Despite Pandora's experience to the contrary, lovely little boxes tend to harbor far more treasure than trouble. And there's no reason the containers themselves shouldn't rival their contents in elegance and allure.
An A-list of embellishments -- velvets, ribbons, and blossoms; embossed papers that mimic the textures of shagreen, leather, and lizard skin; glossy spray-on auto touch-up paint contrasted with delicate rice-paper cutouts; and romantic inscription panels inspired by the labels on vintage French pillboxes -- can transform packages that seem pedestrian into true gems. Add a few equally refined elements inside to keep everything from brooches to billets-doux safe, snug, and in place and the final results of your handiwork may feel too pretty to part with. What better way to let someone you love know how very special he or she is?
Elegant millinery flowers and ribbons imprinted with monograms adorn boxes covered in dusty velvets to evoke the delicate, ladylike aesthetics of the Victorian era. Cleverly pierced ephemera -- postcards, snapshots, and vintage playing cards -- keep earrings paired and untangled. To monogram don't use stamps with intricate patterns, which will produce less-than-perfect results. Plan on a test or two with your chosen materials to determine how much heat, time, and pressure produce the best imprints.
Even the loveliest jewelry box can benefit from custom-made accessories that organize and protect precious baubles.
1. A paper mailing tube cut to fit within the box and covered with velvet makes storing link and charm bracelets easy.
2. Cushions of silk taffeta stuffed with cotton batting are ideal for layering small items; a ribbon sewn to one ensures that delicate rings won't get lost.
3. Ribbon scraps too pretty to throw away can be used to hold brooches and stickpins.
4. Lengths of richly colored velvet are rolled to store and display rings.
5. Found objects such as a porcelain watercolor palette, a vintage chess piece, and an abalone shell can be set into boxes to hold tiny items.
6. Buttons from a sewing kit are perfect for holding tiny pairs of earrings so they won't get lost or separated.