Travel Memory Crafting

Welcome back!

My name is Katie. And I am a travel keepsake hoarder.
13 days in Europe filled this 7 inch tall box.

Though this post isn't about finding a good deal TO travel, it's a Pinterest style post about how to be crafty with your keepsakes from traveling that won't blow the bank once you're home.

For a while I would just keep fancy looking boxes with all of my keepsakes nestled in and put on a shelf. I would go through them from time to time and relive my experiences and whatnot, but you know what? That shelf life is not as fun! I do still have the boxes, of course, because of the hoarding thing, but I've also taken things out of them to make into something that I can not only see every day, but that I can be proud of.
As mentioned in my Guinness Storehouse post, I am a looter. That means if I see something in my adventure that I like, I take it. Not in a shoplifting way of course, but combing beaches, sneaking tiny decorations off of cafe tables in Germany, cool looking rocks and pebbles, or again, a pocket full of barley from Guinness's display (see above) are all things I have added to my collection.

Over the last two winters I've gotten into the ornament game. It started last year when I saw a set of 2 clear plastic bulbs at my local Dollar Tree. (Those are no longer in stock but you can find affordable and comparable ones here on Amazon) These ornaments are really easy to work with. I fill and style them with my treasures both big and small. I like to have dramatic layers in my space, so I start by adding my largest items first, or if I want to specially place something, of course, do that first or second. It's all in how you feel. For my European bulb I didn't have the middle split option so I had to only use things that would fit through the opening- the barley, a few Euro pennies, bits of rock from all four countries I visited and so on. Your choice. Filling is the fun and easy part.
Clockwise: My wedding decorations and ties from gifts, Imperial Beach, Euro Vacay. 

Pro Tip: If you do all small then you can expect it to all settle together at the bottom, because remember, they will get shuffled around no matter how much care you put into placing them! See below...
Small bits of Earth from Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and the North Sea.


It's really that easy! I think all in all I spent a total of $5 on supplies and spent almost no time at all on building each bulb.
I of course bought the dyed starfish at the boardwalk in Imperial Beach, CA.

Another Pro Tip: With the split middles (live my California bulb above) I added a layer of glue around the seam of the bulb for safety and also added a layer of clear nail polish expanded a little past the glue edges. For the capped bulbs I added glue around the edge of my rim to grab extra hold of that little tin cap. 

Thanks to my friend Ariel, who runs Different Frame Of Mind I was turned on to this video idea from the Travel Channel about making your own map:
My next project? Mayhaps.

I'd love to try it out when I can say that I've visited more than 6 or 7 states! (Do airports count??) Some I would have to revisit just to get some good photos to use- so there's that excuse to travel!

But seriously- do airports count as having been to a state?

What kinds of crafts do you guys do with your souvenirs when you get back? Let me know in the comment section! I'd like to try more things!


  1. I loved these ideas! I love keeping souvenirs from traveling as well and it's hard to do while trying to be a minimalist. That map idea is brilliant and it will solve that problem :)
    Thank you so much!

    1. I can't take credit, I got it from Ariel at DifferentFrameofMind! But I did get my maps in the mail yesterday to begin my own!! Where would you put yours? I can't decide between my library and my office at work! So exciting, though!


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