The ‘Art’ of Preserving Memories

Memory Art

When you think about art for your walls, if you are anything like me, it is a very personal choice.  Things that catch my eye, and fit with my style.  Things that will add to the overall feel of the room.

Have you ever thought of using things you may already have, but are not necessarily considered ‘art’?

I am talking about those mementos that may have been passed down to you and you tucked away for “safe keeping”. Things that make you smile, or can start a conversation.  Something that is dear to your heart.

It may be your great grandmothers spoon collection, a pretty broach, or even a random china plate.

It’s time to take out those precious memories and put them in a place where you and your family can see and appreciate them every day.

Vintage classroom map

I started to do this earlier this year when I needed a big piece of ‘art’ to fit a blank wall.  I turned to a collection of mariners maps we had that had belong to my Poppa.  You can see what I did to turn that memento into ‘art’ here.

One very precious thing I have that belonged to my Poppa was his epaulettes from his Captain’s uniform.  I had them tucked away in a drawer for years and only got a peek at them when I was fishing through that drawer for something.  Not a very good way to preserve my grandfathers memory and all the hard work he did to make it to Captain.

Since I had already mounted an old brass clock that had come from one of the boats he captained, I decided to pick up a little shadow box to display the epaulettes proudly on the wall as art.

My little gallery wall is a work in progress.

Memory Wall Art

I choose a white frame, which had a black velvet board to pin the epaulettes on to.  The problem being, they are black as well, so you really only saw the gold bands.

Gallery Wall

Gallery wall

I tried a white background, but it was too much contrast.  I had picked up a sheet of burlap fabric from the dollar store and cut it to fit.  I then pinned the epaulettes to the burlap board tucking the pins inside so they are not in view.

The epaulettes are felt and I was glad to get them behind the glass.  They really attract every speck of lint!

Art Gallery Wall

I think the burlap was the perfect balance, and just a little bit rustic!

Memory Art

My little gallery wall is still a work in progress, but I now have an interesting piece of new ‘art’ on my wall which was chosen for me years ago by my grandfather!

Preserving memories couldn’t be easier (and budget friendly!).

I used a 40% off coupon when I purchased the shadow box, and the burlap was a dollar.

Total cost was under $10

Tell me, what memories do you have stuck away in a drawer that could become art in your home?


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  1. As a decoration in my kitchen, I have mounted in a small velvet shadowbox the shell of the first oyster I ever ate, because I was over 40 when I tried it, and I liked it! I had brought the shell home, scrubbed it, and thought it would be a fitting thing to have in the kitchen.

  2. This is a great idea! Now if I just had some spare time….But actually, we mounted a family heirloom hand woven rug from India with my husband’s family name in it, and we mounted on the walking stick we found together on a walk we took the morning we got married. 🙂