by Rachel Paxton
Description: Don't keep your treasured heirlooms boxed up and put away. Dust them off and use them in your home decor.
I love to surround myself with things from the past. To me
"heirloom" doesn't necessarily mean something really old, because
memories are always in the making, and displaying a family
keepsake can be treasured whether it's from last year or fifty
It's easy to tastefully decorate your home with family heirlooms.
Why not put them on display rather than locking them away?
I have many crocheted afghans that started taking up a lot of
storage space. When we moved to our new home we had room for our
cedar chest off to one side of the living room and I filled the
chest with all of the blankets. This also keeps them from being
scattered all over the living room. We take one out at a time and
just fold it up and put it back in the cedar chest when we're
done using it.
I love to decorate with family photos. Our home has a long
hallway where I can display a lot of photographs. Instead of
randomly arranging pictures I decided to go with themes. I bought
a large collage picture fame and arranged all of our family
camping photos in it. Another smaller collage displays pictures
of our daughter opening up her presents at Christmas throughout
the years. My, how she's grown!
I've also scattered picture frames throughout our home. Black and
white photos of generations past are displayed on the piano and
china hutch. I don't know about you, but I love looking at other
people's family photos. Ours are definitely a topic of
conversation for visiting guests.
I love needlework. I have on display needlework that was done by
my mother, my mother-in-law, and myself, and these masterpieces
make a great addition to any room of the home. I'm partial myself
to wedding samplers. It doesn't seem like many people take the
time to make these anymore. I made one for my husband and myself
that I hope to someday pass on to my children. Birth samplers are
also really great and something your children will surely cherish
someday. The counted cross stitch project I'm currently working
on will probably take me 5 years to complete, but someday it will
grace the wall above our piano.
I like to incorporate children's artwork wherever possible. My
favorite is a poem my daughter wrote and illustrated. One year
she made several and gave them away as Christmas gifts to
Our family has a lot of books that have been handed down as many
as four generations. Those books are displayed on shelves in our
entertainment center in the living room. My heirloom cookbooks I
keep in a small bookshelf between the kitchen and the dining
room. Instead of just filling the shelves with cookbooks, I
alternated shelves, arranging my favorite knick knacks in
One heirloom I haven't found a place for are hand-embroidered tea
towels that have been in our family for many years. I've read
that you can make them into kitchen curtains. I'm going to have
to give that a try!
Look through your family treasures and see what you can dig up.
You never know what you might find--like a flower your
grandmother dried and framed! And remember, it's never too late
to create new family heirlooms. Your family will treasure them
Originally published Suite 101.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For easy do-it-yourself home decorating ideas for busy moms, visit http://www.frugal-home-decor.com.
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