26 Vacation and Memorykeeping Crafts That Are Perfect for Summer
When you jet off on a vacation, you almost always come back with memories you'll plan to cherish and look back on for a lifetime. Though you'll want to hold onto them in your mind, having crafts on hand, like scrapbooks filled with photos, memorabilia, and notes, makes it even easier to recall the good times. The same can be said about even the simplest celebrations or times with family right from home. Whether you have a large family tree or a close-knit group of loved ones, the chance to have keepsakes that can be used as a commemorative display for someone is worthwhile.
Memorykeeping crafts can serve many purposes. Vacation souvenir jars are a perfect way to remember your time away from home. If you visit beaches or other landmarks, you can keep a close hold on shells or rocks you've collected and add them to jars. After labeling each container with the place and date, you can add them to your home for easy shelf décor. An as-you-go keepsake makes for an even greater vacation memorykeeping craft for anyone who doesn't want to piece too much together after their trip. You just need to hole punch anything from maps to postcards during your travels; then, add each to a loose-leaf ring and you'll have all of your favorite memories in one place—no extra work necessary.
Keeping a close hold on family heirlooms is a must, and what better way to do that than by displaying them for all to see? You can line family heirloom display boxes with linen to help block out dust and give your treasured pieces a stylish background. It seems like babies grow in the blink of an eye, so saving their milestone moments is crucial, too. A time capsule filled with a first pair of baby shoes or photos can help you preserve the time in a hassle-free way.
Try one of our memorykeeping crafts that will take your beloved memories and form them into time capsules for years to come.
Glass Votives and Vases
Nothing says "vacation" more than time on a beach. For those who love taking in oceanic views, you likely also love grabbing memorabilia during your getaway. Love the look of sea glass? The good news is, you won't have to take collect a ton in order to create a keepsake reminiscent of your getaway. For a beachy look, wrap decals or printed photos from beach vacations around pale-glass bottles and votive holders for charming table decorations.
Shop Now: Ashland Glass Bottle with Lid, 5.3", $5, michaels.com.
Map-Lined Shadow Box
To corral all the ticket stubs, sand dollars, and souvenirs carefully collected from your last vacation, consider this: If you want to display your treasures, line the bottom of a shadow box with a map of the place you went and arrange the collected items on top. This will help the tabletop décor in your home stand out while also reminding you of your trip with ease. The chic shadow boxes add extra flair to this keepsake.
A picture says a thousand words, so adding a photo to jewelry can make your little one's milestones even more special. To make this craft, download and scan photos into your computer, reduce to the desired size, and print onto an ink-jet paper. Center a self-adhesive frame over an image; adhere. Use scissors to trim the photograph. Adhere the back of the frame to a matching metal pendant with jewelry glue. Let it dry for at least two hours. Using pliers, attach the frame to your chain with a jump ring.
Photo Throw Pillows
Add photo to your throw pillows for memory-inspired décor. To begin, size a photo and print it on linen; remove the backing. To make a fabric sturdier, back the linen with a piece of fusible interfacing. Cut it to the same size as the linen, and iron it to the back side of printout. Place scrap fabric between iron and the printout. Cut a piece of linen to the same dimensions as your printout before ironing. With right sides facing, sew around the perimeter, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Leave a three-inch slit at bottom. Turn it right side out. Stuff with fiberfill, and hand-sew the slit closed.
Shop Now: Poly-fil Premier Accent Pillow Insert, 20" by 20", $49, michaels.com; Charles Craft Irish Linen Needlework Fabric, $8, michaels.com; Heat n Bond Iron-on Adhesive, $31.09, walmart.com; Scotchgard Fabric and Upholstery Protector, $9.98, homedepot.com.
Create a one-of-a-kind memento box to remind you of your favorite getaway. This piece will look like an international treasure in just one easy step. First, simply add your selection of items in a closable box. If you'd rather stow your keepsakes in style, wrap the map around the lid of an acid-free box. Either way, your mementos will be protected, organized by location, and easy to find on your next trip down memory lane.
Vacation Souvenir Jars
Here's a unique way to save those precious keepsakes from a trip: Rather than letting the rocks and shells you so carefully collect on vacation get lost in a drawer among paper clips and thumbtacks, put the found objects in jars. A small vessel requires only a few items to fill it. Once you label the jars with the place and date and line them up on a shelf, you'll have a time capsule display of trips past.
Shop Now: Ashland Glass Bottle with Lid, 5.3", $5, michaels.com.
Creativity is at its best when you can commemorate your travels. What makes for an even greater craft? When you get to use memorabilia like a map to keep perfectly craft the experience. This keepsake will blend the two as you hand-stitch your last trip with family or friends. Just make sure you have the right map on hand to stitch the route from start to finish. Frame it in your home for a constant reminder of all the fun you had on the getaway.
As-You-Go Vacation Keepsake
If you hate the idea of organizing vacation memorabilia after a trip, create a keepsake as you go. You won't regret planning in advance for a trouble-free way to look back on your vacation. Pack a hole punch and a loose-leaf ring to string together maps, postcards, and other souvenirs you collect on the road. When you get home, make a cover by affixing a sticker to the front and rubber-stamping a title on top.
Keep treasured dishes in the family by scanning and printing original recipes from everyone's most beloved cook and handing them out at the next reunion. Annotate with recollections to add personal flavor. Scan and size recipes and photos with photo-editing software, and print onto cardstock. Cut to size, and place in tins. Wrap tins with a wide band of paper printed with a colorful pattern (scanned vintage kitchen linens work well) and a portrait of the cook.
Shop Now: Recollections Cardstock Paper, 8.5" by 11", $6, michaels.com.
Vacation Memory Shadow Box
This craft will have all of your vacation memories running back to you. To make a shelf, use a utility knife to cut balsa wood the length you'd like shelf to be and slightly less deep than the box (so it won't touch the glass). Brush edges that will touch box with wood glue, and position in box. Let dry. Paint exterior and border of box. Let dry according to instructions. Paint inside of box a lighter color. Let dry. Stand box on its end; glue, wax, or pin mementos inside. Slide in glass lid.
Piece feelings of comfort and home together in a homemade quilt. Not only will this keep your little one warm, it will be a keepsake they can cherish and use as they grow up. It all starts by thinking back some of your baby's milestone moments. You can add a piece of your child's first blanket when they came from the hospital, a favorite pair of pajamas to wear at night, or anything else that's reminiscent of the early days in your baby's life.
Family Heirloom Display Boxes
Crafting is more special when you can do it with family. This craft is especially unique since it helps you put your prized family heirlooms on display, too. If there is anything your family has passed down to you, odds are you can mount it on your wall with this display box craft. Whether there are wooden spoons or a journal with personal notes, they will be in a safe, chic spot for all to see.
Add this picture-perfect craft in your home. To make it, resize six photographs to the size of a cube, and convert each to black and white. Print them onto regular printer paper, and trim to fit the sides of the cube. Using the small craft brush and the acrylic paint, paint the cube. Let it dry. Fill the small glass bowl with transfer gel. Lay one image face up on a sheet of freezer paper. Using the foam brush, apply a smooth, even layer of transfer gel; avoid letting ridges and bubbles form. Repeat, applying gel to each of the six images. Let it dry for an hour. Using the foam brush, apply gel to one side of the cube. Lay one picture facedown on that side. Press the spatula or burnisher across the paper, applying light pressure to squeeze out excess gel and to make sure paper is flush with edges. Let it dry for an hour and repeat the step on the other sides. Applying a bit of pressure and working in a circular motion, use a damp paper towel to rub off the paper. The transferred images will remain as the paper comes off.
Create this picture-perfect craft photo album for your next craft—complete with an accordion-like design. On a computer, resize photographs to 5 3/4 by 7 3/4 inches, and print them. Using a small craft brush and the acrylic paint, paint the edges of each board. Let dry. Position one picture on one face of each board. Using another small craft brush, apply decoupage glue to back of each photograph. Attach to a board; let dry. Glue images to reverse sides of boards if desired. Decide upon an order for the photos. Use pencil to mark the placement of the hinges. With the T pin, bore small holes through the boards where screws will go. Using a screwdriver, attach the hinges, and link the boards to one another.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Family Friendly Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, $2.49, michaels.com; Martha Stewart Crafts Basic Brush Set, $20, michaels.com; Mod Podge CS11201 Waterbase Sealer Glue and Decoupage Finish, 8 oz, $4.86, amazon.com.
Upcycled Gallery Wall
These vintage antique silver trays and mirrors—upcycled to frame photographs—are a tribute to the whole family. To make one into a frame for your photograph, first print photocopies onto card stock. Center the copy onto your tray or mirror, and adhere with a few coats of decoupage medium. This is especially thoughtful when paired with an heirloom item owned by the person in the photo or even as a gift.
Baby Keepsake Box
Time flies, especially during your baby's first few years. A time capsule, made in an archival box lined with acid-free paper, can hold your baby's most precious items, from the first pair of shoes to her favorite doll. This craft will help you keep all of those memories close to your heart for time to come. Include important memories, too—photos, videos, and a laminated front page of a local newspaper would be the perfect fit.
A great do-it-yourself project can be just as creative as it is functional for your home. You can keep water marks and rings off your tables with these custom map coasters. They can feature some of the most-visited locations for you and your family or just places you would like to visit in the future. Regardless of your getaway status, you will be able to create the best memories with family to bring this craft to life.
Flower Press Book
Taking in the great outdoors is always a treat, especially during a getaway. Celebrate your vacation with a few floral keepsakes—no need to actually take home the flowers by hand, though. Instead of picking and pressing wildflowers, which depletes the local flora and is even illegal in some places, take a snapshot with your smartphone. The Polaroid software will give photos a vintage feel. Then print and glue them in a notebook alongside your children's sketches of nature.
To make this craft, start by cutting the map to fit, and glue it in place along edges. For the frame, cut a rectangle larger than the photo, and cut slits into the corners. Next, prep the envelope by unfolding an existing envelope; trace around it on a double-sided map. Continue by cutting out, and then fold and glue it to match the original. Lastly, cut a small rectangle (ours are one-by-two inches) for the photo corner. Fold the edges to the center to create a triangle and glue the seam side to the page.
Travel Keepsake Boxes
Reminisce on your latest trip with these handy travel keepsake boxes. Not only are they convenient for storing your treasures and trinkets, they are also stylish to add to your home décor. Clear up a space on your bookshelf for a bright-hued box that highlights your local or international getaways. Whether you have seen far-flung sites or simply taken in hotspots in a nearby area, you can make the custom boxes your own with the names of the locations you have visited.
When your child starts outgrowing his or her wardrobe, you may be able to make use of the pieces for something other than everyday wear. Turn a beloved article of clothing, like a sweater or a dress, into wall art in a few simple steps. To preserve the memories from your children's younger years—and to decorate their bedroom—you can frame some of the clothes by stitching through the fabric and mat board in a few spots at the shoulder, neck, and sides.
Shop Now: Studio Décor Uncut Matboard, 24" by 36", $8.39, michaels.com.
Vintage Vanity Tray
Keeping your loved ones as close as possible doesn't have to be a reach with this craft. Think back on your favorite times with your family or simply the members of your brood that you would like to see displayed in your home. Gluing copies of family photos can enhance household objects, such as this vintage vanity tray. A glazier can cut a piece of glass to fit inside the tray to protect the image on the tray.
Weigh down napkins and tablecloths on breezy days with decoupaged rocks (or use them on your desk as paperweights). To create, print the image onto thin rice paper, and the image will appear "painted on"—the texture of the rock will show through. Rice paper is a little tricky to print on because it's so thin. To help feed it through your printer smoothly, adhere a strip of clear tape along one entire short edge on the textured side of the paper; print on the smooth side of the paper.
Pet Silhouette Keepsake Jar
It's safe to say that we all love our pets. From witnessing their individual milestones to creating cherished memories with them. One of the best ways to have a close hold on those beloved moments is to craft. This keepsake jar allows you to stash pet essentials like a collar or tag in a perfect display. Make sure that you have a bell jar handy to make your furry family member's big moments stand out.
Bottle-Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks
Make use of your old bottle caps for a memorykeeping craft you will want to hold onto for the long haul. These caps are not just your ordinary bottle lids. They will become a work of art with pictures of your family and friends on each one. To create the easy-to-make craft, make sure you have magnets and thumbtacks handy to add on your refrigerator or pin on a purse or other travel-friendly item.
Compiling "remember when" moments in an album and presenting them to a friend makes the bonds even stronger. Use our template with the headings "How We Met," "My Favorite Memory," and "Our Biggest Laugh," or make and write your own. Print template in multiples, trim to size, and distribute to contributors with a deadline and self-addressed stamped envelopes, also requesting photos and friend-related memorabilia. Insert responses into transparent sleeves in a book, and present the honoree with what's sure to be a much-cherished trip down memory lane.
Shop Now: Recollections Photo Album, $17, michaels.com.