What is a Keepsake Chest & The Different Designs You Can Get

What is a keepsake chest? A keepsake chest, also referred to as keepsake trunk or keepsake box, is a wooden piece typically made for storing mementos of a special event, time or memories.

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Often, these can be customized according to people’s needs.

The design of a keepsake chest

The keepsake chest traditionally is made out of wood in classical chest shape with a locking mechanism and a key. These usually have rustic look, with the base being made of different types of woods and metal decorations on the side (often in form of a handle) and around the lock.

Some models may have their owner’s name carved or painted on their front, other important dates or they may have some other different forms, shapes, and patterns carved or painted as decorations.

The shape of the keepsake chest may be more similar to a box, or a chest, and on some models, it may even be in a luggage-style, although typically it is in one of the first two shapes.

What are the different types of keepsake chests according to design, style, and usage?

  1. Design: When it comes to design, there are several types of keepsake chests:
    • Traditional keepsake chest – comes in the traditional form of a chest, with small detailed metal decorations. These are usually made of long-lasting woods and are timeless pieces;
    • Extra-large keepsake chests – similar to traditional ones, these too are made of wood; they may have the traditional chest shape or more the shape of a box. The extra-large keepsake boxes are used for storing larger items, clothes, blankets, and other significant pieces. They may have some text engraved on the inside of the lid, names, significant dates, even a quote.
    • 3 piece keepsake chests – this is a 3 piece set of keepsake chests which come in 3 different sizes; typically the design is simple and same on all of the three pieces, and they solely differ in their size.
    • Personalized keepsake chests – these are made upon request of the customer and can include several different design changes: they may have custom made painting or carvings, or they can also include some text or a quote related to the things stored inside; simply put, they are personalized according to someone’s special request.
  1. Style: Depending on their style, the keepsake chests can be in different styles, such as:
  • Rustic
  • Antique
  • Navy
  • Country
  • Retro
  • Antique
  • Vintage
  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • And more


  1. Usage: Although design-wise these come in many different styles and colors, typically their types depend on the usage; therefore, we can distinguish between:
    • Wedding keepsake chests – used for storing out wedding memorabilia; these oftentimes are personalized and their design includes the name of the spouses as well as the wedding date. People use wedding keepsake chests to store: wedding jewelry and clothes, wedding tiara and veil, some items from the ceremony such as garter, photos, wedding invitations, examples of ribbons for the bouquet, business cards of venues and receipts of deposits paid, some gifts like horseshoes/chimney sweep or other good luck charms, the guest book etc.
    • Newborn/ a baby keepsake chests – These keepsake chests, as the name says, are used to store items that were part of the first memories of your kids; these too may be customized and include some important dates or names as part of the design of the keepsake chest.

What can you store inside a keepsake chest?

Inside them, people store baby items, like ultrasound pictures, baby’s hospital wristband, the clothes worn home from the hospital, a lock of hair, first tooth, a coin made the year they were born, their first toys, blankets, clothes, shoes, a newspaper with the date of the baby’s birth, an album with their first photos, videos, etc.

These can be filled with items from kid’s childhood too, so, later on, you may add kid’s favorite books, drawings, awards, medals, photos of their first holidays or first days at school, birthday celebrations, school reports from each year, etc.

  • Religious keepsake chests – these typically are much smaller and are rather described as boxes; typically they are decorated with religious motives and symbols and are used for storing jewelry and items related to religion, or some religious event such as baptism, christening, first holy communion, etc.
  • Regular keepsake chests – these can be used for storing out regular everyday items. It can be anything, from jewelry to smaller items like albums, clothes, anything you want.


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