Here are some simple rules to begin a very personalized portrait box:
Collect objects and images that will be recognizable and have meaning and significance for your project. Keep a box handy for this purpose, so any time something appears, just add it.
Souvenirs are always filled with meaning and memories, they are inherently more valuable for the memories they hold than the actual value of the object; a portrait box is a wonderful way to display them. Maps, currencies, passages from favorite books, tokens, etc.
Make a list. Whenever something occurs to you as a trait you’d like to recognize, write it down.
Prioritize. After accumulating objects and images, making a list of personality traits, relationships, etc., prioritize those thoughts so that I can best make use of the materials. I can always use my own resources to find something to symbolize some of those thoughts.
Bruce in India