Thanks for the Memories

Create winsome displays from your souvenirs

By April Force Pardoe

Planning to travel this summer? If so, you may come home with great mementos from your trip—postcards, seashells, maps and tickets. If you are anything like me, you’ll stash your treasures in a spare drawer, with the honorable intention of doing something with them one day. 

This year, why not display your souvenirs in a creative way so you can continue to enjoy your vacation.

Here are three ways to display your travel souvenirs with style.


This word reminds me of elementary school art class (which I loved). Transform your paper-based mementos, such as maps, postcards, paper money from a foreign country, or brochures, into something decorative with the help of decoupage. This crafting technique can be applied to nearly any surface (think tile coasters, rock paperweights or wooden board), and preserves your pieces in the process. Not only is this a unique way to display your travel souvenirs, but it can also become a family  activity. Look for “how-tos” online. Not interested in revisiting art class? Find a service that will take your photos and create coasters from them.

Framed mementos

Picture frames don’t always have to house a photograph, instead display your travel souvenirs in a framed collage. Flat, paper items work best here—amusement park tickets, excursion brochures, receipts and even foreign currency all make for great collage ingredients. Use a deeper, shadow box frame to include larger tokens. I have two small, vertical frames with stamps and coins from my honeymoon in Aruba. (Aruba had beautiful stamps in 1997.) A framed travel collage is both a happy memory and a story waiting to be shared with friends.

Mason jar capsule

Start with a large mason jar and a favorite photo from your trip. Place your photo in the back of the jar and fill the front with other knickknacks like carnival tokens, drink umbrellas and match boxes. Another spin on this idea is to use a mason jar to store one special item that you aim to collect every trip, such as cocktail napkins with restaurant logos, matchboxes or souvenir key chains.

For an everyday reminder of your vacation memories, display your travel souvenirs throughout your home rather than storing them out of sight. Nostalgia never goes out of style.

April Force Pardoe, AKBD, is an award-winning residential interior designer and owner of April Force Pardoe Interiors. She works with clients who desire stylish interiors but are overwhelmed by the process and too busy to take it on themselves. She presents solutions to her clients’ design challenges and makes sure all of the details are taken care of so they can spend time doing the things they love. Find out more at

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