By the time you read this, it will be the day after the wedding, and my sister will be married. I can’t believe how quickly everything has gone by. Lately, I’ve found myself reminiscing more than usual. Minutes looking through things left behind at my childhood home quickly turn to hours, and what used to seem like a lifetime ago suddenly seems like yesterday. Notes we passed in high school, volleyball jerseys, license plates and yearbooks all take me back.

I always questioned why my mom saved all of these things, but now I understand. They conjure up emotions and vivid memories, often of things that might have otherwise been forgotten. It almost seems wrong for them to be stowed away in the back of a closet. Sentimental items don’t have to be hidden. There are many ways to incorporate them into decor or even transform them into something useful.


Preserve handwritten treasures

Scan memorable pieces of paper such as a note from your spouse or your grandmother’s recipe. Then, upload to a website such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Shutterfly or Picasa. From there, you can transform the image into anything from mugs to dishware and even hand towels.


Race shirts, jerseys and the like can make for a wonderful quilt. First, determine the size of the quilt and figure out how large you want each square. Create a template according to the size, and trace the pattern onto each of the shirts. Cut out the desired parts, and then iron on a fusible tricot interfacing to the back of each square. Choose a complementary fabric to serve as the backing for the quilt. Lay the squares out before you start, and then sew away. If sewing isn’t your thing, you can send your material to a company such as cam and they can make it for you.

Create something over time

A good friend of mine used to save corks from bottles of wine she and her husband drank on special occasions. Eventually, she had enough to make a bulletin board. Lay a picture frame flat and arrange the corks inside before gluing with a hot-glue gun.

Hang them up

Put license plates, travel souvenirs or other sentimental objects on display in a shadow box. Add photos related to the objects for a nice effect. For example, for a special license plate, add photos of the car being driven in the shadow box.

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