I’ve spent the past several weeks sorting through boxes of keepsakes. I can’t believe some of the stuff I’ve kept over the years. When we moved three and a half years ago we made fewer and fewer decisions about what to pack as the days drew nearer to moving day. Finally, at the end we just packed without much sorting—we were out of time. When you have lived in the same house, raising seven boys for nearly twenty years, you accumulate a lot of stuff!
Then there’s the other issue – my mother died quite a few years ago and my father remarried and moved into his bride’s home. Much of my mother’s belongings came to me since I was the only daughter and also the oldest. Some of her things were items she’d inherited from her own mother when she died nearly thirty years ago.
So now, I have all this stuff—photos, old glassware, postcards, newspaper clippings…the list goes on and on. Some of the items are quite valuable I would imagine, but since I’m not really interested in selling, I’m not compelled to have any of it appraised right now. No, at this point I just need to figure out where to put everything. With a house full of active boys I don’t dare display the hundred-year-old ceramic plate but keeping everything in a box in a closet somewhere isn’t the best way to really enjoy these keepsakes either.
What I have finally decided to do with at least some of my treasures is to design shadow boxes. I think I’ll make one in memory of my mother first. My husband can build the boxes and I’ll choose some of her things that hold memories for me. I might include her nurse’s pin and her picture in her uniform. I’ll probably include some of her jewelry, nothing terribly expensive, just items I remember were her favorites.
For my grandmother’s box, I already know I’ll include a pair of her glasses. Back in the 60’s she was quite stylish and wore those pointed rims with rhinestone decorations. She also had a sequinned purse. I’ll probably do another box of items my grandfather brought home from his tour in Japan during WWII.
By making all of these boxes I can display at least some of the things that remind me of my family and what each person meant to me. I’m excited to get started on this project. I’ve found a few websites and books (listed below) to help get the creative juices flowing. Now all I have to do is get my husband to build those boxes… a pan of brownies should do the trick!
How to Display Keepsakes in a Shadow Box Without Gluing Them Down
Box Frame Magic explains how to make the actual boxes to put your momentos in.
Making Memory Boxes has some great ideas for creating decorated boxes to keep the things you don’t choose to put in your shadow boxes.
Memory Keepsakes contains 43 different projects to make that help you preserve your memories.