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Handmade Faerie Drossbox

A Drossbox is a fantasy version of a Letterbox or Geocache, with emphasis on Faeries and magic. It could be considered a type of Glamorbombing though it shares similarities with benchmarking and treasure-hunting.

The trend started at a Faerieworlds festival 2008 in Eugene, OR, when a small collection of vendors organized a faerie scavenger hunt amongst their booths. Each participating booth hid their goodies in a Drossbox for the participants choose and trade a treasure from upon discovery.

Over time, the practice evolved into a hybrid activity somewhere between Letterboxing and Glamorbombing. The purpose of the activity is to share magic and fun in a safe, environmentally friendly way.

Hidden Drossbox with realmpass & treasure.

It is most definitely not intended to vandalize or disrespect property or the land.

The word dross is an older term usually meaning waste, junk or in Britain, "coal of little value"[1]. In folklore, faeries are often known for making valuable treasure out of enchanted objects that would otherwise be very mundane. Some well-known examples are turning leaves into money[2], making silver coins from the dollar plant, beautiful jewelry from recycled parts. The famous Brothers Grimm story Rumplestiltskin tells of a wee man weaving gold from hay.[3]

Dross is also a term used in White Wolf's Changeling: The Dreaming[4] live-action role-playing game to indicate physical items that have glamour (aka fae magic) imbued or trapped within them.

Finding treasure in another person's "trash" is the art of finding Dross.

Drossboxing takes its name from the junk and ephemera that seems otherwise dull and boring to the human eye, but has been turned into faerie treasure and cleverly hidden for others to find. One differentiation between Drossboxing and Geocaching or Letterboxing is that there are no GPS coordinates for finding the treasure.

Instead, each Drossbox is stashed in a relatively accessible location. Pictures are taken of the surrounding area to be used in blog posts. Rather than using technological directions, the more whimsical approach of following the clues in a rhyme or riddle will lead the seeker to their goal.

Inside the Tumwater Falls Drossbox

Each Drossbox consists of a weather-proof container approximately the size of a school box, into which several essential items are stashed:

  • Instructions: Can be found in every Drossbox so that even people who find it randomly can join in the fun and know what to do.
  • Rubber Stamp: Each Drossbox has a stamp that is unique to it and its location. This stamp can be added to a treasure hunter's own logbook.
  • Realmpass: Also known as a logbook or passport, this is a small book that treasure hunters can leave their own stamp or mark within, it stays with the Drossbox at all times.
  • Stamp Pad: An ink pad for use with rubber stamps
  • Dross: Or, Faerie Treasure! Each cache has a collection of trinkets, sparklies and various treasures. When you find a Drossbox, you should abide by the "take a penny, leave a penny" rule. Always leave something of equal or greater value if you take a piece of treasure.

Some Drossboxes have optional additions such as fliers for festivals and events, or postcards, or notes for the next seeker. Others may include special instructions to receive a prize, or silly activities involving the items in box such as wearing the fake mustache and taking a picture of yourself.

Anyone can participate in Drossboxing by following their imagination, creating a qualifying Drossbox, hiding it and recording the location. Sometimes this may be done in disguise so as to help preserve the magic of planting a treasure that wasn't there before.

Excellent places for Drossboxes include magical, fun, whimsical locations. Areas that resonate fantasy, beauty, an eclectic nature or just plain oddities are likely hiding places.

Examples of Hiding Places[edit]

thumb|left|The Fremont Troll in Seattle, WA Fremont Troll in Seattle, WA
The Enchanted Forest in Salem, OR
Washington Renaissance Faire in Buckley, WA
Dragon Hollow in Missoula, MT