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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cool Ideas (Vacation Keepsake Displays)

My children and I love keeping things that we've acquired from places we've visited and vacations we've taken. These special mementos usually ended up in our "special keeps" box (a plastic tote that gets rummaged through only once every year on our "memory day").

The thing that bothered me so much about chucking stuff in the keeps box is that we couldn't enjoy the mementos and  pictures more often.
Sure we could've brought them out to look at more than just once a year but going through a pile of ticket stubs, postcards, foliage (that's right, foliage) and reciepts doesn't really sound appealing, does it? Actually it kinda sounds like tax time! Groaaaan! Not to mention all
the pictures that were put on my hard drive stayed there . . . .doing nothing. . . .but sitting. . . .


Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Anyways, I had come up with a solution for those really special vacations that had lots of mementos and pictures.
I framed them!

Sorry bout the hideous pictures, no matter what, the "glass"
in the frame would reflect light from every which way so I had to improvise.

As you can see we kept our theme park maps, ticket envelopes, tickets, stroller tag, postcards, brochures, card keys, foliage gathered, wristbands, etc. We used whatever we kept to help us remember the wonderful time we had on that particular vacation. 
These frames are poster frames that I would buy whenever I saw some at a garage sale. I paid .25 for the 22x28 frame
and $3 for the 24x36 frame at two separate garage sales.

 I've found that these frames were the best for framing mementos because

1. There's no glass, just a thin, plastic covering so it's lighter (all the mementos tend to get a little heavy especially as the frames get larger)  

2. They are easier to hang because they come with "clips" that hold backing in place  

3. They are also able to accept not so flat items or bulky items (if you look really closely, I have an acorn in one of the frames) because of the clip backing 

4. You can find large poster frames for much less than what you would pay for regular frames of the same size. 

5. You can find these frames quite easily at almost any garage sale

When you have your frame and all your stuff,  take the frame off and just start placing the items on the "frame backing" according to how you want it to look. (make sure you are doing all this on a flat surface) I filled the entire area so that there was no background showing through. I used the maps and brochures in the background to cover more area. Put the frame over the backing to see what gets cut off by the frame (there will always be just a little cut off on the borders, this will help with placement. When you are sure you absolutely LOVE the placement, tack each and every one of the mementos down to the backing (either with double sided tape or fold pieces of tape on itself to make it double sided) This will ensure all the stuff won't fall down to the bottom of the frame when you hang it. Replace the frame and Hang!

These frames hang in our loft and the children love stopping to look at them to remember the good times we had on our vacations.

Another way I think is really cool to display keepsakes from a trip is to make Trip Jars.

These are very inexpensive because they can be extra glass food jars that you have laying around. These are pickle jars. Wide mouth jars are the best for this particular project. I also love the look of mason/canning jars.

All you need to make these is 1. the jar, and 2. the keepsakes.

I usually take the label off by scraping it with a razor blade (you know those razor blade scrapers). These are very effective tools to take all the paper and the glue off the glass. (Be very careful if using the razor blade method)

A lot of the time, the lids will also have labeling on it. All I do is 1. remove the lids and 2. give it a light coat of spray paint. Usually one coat will do!

There are several ways to label your glass. There's vinyl, sticky labels (file folder/return address labels), homemade tags, glass etching, etc. My favorite method is vinyl. I like to put, 1. where we went on that trip and 2. what year it was. You can put whatever it is that you want to put on it, it's all up to you.

There are soooo many ways to display keepsakes and mementos, this is just 2 of them! I hope you will go through those boxes and drawers of "stuff" that you're keeping and put it to use! (or you can just face the facts that you are a packrat and love holding on to stuff that you will never, ever be able to enjoy only to have rodents eat them forcing you to eventually throw them out and then feeling sad that you never actually did anything with them when you had the chance!) <---- This could be you! Don't let it happen, you're better than that!



  1. Love this idea! I have tons of glass jars stored because I hate throwing away glass jars, I always think that I can find a use for them. This is an excellent way of using my glass jars. Thank you! What do you think of me putting all my glass jars filled with souvenirs of our vacations etc., on top of my cupboards/cabinets in the kitchen, how do you think that will look? Also, what ideas do you both have on chore charts? Do you have any nifty cool ideas for chore charts? Just wondering. Thanks again for your amazing ideas :)

  2. Yes, I had that "glass jar" conflict as well! I am currently working on a post about glass jars! I think that putting trip jars in a row somewhere in your house would be beautiful! I have tons of ideas for chore charts....but that's another post! LOL! Thanks for your comment, Ana!


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