Family memories come and go so quickly. Even when you wait months for a big occasion – marriage, graduations, 1st birthday parties – the time goes by in a blink. You can make the occasion memorable with some of the party tips I shared on the blog earlier this week, but it’s the reliving of these precious moments in the future that gives me the most happiness. And with a bit of craftiness it is so easy to preserve these memories so that you can enjoy reminiscing time and again. 1. Create holiday jars
Holidays provide the best source of memories. We tend to do things out of the ordinary on holiday – fun activities, enjoying a special meal, or hiking to a beautiful spot – but it’s no good having photos stored on a memory card somewhere. Remembering these moments can help to keep us going when we’re feeling under the weather or sat at our desks while it drizzles outside. “Vacation jars” do just that. They’re so easy to make – all you need is a jar – and the rest of the items you can pick up along the way. Put anything in your jar that reminds you of the last holiday you took, including:
- Small souvenirs
- Pine cones or shells (depending on the location you visited!)
- Pictures (real-life printed photos)
- Postcards and leaflets
- Maps and travel tickets
I also made myself a ‘little jar of happy’ which contains anything that has made me happy. If my niece or nephew says something funny I’ll write it down. When I get positive feedback on my work, it goes into the jar. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it always puts a smile on my face remembering the good times. 2. Family yearbooks
Why not create yearly yearbooks that show some of the year’s best pictures? Over the past year I actually got some photos printed and it was lovely to have ‘real life’ photos in my hands. We are all taking more photos than ever thanks to camera phones but we rarely ever print them out. If you do a little audit of your photo albums every 3 months and send a few to print, you create your own yearbook for the family to look back on, and if you’re happy to do some scrapbooking (one of my favourite things to do) you can add in a few extra bits alongside your photos such as:
- Event tickets
- Birthday cards
- Newspaper clippings
If you’ve got photos and souvenirs to hand, you could even use screen printing to transform t-shirts into wearable collages of your images if you want to make a lasting, wearable memory. Imagine wear a Christmas jumper this year that has photos of the fun you had last Christmas printed on it! Photos also work great as ‘bunting’in your office or the kids’ bedroom – here’s how to make Polaroid bunting at home.
3. Christmas creations
If you’re trying to maximize your space, the last thing you need is a zillion bits ‘n’ pieces taking up all your storage space. Don’t get me wrong, keepsakes are great but there’s no point hiding them away in shoe boxes that never get opened. A great trick that I learned is to make Christmas ornaments that doubles as a time capsule. I’m not talking about the same “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament everyone has on their Christmas tree. What I did was buy a pack of glass ball ornaments (you can find them on Amazon or at your local crafts store). Simply pop off the top and stuff some of your most precious items in there. For a new baby, you can add:
- Their first tiny hat
- Hospital bracelet
- Small toys
Another idea is to make a fabric Christmas wreath using strips of clothing or fabric. When the kids of grown out their baby clothes. you can cut them into strips and tie around a wreath ring to make a keepsake that you’ll get out year after year to decorate your home for Christmas.4. Interview Folders
I’m so excited to mention interview folders. This was an idea I came up with when I was interviewed myself about my little vintage caravan. I thought it would be fun to ‘interview’ members of the family (especially the children!) after a big event – holidays for example – in order to record their version of the event. You can add these interviews into folders (often marked with the year and event) and it’ll be fun to look back over the kid’s answers in later years.
A few of the questions you could ask are:
- What did you think about France (or any destination)?
- What was the funniest memory?
- What scared your pants off?
Ask wacky questions, and the answers will be even better!
5. Academic collage
You did amazing in college, but if you’re like most of us, you don’t remember most of your lecturers’ names, the tests you nailed or even the classes you hated. Eventually, most of the school years turn into distant memories where we remember the people but none of the details of the experience. Making a collage of your academic life will help to keep these memories alive as you grow older.
The goal is to:
- Make note of good test scores
- Remember favorite teachers and why you liked them
- Add achievements and awards
If you’ve got young kids you could start recording their school-life right now and create a little reminder of a school year.6. Monthly memory newspaper
A memory newspaper is a really fun idea, and this allows your creative side to make a really cool piece of personal memorabilia. The advancement of apps makes this once hard-to-do process a breeze. You can use something like Canva to put your newspaper together. Or, you can use Paper.li to make a web newspaper. If you’d rather not spend the money (I don’t blame you), you can use Word to make a layout that works well for a newspaper. The goal is to have fun. You can also make a memory newspaper with a little paper and a ton of glue. If you have young kids, let them join in on the fun and come up with headlines and choose photos together. If you know someone with a heat press machine, you could turn your family newspaper into a keepsake by printing onto t-shirts or fabric, which could later be upcycled into a memory quilt!I hope that this blog post has given you some ideas for getting creative with your photos and keepsakes rather than stuffing them away in drawers, never to be seen again. Surrounding yourself with photos of happy times will surely brighten up your day, whatever the weather is doing outside and you can look forward to creating more memories with your family over the coming year.