Creative Ways to Display Your Family HistoryWritten by Valerie Elkins
We may all, at some point in our lives be faced with the dilemma of what to do with some of the "stuff" we inherit from grandma or whomever. Maybe it's an ugly sofa, a drawer of mismatched spoons or an out of style wedding dress. While you appreciate the connection to your ancestors - what are you supposed to do with it and where do you keep it? Here are some ideas from my super talented sister, Suesan Kennard, that might give you some inspiration and give you a reason to relook at that "stuff" and see treasure just waiting to be repurposed and displayed in your home.
That couch you didn't know what to do with? Suesan took this settee, refinished the wood trim and reupholstered it with a drop-cloth fabric that she designed with a custom map with her ancestor's locations inscribed with their name. Why leave your family on a tree when you can put it on your furniture? Isn't this fabulous!
What about those mismatched spoons in the drawer? Why let them languish there all alone and unappreciated when they can be fabulous wall decor like this:
The "embossed" frame was created from glue, foil and paint. Now aren't you feeling silly for keeping these beauties in the drawer? I know I am.
Suesan has also taken wedding gowns and remade them into beautiful heirloom blessing gowns like this one:
She added smocking and Brazilian embroidery to the gowns, repositioned the lace and made booties and bonnet to match. Here is a creation that now has double the meaning and sentiment, truly a beautiful heirloom to be cherished for generations. What about less obvious items that you have inherited, like grandpa's tools? Suesan took these braces and made a coat rack for her home's entry way:
Finding a new home for your inherited treasures may just take some creativity. These objects are not only lovely, but the stories that are attached to them, make them even more meaningful and valuable to the family.
What are some of your family heirlooms and what's their story? (For more ideas check out our My Collection story starter)
Vlaerie is the CEO and founder of Advantage Genealogy and serves on the Board of Directors for both Story @ Home and for the Utah Genealogical Association. She utilizes her experience to blend research and technology with the art of storytelling, to help make the past come alive. Valerie believes that every family has an amazing family history full of stories of love and loss, guts and glory, victory and deafeat... along with a few skeletons in the closet. Finding those stories and learning to dance with them is her passion. Valerie is a Pinterest "pinja" and a blogger at Family Cherished. You can find Valerie on Twitter @elkinsvalerie.
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