Thursday, November 3, 2011

travel scrapbooking week | aruba in a jar

May Flaum and I are teaming up this week to blog about our favorite travel scrapbooking ideas. Be sure to stop by her blog to see what she's got in store today! 

For this next installment of Travel Scrapbooking Week we'll be taking a look at ways to display your travel memories "off the page." Darren and I almost always come back from trips with items that just aren't scrapbookable- seashells, sand, bit of sponge and coral (yes, we are indeed avid beachcombers and snorkelers)- and for years I've tried to find a good way to display those things.

Enter the memory jar- a concept I've seen around the web in several places, including here on Martha Stewart's web site...


...and also here at Young House Love.


I love this idea since it's fairly inexpensive and requires only that you have a jar of some sort and stuff to put in it, and it keeps all those fun collected items out on display.

We definitely came back from our Aruba trip with "stuff," all of which was packed carefully into a shoebox (from the shoes I had to buy while we were there). I'm embarrassed to say that I let it all stay just like this for almost 9 months before I finally got around to putting it in a jar, but luckily for you it gave me a chance to take some photos of the process last night as we put the jar together!

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Speaking of jars, I chose this apothecary-style beauty to be the home for our found treasures. Apothecary jars can be expensive when purchased from stores such as Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn, but I scored this one at HomeGoods for around $15- not too bad! You can also do this project in regular canning jars, washed out jelly jars- whatever suits you! Pretty jars can also be found at Goodwill, thrift stores, and flea markets, so keep your eyes open for hidden treasures as you're out and about- you never know what you'll find!

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We started the process of putting our jar together by sorting out the items we'd brought back with us.

We had several bags of sand from different beaches around the island- every place we went to had its color and texture mix.

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Some of the larger items in the box included pieces of sponge, a bit of driftwood, and a several other ocean-y specimens.

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And then, of course, there were the shells. I especially love all those lovely sea biscuits (though one didn't quite survive the trip back home- you can see his remains in the right hand side of the picture).

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We started by layering three different types of sand in the jar, the finer grains on the bottom and the more interesting coral sand on top.

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And then we carefully placed the larger items in, starting with the driftwood and working our way around it with the smaller items. We didn't put everything we brought back with us in the jar, just enough to give a representation of what we saw on the trip.

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And the finished product? Is quite lovely if I do say so myself. It was a long wait, but we're totally thrilled with how this turned out and happy to have it together.

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Don't limit your vacation memory keeping to just photos and scrapbooks- try using some of those found items to create home decor items that will keep those memories out on display to be enjoyed every time you see them.

I'll be back tomorrow with the final installment of travel scrapbooking week, where I'll share some of my favorite travel scrapbooking products!