I love honoring my whole family memorabilia in different ways. From framing my kids' art projects to deciding to display my favorite watch growing up, I love to keep items that remind me of happy moments in my life. So, today, I am sharing creative ideas to honor my family memorabilia to inspire you to create a special place for those most treasured items you inherited from loved ones.
Keep in mind, like all our other posts about memorabilia. There is a fine line between honoring someone's memorabilia and keeping things. I advise only to keep a small number of items that are meaningful to you. Visit our post below to help you decide what to keep and trash or give away.
Now that you are ready to display those genuinely honored keepsakes, read on to get some ideas and move those items to their respective homes.
Creative Ways to Organize Family Memories
- Creative Ways to Organize Family Memories
- Family Memorabilia Idea #1: Wedding invitation framed with a collage of greeting card images.
- Idea #2: Frame kid's artwork and display it in family rooms or kid's rooms.
- Idea #3: Collect all your trinkets from different travels and place them in a curio cabinet.
- Idea #4: Display your collection above the kitchen cabinets.
- Family Memorabilia Idea #5: Don't have room for a standalone bookshelf in your bedroom; buy mountable corner shelves.
- Idea #6: Frame an object you do not use any longer but still love.
- Family Memorabilia Idea #7: Install a mantle or shelving on any wall and display your favorite items.
- Idea #8: Use a shadow box for reward ribbons and pins.
- 2022 Update: Another Family Memorabilia Craft Idea.
- Family Memorabilia you can display with honor in your home.
- Update 2022: Leftover Currency Changed to Coasters
- Did you inherit fine china from a loved one? Check this out!
Family Memorabilia Idea #1: Wedding invitation framed with a collage of greeting card images.
After we got married, I had so many greeting cards with beautiful images on them, so instead of getting rid of them, I decided to make a collage and then add our invitations to it. I used my mom's wedding veil (which was already ripped) from her wedding to frame the border to dress it up a bit. Then I got it professionally framed. We still have it today and love looking at it.
Where did I place this custom wedding picture frame invitation?
We displayed this picture frame in our bedroom, near our wedding portrait. Visit our HOW TO MAKE A FABULOUS PHOTO WALL COLLAGE for ideas on making a theme wall collage.
Idea #2: Frame kid's artwork and display it in family rooms or kid's rooms.
This piece of art was featured in a district art show. My son made it in kindergarten. This necklace had a mat already. So, I measured out the artwork and trimmed it to fit.
Where did I display this framed artwork?
I displayed this in the kids' playroom for many years, now my office near the craft table. The kids loved to see their favorite pieces shown.
Idea #3: Collect all your trinkets from different travels and place them in a curio cabinet.
I found this curio cabinet at IKEA. It is pretty narrow (about 18 inches squared). It gave me enough room to store all my keepsakes. And, when I filled it up, I cleared some out and added new ones. It was helpful to have all the little favorite things in one place so I could clean and organize them easily and quickly.
Where did I place this curio cabinet?
It's blue and adds a pop of color to our hallway. We have been adding stuff to it over the years, so the image below is a little outdated. The items in it don't need to be fancy to be displayed.
This size curio cabinet is perfect for a gift for older children when they first move into their first home. It's not too large and can fit any apartment.
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Idea #4: Display your collection above the kitchen cabinets.
Collectables, like trivets, always were something that my husband and I would collect on our road trips when we first got married.
Where did we display these trivets?
We placed our collectible plates on top of the cabinet walls in our older kitchen since there was a large gap. We spread them out about two to three feet apart so that each one would be seen. In front of them, we placed trays and other platters that had beautiful patterns.
Family Memorabilia Idea #5: Don't have room for a standalone bookshelf in your bedroom; buy mountable corner shelves.
I found these corner mountable shelves from IKEA. They were easy to install and could display the stuff that I used to have on my bookshelves, like my favorite quote and picture frames of my husband and me. The books were moved to another bookshelf in our home. To this day, we display all these picture frames and quotes in this corner.
Where did I place the corner shelves?
I had an unused corner near my closet door, and it was a perfect place to mount these little shelves.
Looking for some corner shelves, below are options from Amazon. (If you purchase from Amazon using these links, I will receive a small referral fee at no additional cost to you. Thank you.)
Idea #6: Frame an object you do not use any longer but still love.
This watch had a lady's face on the front. It was so pretty that I didn't know what to do with it when I stopped wearing it. While it doesn't work, I thought it was elegant and had accents of purple. So I got it custom framed with a purple background to enhance the face of the watch.
Where did I display this Frame?
I displayed it on the hallway wall. I would always see it going up and down the stairs. The purple brought out the picture on the watch.
Family Memorabilia Idea #7: Install a mantle or shelving on any wall and display your favorite items.
This glass piece of art that lights up and displays a beautiful image inside was from my father's home.
Where did I display this item?
Our family room didn't have a focal point, so we added a stone wall with a mantel. I displayed pictures and unique things from my family members who passed. Read about how to do this here.
Looking for some mantels, below are options from Amazon. (If you purchase from Amazon using these links, I will receive a small referral fee at no additional cost to you. Thank you.)
Idea #8: Use a shadow box for reward ribbons and pins.
Instead of having all these pins and ribbons all over the place, we updated the ribbons and awards throughout the years because of the easy access. When we did the Pine Car Derby for Cub Scouts, we would have him open it up and add the awards he won.
Where did I place this shadow box?
Since it was my son's awards, we placed them on the wall near his desk so he would see them.
2022 Update: Another Family Memorabilia Craft Idea.
Recently I created a keepsake shadow box project of my grandparents and mother and small things I got from them.
To make this family memorabilia that honors the women in my life, I used the following:
- A shadow box
- My grandmother's crochet
- A scrap piece of floral fabric
- A postcard from my grandma's hometown
- Rosaries from my other grandma
- Three square pictures of my mom and my grandmothers (my mom's mom and dad's mom).
- Three little wood hearts, pearls, and pushpins.
All the items were layered on top of one another to honor each of them. They are easily moveable because the frame has a padded back. So, in the future, if I find more things in areas I am decluttering, I will place them in there to fill in some corners.
Where did you place it?
It is placed in the center of the shelf near the stairs to my family room. I see it every day and love it so much.
Family Memorabilia you can display with honor in your home.
While these are just some of what I love to display in our home, you can show several things. Below is a list of things you may want to display in a creative, unique way that shares your great memories.
- Movie theater tickets
- Family portraits in a collage frame to show the photos over the years
- Collage photos of your kids at different ages
- Favorite board game covers from your family's game nights
- Favorite covers of your video games
- Life event sentimental gift
- Theater playbills from your favorite shows
- Favorite artwork from your little kids
- Favorite recipes from your favorite childhood memories.
Update 2022: Leftover Currency Changed to Coasters
Visit our recent post about how I used my father's leftover currency to decorate coasters in my home. DIY UPCYCLING LEFTOVER CURRENCY INTO COASTERS
What other items would you add to this list? Please leave a comment below.
Did you inherit fine china from a loved one? Check this out!
If you want to upcycle fine china, check out The Brooklyn Teacup website. They will repurpose your inherited fine china.
These family memorabilia examples are from different times in my life. I hope you are inspired by all the other ideas to honor your memorabilia.
How do you keep your stuff? Leave a comment below.
Visit these other posts for more inspirational ideas.
The first three are from our blog; the last two are from other articles I found online. Feel free to check them out.
How to Make a Family Heritage Scrapbook
7 Easy Home Movie Organizing Tips
What Memorabilia to Keep to Honor Loved Ones
10 Unique Ideas for Honoring the Memory of a Loved One
8 Keepsake Crafts That Honor the Memory of Loved Ones
I love all the questions you posed about selecting things to keep. It is so important to keep the best of the best and not everything. I also like asking where did I display it? It is important to decide this at the beginning so you know how to display it and how much you have room for. Thanks for the information.
Diane N Quintana
These are all such great ideas. I love the questions you pose - where will you keep it? I also love the curio cabinet that you can add things to over time. Meaning also, that you can switch out your displays. Such a wonderful way to honor your family memorabilia.
You have some great display ideas. I have experienced the challenge of what to do with items from past loved ones and have learned that if I have the opportunity to choose the items I would like to keep, I choose three things and use those things. Whether I display them or actually use them. But when someone else gives me items they never quite fit and I put them away where I don't see and then don't use them. I think the lesson is to let people choose what resonates with them and then there will be more personal meaning and they will use the items.
I love that you take the word *honor* and put it into action. I always advise clients that if something is in a box, under a box, in the back of a closet, either the memory or the item can't be that valuable, and only by repairing, cleaning, dusting, and displaying an item are you truly showing it honor. Me? I don't have any three-dimensional memorabilia. It's pretty much photos, because I know that if I won't actually be using something, it'll be clutter, as I will never, ever make a craft out of anything. No shadow boxes, no curio cabinets, no display cases. So, anything meaningful gets photographed or it goes away, but that's only my personal approach; for clients who do have the wherewithal to display things (tidily) as you describe, these are superb tactics for doing so!
So important to get the memorable to a place where it can be seen and enjoyed. When I read the title of your post, what popped into my head was, "And none of them include sticking it in a box in the attic where you will never see it!"
I think we so easily confuse honoring and keeping. Just because we are keeping it doesn't mean we are honoring it. Your ideas are wonderful ways to truly honor what matters most.
You shared so many creative ways and places to display the treasured memorabilia. What I love is how you give each one a place of honor to reside and be enjoyed. I think that's where many people struggle. They keep more than can be managed, displayed, or enjoyed. So if someone wants to bring those out in the open, you provided some great ideas for how to do that.
Thanks, Linda! I hope it inspires people to take out these beautiful keepsakes and enjoy them. Keepsakes in a closet are of no value to anyone.
I love how you framed the kids artwork. I have framed a print my daughter made in art class and it lives on my desk. So much better than it living in a box somewhere. I have several little trinkets that were my dad's. I think the shadow box idea is a great one for that.