If there’s one thing I truly enjoy, it’s a good box. I think it all started with both of my grandmothers’ pillbox collections. Always rearranged nearly on spotless surfaces in their homes, I loved the decorative and utilitarian qualities of these tiny treasures boxes, each one unique, even though they were always empty.
Even now, one of my most cherished possessions is a box, a decoupaged cigar box that a friend crafted for me in college. It’s traveled with me everywhere, holding life’s detritus — matchbooks, sticks of incense, concert ticket stubs, old watches, foreign coins, unused keys, trinkets of all sorts — that I can’t yet part with or shove into the back of a boring old drawer.
Below are a few good boxes for stashing and storing possessions; ideal vessels for unclassifiable “stuff" around your home that may need its own proper home. All are made from or embellished with a variety of earth-friendly materials. Don't see one you fancy? Hit up an antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales or craft your own!
Shine Labs "Friend" Felt Box with Bamboo Top @ Branch Home ($29)
These stackable charmers measuring 5"L x 5"W x 3"H are made in San Francisco from 100 percent wool felt, FSC-certified bamboo, and no-VOC adhesives. Available in orange or charcoal.
Mosaic Storage Box with Lid @ CB2 ($29.95)
From CB2's line of Mosaic recycled desk accessories, comes this 10.5"W x 8.25"D x 5"H lidded storage box that's constructed from 100 percent shredded and compressed juice boxes. Each box is moisture- and chip-resistant and one-of-a-kind.
BookBoxes - various titles and sizes @ SecretStorageBooks.com ($17 - $75)
As featured in my Green Monday Gift Guide! Have a book-loving friend or love one who really has something to hide? Check out the wide range of BookBoxes — clever "secret" storage units — from The Book Box Company. Available in various sizes and genres, BookBoxes are real, hollowed-out books that have been purchased from charities and recycling operations.
Malcolm Studio Shop Upcycled Cigar Box @ Etsy ($29)
Great for kitchen storage, this upcycled cedar cigar box from Providence-based artist Karen Malcolm measures 4 3/4"W x 8"D x 3 3/4"H. Topped with an original collage made from 1940s advertising and big band sheet music.
Artyfakt Recycled Record CD Case/Keepsake Box @ Etsy ($60)
An ideal home accessory for eco-audiophiles, this CD case/storage box is upcycled from the complete LP sleeve of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music by Ray Charles plus the record itself. Groovy.
West Corinth Studio Ka Boom Stash Box @ Etsy ( $75)
Handmade in Vermont using local and salvaged woods — this particular piece is constructed from local white cedar, veneered with birdseye maple, and inlaid with walnut and birdseye maple — this 5 x 4 x 3 tall marquetry stash box is inspired by Japanese pop culture and comic books.
Kim Fox Test Print Box (medium) @ Supermarket ($30)
Measuring 5" x 5" and 1.5" deep, Pittsburgh-based illustrator and printmaker Kim Fox's charming little box is printed with water-based inks. No two are alike.
Jonathan Adler Berlin Bath Stash Box @ Jonathan Adler ($34)
Although Mr. Adler is perhaps better known for his quirky, animal-shaped ceramic vessels, his Berlin Bath Stash Box is a real beauty. It is Handcrafted in Peru by artisans working through the nonprofit, fair trade organization Aid to Artisans. Available in white or olive (pictured) matte glazes.