DIY memory crafts make a great way to convert family memorabilia into art or practical objects. It’s a great way to get heirlooms out of boxes and into our living spaces, where they can serve as conversation starters. They also make meaningful gifts for loved ones.
Easy DIY Memory Crafts for Book Lovers
It’s hard to throw out our favorite books or books from loved ones. But, the back of the bookcase isn’t quite a place of honor. Try one of these instead.
- Turn treasured books into a decorative “birdhouse” with directions from UrbanNaturale.com.
- Make a purse or clutch bag from a book
This is on my to-do list with my own book. Several author friends have done this and use them for supplies at book showing. The best tutorial I’ve found is at Instructables.com.
DIY Memory Crafts from Neckties
My sister in law has been talking about making table runners from her fathers’ old neck ties. I don’t have nearly the skills she has with a sewing machine, so I went looking for less ambitious crafts.
- Make neck-tie flowers
- Make a necktie throw pillow: Though it does call for a little sewing, Momspark.net’s How to Make a DIY Necktie Pillow for Father’s Day Gift looks doable enough that I’m going to give it a try. DIY & Crafts’ article, 25 Cute Repurposing Ideas To Turn Old Neckties Into Wonderful New Things, recommends using neckties to enhance already existing pillows.;
- Make a decorative wreath out of necktie: QuiltingDigest.com’s Create a Necktie Wreath for Quick Decor has a video tutorial and several ideas for finished products, including the image below.
Memorabilia Out of Boxes and On the Walls
Sometimes the objects passed down through the family have a story of their own to tell. Professional frame shops can put anything from old uniforms to kitchen utensils in shadow boxes. But, you don’t need a huge budget. With craft store frames, you can create conversation pieces.
- Use your Mom’s or Grandmother’s sewing patterns to make a framed tribute. Mommyto1.wordpress.com and Sadieseasongood.com have articles with instructions.
- Make leftover crayons into a fun alphabet shadow box using the tutorial at The3Rs blog.
Broken or Inherited Jewelry into Art
This is another category on my to-do list. I have costume jewelry from my mom that I’d like to make into something.
- Make a heirloom Christmas tree with directions from RetroRenovation. Full disclosure, this one tops my to-do list. I’ve even purchased some additional estate sale items for fillers.
- Make framed art out of jewelry that’s broken or simply no longer your style using another tutorial from RetroRenovation.com.
DIY Memory Crafts Using Vintage China
Since seeing objects for sale in a shop in Holland Michigan and on Etsy, I’ve been bookmarking tutorials. Making practical objects out inherited china are great DIY crafts for genealogy and history buffs. These ideas bring things out of storage and help your family enjoy heirlooms on a daily basis.
- Make a jewelry holder for your dresser or kitchen using BlackBirdsandBumblebees’ tutorials. For more ideas, check out some creations for sale on Etsy.com.
- Make artsy creations for indoors and out using ideas from Shelterness.com’s 13 Creative DIYs To Repurpose Your Old China. These DIY memory crafts range from light fixtures to garden art.
You can also do mosaic art with vintage china, but that doesn’t quite qualify as “easy,” so I’ll leave that for another post.
Don’t miss ideas which use maps. See Repurposing Memories: DIY Projects Using Maps.
What’s your favorite DIY memory craft idea? What projects have you completed? Which ones are on your bucket list?