Sentimental things or junk?

It’s hard to know what to do with sentimental items. (Image credit Wikipedia Commons)

Many of us would like to honor loved ones by holding on to sentimental things. We usually manage to work our most cherished heirlooms into our home décor, but it’s harder to display other nostalgia items. Beloved knick-knacks wind up confined to a shelf in the basement—or worse: a box. Only on rare occasions do we bring them out to bask in fond memories.

It’s a shame. You probably don’t want to erect a shrine to grandma—especially if she still lives next door. However, being able to see and touch objects that are emotionally significant to you can make your home even more like home.

One solution is incorporating those items into memory crafts. You not create attractive ways to display your cherished sentimental items, but you can share those memories as well. With that in mind, I’ve been book-marking great ideas for crafts and displays using sentimental things. They’re in my Sharing Memories Pinterest board. Here are some of my favorites.

Broken Treasures:

Broken sentimental things

Do you have broken sentimental items? How to Make Stepping Stones with A Cake Pan gives step by step instructions.

Using broken tiles or plates to make mosaic items is fun. A simple Google search will yield tons of ideas. Consider incorporating items from different places or homes, or sentimental things from various people.

In Not Your Grandma’s Jewelry Box, Abby Wilk describes how she used her grandma’s broken china to make herself a jewelry holder.

Sentimental Things out of Grandma’s Jewelry Box

Women often write about their fond memories of exploring their grandmother’s jewelry box. They write about it in such glowing terms, I wish I had the experience myself. (I enjoyed my mom’s though!)

Once I was at a Christmas party where the homeowner had made a beautiful lighted Christmas tree display out of jewelry he inherited from his grandmother. I didn’t take a photo of it (This was before smart phones.), but Marnie of The Vintage Chick has a great exemplar. Hint: You can do the same thing with buttons.

You can use the same technique to make a beautiful frame or bookmarks.

It’s Not Always about Grandparents

Sometimes we’re just loathe to throw away toys our kids have out-grown or sentimental things from a previous home or adventure. Just as you can make a Christmas tree or decorate a frame with old jewelry, you can do the same with childhood toys or marbles. (See this example from Arcados de Decoraco.) You can also fill a lamp, vase, or shadow box with sentimental things and childhood artifacts.


Don’t overlook making maps into wonderful crafts. From simple DIY (do it yourself) coasters to furniture, Google and Pinterest have great ideas.

Other Sentimental Things

Other than photography, I’m at a loss for raindrops on roses. However, you’re limited only by your imagination and glue sticks when it comes to making sentimental things into memory crafts.

What idea do you have? Please comment below!

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