to hold these letters.

jewelry box into love letter box by createandbabble.com

I remember seeing this jewelry box from when my daughter was getting ready to move out and was cleaning out her room. I rescued it from the throw-away pile knowing that someday I would do something with it.

how i made a love letter box by createandbabble.com

I have a bag of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Ironstone that I thought would be perfect for this box. I gathered the rest of my supplies and got to work. I’m a relatively new user of MMS Milk Paint and thought a small project like this would give me some practice before using it on a piece of furniture.

jewelry box into love letter box with MMS milk paint by createandbabble.com

Here are the steps I took to converting a jewelry box into a vintage love letter box:

  1. I removed the hardware and gave the dusty box a good cleaning with a damp rag.
  2. Applied one coat of the milk paint and let it dry. I could still see some brush strokes, so…
  3. I applied another coat of milk paint and look at that! Chippy, flaky paint. Perfect. Just the look I was going for.
  4. After the paint was thoroughly dry (I waited a few hours), I ever so lightly went over the box with a sanding sponge. Just to remove the loose flakes. Then I brushed on some of Miss Mustard Seed White Wax and buffed.

love letter box by createandbabble

Inside of the lid, I placed a monogram of Dan’s parents’ initials. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the monogram out of Silhouette silver vinyl. On the outside of the lid, there are four cut-outs for photos. Using my iPhone, I snapped two pictures of old pictures and printed them to fit the size of the cut-outs. For the other two cut-outs, I browsed google images for free vintage valentine images. After cutting out the images, I antiqued them by rubbing the surface with an ink pad.

love letter box by createandbabble.com

I tied a pink ribbon around the letters and placed them in the box.

vintage love letter box by createandbabble

Writing this post has got me thinking about how we communicate today. Is writing love letters a thing of the past? I hope not. I think I just might write a love letter. On paper. With a pen. Do I have paper? Of course, but no stationery.  Do you have any love letters in your house? Maybe your parents or your grandparents? I have a vague memory of seeing love letters written by my grandparents or great-grandparents that my mom showed me many years ago. I wonder if they still exist. I’ll have to ask my sister. I remember thinking how beautiful was the handwriting!

vintage letter box by createandbabble.com

I am tickled pink to be part of “Share The Love” Valentine Showcase with 19 outstanding blogs that are linked up below. Please “share the love” and visit their pages to see their Valentine project. And when you’re done, go write a love letter!

ATH 2014 Valentine's Showcase

Monday, January 27:

The Everyday Home

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

AKA Design

Setting for Four

Tuesday January 28:

Wednesday January 29:

Thursday January 30:

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Comments

    • 4

      Jeanie says

      Thank you Heather! I’m so glad we found them and even more thankful that his parents saved them for all those years.

  1. 5

    says

    What a wonderful way to preserve special mementos, Jeanie! The makeover of your little box is perfect. I love that you included the interior in the makeover too. I have letters that parents wrote prior to their marriage (around the start of WWII) and even have one that my mother wrote to my father’s mother asking her permission to write to him while he was stationed overseas with the Army. This gives me a great idea for storing them where they will be easily accessible instead of stuck in a box somewhere. Love it and thank you for the inspiration!
    Suzy @ Worthing Court recently posted…Fudge Brownie Cherry Bites RecipeMy Profile

    • 6

      Jeanie says

      Thank you Suzy, for your kind words! I felt like it was a honor to make a special box for these letters. As I was reading through the letters, I felt like I was in a different world. They were so pure and sweet. Wow, can you imagine receiving a letter today from someone asking permission to write to your son?

  2. 9

    says

    What a wonderful keepsake for your husband. I love reading my grandparents’ old love letters, and I’m sure there are some from my parents to one another in their attic. Sadly, I’m not sure there will be any to leave behind for our son since most communication today is done via email… and I don’t think it has the same meaning/impact as handwritten love letters. Maybe I need to write one, too.
    Atta Girl Amy recently posted…Winter is For the Birds: Wishful Foyer DecoratingMy Profile

    • 10

      Jeanie says

      Thank you Amy! I know what you mean about communication today. I have some cards from Dan that he hand wrote in messages. I am definitely going to round them up and find a special place for them, too. I hope you do write a love letter!

  3. 11

    says

    Absolutely love this project! I have some old letters of from about 40 years ago of my sister’s, who has now passed away. They don’t look vintage but they are still a treasure! Great job and thanks for joining us, Jeanie!

    • 12

      Jeanie says

      Thanks Marty! It seems that nowadays, anything that is handwritten is a treasure. How wonderful that you have letters from your sister to treasure.

    • 14

      Jeanie says

      Thank you Laura, I’m a lover of all things romantic, too, and reading those letters brought tears to our eyes!

  4. 26

    says

    I too am sad about the decline of hand written letters but find that I’m just as guilty of hastily tapping out an email rather than taking the time to sit and write out a hand written letter. I continue to aspire to writing more letters and notes by hand though. Hopefully, bit by bit, I will incorporate this back into my life. Thank you for inspiring me with that wonderful treasure of letters!

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  1. […] in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a rescue with a romantic story from Jeanie at Create & Babble.  This rescue starts out in the most unromantic way, however:  with a daughter clearing out her […]

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