November 17, 2013

Make room for souvenirs

Thoughtful displays turn kitschy into cool

By Mary Beth Breckenridge
McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 1)

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Collecting items like Russian dolls may not appeal, but consider one grouped with a great photograph from a trip to Moscow, along with other travel ephemera. Keepsake boxes and mobiles are alternative ways to display knickknacks.


Filling a shadow box with travel keepsakes turns your souvenirs into art. You can buy shadow boxes from craft stores, or you can make your own out of any sufficiently deep box – even half of a vintage suitcase.

Arranging your knickknacks into a pleasing display takes some skill, but Jon Haidet of Hazel Tree Interiors – Starr’s husband and business partner – said he can create a composition from items clients bring in.

He also makes keepsake boxes that are perfect for a tabletop display. The box has a frame on top that can hold a picture or mementos, and a drawer in the bottom for corralling photographs, ticket stubs, brochures and other ephemera.

Antro suggests making a three-dimensional artwork by decorating a framed vacation photo with a related memento – for example, gluing a seashell onto a picture of a child picking that shell up. The effect could be made even more dramatic by hanging the picture on a wall mural made by enlarging that same photo, he said.

Or make a mobile from objects you found on vacation, such as driftwood and shells, he said. Hang a few vacation photos among the shells if you like.


Don’t want to display your souvenirs year-round? Consider bringing home keepsakes that can decorate a Christmas tree.

You don’t have to limit yourself to ornaments. Almost any small object can become a tree decoration – figurines, cookie cutters, plates, dolls, spoons, you name it. Tie on a ribbon, glue on an ornament hook or just perch the item on a branch or secure it with a wire.

Displaying souvenirs that way keeps them special, since they come out of storage only once a year. And hanging them on the tree offers the perfect chance to reminisce about a vacation.

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