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Family Heirloom Display Boxes

Grandma's beloved wooden spoons and your husband's wedding bow tie deserve to be displayed, not packed away. Upgrade basic Lucite boxes with pretty linen backing to protect sentimental prizes from dust.

hanging wall decorations heirlooms in shadow boxes

Photography: Johnny Fogg

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2019

Introduction

Think of the craftsmanship used in making wooden spoons, tailored accessories, or handwritten journals. These keepsakes evoke strong memories, and it isn't so surprising that past personal belongings—even those with little monetary value—would be passed down through the generations. Depending upon the age of your heirloom, the care and maintenance will predict its longevity over time. To ensure that antique and vintage pieces are preserved as well as possible, treat them the same way you would important documents: keep them from heat, humidity, sunlight, and pollution.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of memory-keeping crafts and tips to preserving your family history.

materials

  • Acrylic premium shadow boxes (Pictured: The Container Store Acrylic Premium Shadow Boxes, 6" by 3 3/4" by 6", $12, containerstore.com.)

  • Cereal-box display cube (Pictured: The Container Store Cereal-Box Display Cube$18, containerstore.com.)

  • Uncut mat board (Pictured: Studio Décor Uncut Mat Board, 24" by 36", $8.50, michaels.com.)

  • Fabric

  • Craft knife

  • Straight pins

  • Pencil

steps

  1. Trace each box onto mat board; cut out the board 1/4 inch smaller on all sides to fit neatly inside.

  2. Cut a piece of fabric 2 inches larger than the board on all sides; place face down on work surface. Wrap the board in fabric, taping the edges in back.

  3. Mount objects to the backing with pins, fit them inside the boxes, and hang up your happy memories.

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