Monday, February 25, 2013

A Hope Chest

There comes a time in a girl's life when she should start a hope chest. I started mine in a Rubbermaid shoe box, it grew to a tote a couple sizes up that is almost full. I have a real wooden one, but my sisters play with it! ( :~) And I don't mind a bit!)

The history behind the hope chest:

hope chestdowry chestcedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life. The term "hope chest" or "cedar chest" is used in the midwest or south of the United States; in the United Kingdom, the term is "bottom drawer"; while "glory box" is used by women in Australia. 

This is what I have in my hope chest.

A couple Christmas dishes.

A teapot from my Great Grandmother and a homemade bar of soap.

A table runner and pillow cases made by my Great Grandmother. She did such an awesome job on my pillow cases and table runner.

A quilt made my by other Great Grandmother, and a couple sets of white curtains. The white curtains were given to me by my Grandma. I've used them in my room and for plays my sisters and I have put on.

A patriotic table runner I made, and a jar from my Great Grandmother. She stores macaroni hers. The cool part about the jar is it has measuring notations on the side. It can hold up to 2 cups. 

A set of tins from my Great Grandmother, and a toothbrush holder. The tins match so I could line them up. I'll probably store tea in the tins like my Mom does with her tins. :~)

A couple candle holders from my Great Grandmother (I have a matching candy dish, but I can't find it) and a set of salt & pepper shakers. I bought the salt and pepper shakers at a flea market or antique store. I saw them and I knew I would want a set for my hope chest.

This is a "welcome" pillow I made. It is about 10 inches long and 5 inches high. I made it to put by my door someday. It was one of the first things I put in my hope chest. It was with the patriotic table runner, salt & pepper shakers, and curtains for the longest time.

These are little figurines for fall. The 3 tall ones are from a sweet lady who moved away and the 2 short ones are from my Great Grandmother.

This isn't the best picture but it is what I got. It is a ribbon and a beaded garland. The garland is from a wedding in which I was a flower girl. I had it over my bed on the curtain rod with the ribbon for a while. I switched it out recently for a dark green balance.

This is what I have in my hope chest. Have you ever had or started one?


  1. I'm glad to see that the some women are still keeping a hope chest. I think it's a sweet tradition. I started putting aside a few items before I was married as well but that was 42 years ago, and I wasn't' sure anyone still did this.
    Have a blessed day, Gail

  2. I got my hope chest for christmas this year and I have yet to put anything in it yet. This post has helped me come up with what I might put inside. I am looking forward to having it filled with all the things I will need for my future home. Also I would like to say that this is a great post and I wished that more young women did this.
    Blessings Alyssa

    1. Thank you! I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and was surprised to discover that she also had one! It is a tradition that would be nice to keep alive. :~)

  3. Love it! I never did a formal hope chest, as I had my own room (the only girl) and got married at 19, so I just moved all of my stuff from my room into our apartment. How you and your future children will treasure those items!

    In Christ,

  4. I have a hope chest of sorts! I posted about it here - but it isn't as tidy as that now! Lots of books and vintage aprons in there at the moment!

    I want to make things to put in it but most of the things I make are given away as gifts! x

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad to see that the tradition is being kept alive! :~)

  5. Moriah,

    I loved this article! I received a hope chest from my parents for my 16th birthday. Twenty-five years later, it has moved with me at least seven times and has a few nicks. It now holds a wooden train set that my children play with. Every time I look at, I think back to when I was 16 and not knowing what the future would hold. Now I'm married and have eight children! I hope to give each of my five daughters a hope chest of their own some day. God Bless!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like it! :~D

  6. I've never had a hope chest (though I wanted one) - they are a lovely way to begin to build a trousseau. At my age though, I've got a pretty well-stocked hope house. LOL. Meaning that, if I'm ever blessed to marry I've already got two sets of bed linens (one store bought, one that my mother and I made together), Christmas and every day dishes (as well as a set of china stored at my parent's house that I inherited from my grandmother), spare quilts, homemade curtains, and lots of throw pillows and decor items (especially for Christmas - my favorite). The one thing I don't yet have, but which I consider essential, is a quilt made by myself (to go with my heirloom quilts). I'm working on that though. One block at a time. (That, and I would actually love to have a quality trunk or chest to store such things in).

    Do you think you will "upgrade" to an heirloom chest, like a cedar quilt chest, or steamer trunk, as your hope chest grows?

    1. I actually have an "heirloom" chest. Currently it has my sisters' toys in it. I'd love to have things like that someday! I also hope to add some more things to it come this winter when I'm bored. :) I will get a corner cabinet from my grandparents when I either get my own place or married. Which ever comes first. :) Inherited items are the most special. :)