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Create a memory jar for a special vacation

We all come home from vacation not only relaxed but toting treasures from our travels. What do you do with all of the small things you collect? Create a memory jar for a special vacation and display the memories for all to enjoy.

Beach memory jar

Vacations are wonderful, and the small mementos we collect have a way of bringing those memories right back. Unfortunately some of these collections wind up in the junk drawer never to be shared or enjoyed. Here are a few fun ways your family can use collected items and photographs from vacation and turn them into something to display and share.

Beach in a jar

One of the easiest memory jars to create is based on a vacation at the beach. Collect some sand, shells, small bits of driftwood or sea glass and a photograph of your family in their beach gear. A Mason jar is the perfect place to showcase these beach treasures. Take the family photograph and either have it laminated or sandwiched between two sheets of clear Contact paper. Pour the sand into the jar and stand the photograph upright in the center of the jar. You can arrange various shells and other items around the photograph before replacing the lid. Make a label with the name of the beach where you vacationed and add the date. Your beach vacation won’t be a distant memory when you can revisit it anytime.

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Love your family camping trips? Capture them in a memory jar. Gather some pinecones, colorful rocks, a bit of soil and other treasures from your campsite. Ask for a map of the campground, which makes a great addition to your jar when laminated. Pour the soil into your jar, then add the map or a family photograph. Adding miniatures to your memory jar is a fun way to document activities that you enjoyed on your vacation. Visit your local hobby store for miniatures for everything from fishing to hiking. Add a label with the campground and date you vacationed there, and your camping trip is no longer a distant memory.

Trip of a lifetime

Sometimes, your vacation is on a grand scale and is truly the trip of a lifetime. To capture this in a simple jar would be impossible. When a memory jar isn’t enough, a shadow box gives you more room to display mementos from an incredible trip — think Europe or Alaska. Collect maps, ticket stubs, nature items, restaurant napkins, wine bottle corks and anything else that will bring those vacation memories rushing back. Organize these items in your shadow box in a fun way, then hang your shadow box on a wall where you can enjoy it daily. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself gazing at it and smiling.

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Vacations are a special time of the year — with a memory jar or shadow box, you can stretch that special feeling out for years to come.

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