Monday, May 10, 2010

Easy Vacation Memory Keeper

A couple of years ago my Mom hosted our entire family for an amazing trip to Italy.  We stayed in a town called Montecatini Terme in an amazing house with a pool.  We participated in passegelato after dinner every evening ("passegiata"=evening walk, "passegelato"=evening walk to get gelato).

It was lovely.  Thanks, Mom!

During this trip we were faced with the challenge of collecting some souvenirs for the kids that would remind them of the amazing trip without taking up an amazing amount of space in our luggage.

We noticed that there were these great tourist-y pins at many of the stops on our journey and decided they were just the thing to collect.  Small, inexpensive, and available just about anywhere our travels would take us.  Sold!

When we returned home from the trip, I was determined to find a way to display the pins so that Sprout and Tater could enjoy and add to their collections over time.  After considering different materials and ideas, we ended up with this super-easy combination of felt and cork board.

To make these we took a tile of self-adhesive cork and cut it in half (that made one for each child).  Then we cut a piece of black felt to the same size and stuck it to the cork (using the adhesive from the cork to stick it on).  This (not good) picture shows the side of the felt/cork sandwich.

I bought a length of canvas-like ribbon and sewed it to the back of each "plaque" so that it could be hung up.  I had to fiddle with them a little bit to get the ribbon spaced properly so that the center of the cork wouldn't sag.

Then we just stuck the pins through the felt and cork and used their backs to hook them on.  The backs really have to be smooshed on pretty hard to get them to click together, but eventually we got them all hooked.

This has been a really fun collection to add to over the intervening years.

Here is one of the originals from Florence:

Rome (we didn't go there - but my parents did):

There's also one on the side there from a Phillies game.  And the one on the far left is from Munich (we were in the airport on the way back from Italy, the kids figured that was pin-worthy).

There are also more domestic destinations represented in their collections.  Nashville:

The Mote Aquarium in Sarasota (no, I don't know what those manatees are doing...):

These are fun mementos of trips that we have been on, and it is fun to get souvenirs from the travels of friends and family, too.

How do you commemorate your travels?  Do you have a collection, too?