Quick Ways to Display Heirlooms {Day 24}


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There’s twelve minutes left in day 24, so without further ado here’s a few quick ways to display heirlooms in your home– including a cute way to display vintage keys.  These particular keys came from my Grammie:

How to Display Heirlooms as Art

 They were handed down to me, and I wanted a way to remember not only the wonderful person she was but also how welcoming her home always felt.  I simply hot glued the three keys and placed them in a shadow box.  Easy, inexpensive, and each time my eyes rest on it I think of my beloved Grammie.

How to Display Heirlooms as Art

If you don’t have vintage keys from your family, you can buy them inexpensively online or at antique stores.  Here’s a box full where I picked out a few gorgeous ones for .25 each at Clover Market last month.

How to Display Heirlooms as Art

On the other side of the family gene pool is my Papou.  We used to play with this mandolin style music box time when we visited.  It plays Greek music when you turn the key.  It stirs up such beautiful memories of a beloved grandfather.  Now my kids love to play the music, so I have to place it on a really high, unclimbable shelf away from their destructive hands.  We take it down for them when they ask and they do use it gently, however unsupervised it would be broken in half within seconds I’m sure.  I made sure to place it in a way that it’s showcased as art.

How to Display Heirlooms as Art

Here’s my advice when it comes to heirlooms: wrapped up in storage boxes, they don’t help anyone.  If you love something and it brings happy memories, find ways to display it so it honors those memories.

Someday, those hand prints will be an heirloom for my kids.  True story.  Now get out those heirlooms and find creative ways to display them!

How to Display Heirlooms as Art

Which heirlooms are you struggling to find ways to incorporate into your decor?  Any that you love and have on display right now?  Please share!

Quick Ways to Display Heirlooms is Day 23 in the 31 Days of 15 Minute Decorating Ideas series.  Subscribe in the header to get each quick decorating idea delivered to your inbox daily, and find of the rest of the 15 minute decorating ideas series here.

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  1. I have many very beautiful and delicate handkerchiefs handed down from my husband’s great aunt that belonged to HER aunt. These are over 100 years old. I know I should not have glass against the fabric, but some of the linen is only as big as a 50 cent piece with just lace made from a single thread around the linen going out to 8 inches or more. Do you think I should just go ahead and place them between two clear pieces of glass so I can hang them up and the wall color behind will show through? They all have notes with them or Christmas tags stating who they are To, From and the year or place/ country/world’s fair they came from, etc. I want to see them, not hide them in a box. My other idea was to put them under glass on top of a dresser or sofa table so they would lay flat. I know you should not have anything touch the handkerchief, but they simply would not be able to be sewn to a background they are just threads, seriously…. What would you do? Thanks for any help or ideas…Nancy

    1. Oh wow, what a treasure. I think your idea of putting them between glass is great, or finding clear display boxes. Just be sure the glass is specially made– I’ll have to do more research, but you’ll want to make sure it’s archival quality and has UV ray protection. I can’t wait to hear what you do with them!

      1. I just now saw your reply, Carrie! Thank you for answering. I still have yet to display the collection and only have two framed, but whenever anyone sees that framed piece, they love it. My neighbor even gave me two more his father purchased in Japan after WWII. These are hand painted silk and so lovely. One day, I suppose…! 🙂 Saw your blog post on Pinterest and it makes me want to include the old key I found in the photo of my husband and I in our first year of marriage (sitting on the steps of the house we lived in that had it’s own ghost!) . Thanks again!

        1. That should read include the key I found in the frame along with a photo of the two of us in the yard of the old house we lived in during our first year of marriage. 🙂
          I’m no writer, as you can see 😉

  2. Not heirlooms, but we frame our son’s pictures from school in an inexpensive box frame and hang them in his room. Each year, we change the pictures to reflect his more recent “work.” I love that he has a place in his room for his artistic expressions.

  3. Bibles. Mom’s Bible, grandma and grandpa Bibles, GREAT-grandma and grandpa Bibles….they’re coming out my ears. What a legacy, and I don’t want to get rid of them, but they’re fragile and what on earth do I DO with them?

    1. This is a great question, Carrie! I took a fascinating archiving class years ago, and learned paper is really hard to display and store. They showed us how to make archival boxes out of acid-free and lignin-free paper to store old books. You can search online for archival boxes to store them, and since they are so precious it might be worth the investment. You can also make them, perhaps theres’s a tutorial out there to help. As for display– I bet there are clear archival boxes made from acid free materials. If you rotate the bibles every few months so none are exposed to air and light for too long, you might be able to display your treasures!

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