Displaying Travel Mementos

We took advantage of the recent holiday break and headed off to Utah and Nevada for a vacation.  It was great to get away as a family, crossing four national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, and Great Basin) off of our list, among seeing other sites in and around St. George and Las Vegas.

For years, I’ve collected shells, sand, rocks, twigs, leaves, and other interesting items, either on walks around our neighborhood or from places traveled.  While traveling, I carry ziplock bags with to put my treasures into, labeling each bag along the way.


Once home, I empty the contents into test tube looking jars with corks in three sizes.


On the bottom, I use a piece of tape and a super fine Sharpie to create a label of where and when to stick to the bottom.


Until a few months ago, I stored the jars on the shelves of our guest bedroom.  Wanting a change, I brought the jars into the living room to place on the wide shelf above the tv.


Two tall jars didn’t fit perfectly on the shelf with the others, so they stand alone on others.


These jars are great conversation starters, and are great reminders of fun times had in various locations.


Contents obviously vary depending on the location, some with fine sand, shells, and beach glass.  More city centered spots include tickets and wristbands.  Others include rocks, twigs, moss, and pine cones.


More recently, I’ve started collecting vintage inspired postcards with pretty art.


A post card from Zion National Park, depicting a high cliff side from a vintage travel poster tucked into a small stump is a quick and easy display.


Want more ideas for displaying reminders of great vacations or events?  How about a custom coffee table book from Shutterfly dedicated to the trip?


Create an over sized print from a photo taken on a trip.


Turn an old printer tray into a rotating trinket display.


Do you collect items from vacations?  If so, what do you do with the items brought back?  Are they forever tucked into a drawer or box, or do you try to display the items that hold so many memories?

5 thoughts on “Displaying Travel Mementos

  1. While I love the idea of capturing memories, perhaps you should consider photographs instead of disturbing nature, especially in national park settings. ‘Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.’ Imagine if every visitor (4.5 million in Zion last year alone) took a little piece of the park home with them?

    1. Hi Lauren,

      I should clarify that items taken are from surrounding areas, not the National Parks. What I do take from areas, if they were living, are found on the ground, not taken off living plants. We visit National Parks to enjoy the natural beauty, not to ruin it, so I do really appreciate your thoughtful comment!


  2. Cute idea! You might not want topublicly say you are picking up things from National Parks. Did you know that is against the law. Never remove anything from a National Park!!

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