I have only recently started my hope chest and it isn't a traditional hope chest. It is more a collection of items that inspire me or teach me about being more Godly, more feminine and also learning all sorts of home making skills.
The photograph below shows my hope chest. It is a large storage box and lives in the corner of my bedroom.
On one side on the box is a collection of crafting books on sewing and quilting. On the other side are two Gooseberry Patch books that I adore and some old copies of Keepers At Home magazine and Making It Home magazine which I find fascinating and so useful. Unfortunately, I only have a couple of each magazine but I read them frequently.
My hope chest looked a little plain so it now has a very sweet teddy bear and my sewing box on top. I think it looks quite cute nestled in the corner of my room.
The next photograph is of the inside of my hope chest. Quite a bit of empty space in there! I am trying really hard not to put other random things in there and to keep it special.
I have so many things in my hope chest that I have found useful and inspiring. I have (another) Gooseberry Patch book about celebrating the seasons, issues of The King's Blooming Rose magazine which is adorable and such a good read, two of the keepsake albums of The Girlhood Home Companion and a set of the Godly Woman's Adornment books covering Joy, Contentment, Purity and Trust. I haven't read these yet but I am really looking forward to starting them.
I have quite a few DVDs in my hope chest too. Many of them I have ordered from America as they just don't seem to be available over here. I have Tea with Michelle Duggar which is really interesting, a couple of DVDs on the Amish and their way of life and the Homestead Blessings DVDs. I can't adequately explain how wonderful I think the Homestead Blessings DVDs are! There are so many skills that I want to learn and I was worrying as I don't really have anyone to teach me and then stumbled upon the West ladies and was so thrilled. I have watched the DVDs on sewing, quilting and gardening so far and they are so informative and easy to follow. I also find them strangely relaxing!
I know that traditionally the hope chest would have been used to hold family heirlooms and things that a girl had made for her future family but, at the moment, keeping it as a sort of reference library works for me. I love traditions and how people fit them into their lives. I don't think that hope chests are well known over here although I have been told that in the 1950's and earlier girls would have a bottom drawer where they would keep things for their future homes. It is such a quaint custom!