11 Easy DIY Memory Crafts

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.
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Illustration 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

Joallie Petit’s “very first blog post” has a tutorial, for making the flowers pictured below. Ena Green Designs also has a similar  “Tie Rose” YouTube tutorial.


Necktie Flowers

Necktie flower finished project by Joallie Petit

Necktie wreath from Quilters digest

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.

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Finished product from “Project 21 Week 23 – Crayon Alphabet” from The3RsBlog

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.
make art vintage jewelry

An example 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.

    Example from http://blackbirdsandbumblebees.blogspot.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.

Repurposing Maps

Don’t miss ideas which use maps.  See Repurposing Memories: DIY Projects Using Maps.

Your Turn:

What’s your favorite DIY memory craft idea? What projects have you completed? Which ones are on your bucket list?


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