Preserving Family Heirlooms

Last year my sister, Kathy, shared these pictures of some wall hangings she created using doilies our mom had made for her.

I thought they looked very cool and what a great way to display and preserve mom’s work. Way better than keeping them tucked away in a closet or box somewhere.

My daughter Kara liked them too. After about the third time she told me how much she liked them I told her, “You can have my doilies when I die. For now, I use them to protect my wood furniture.”

Kathy’s creations and Kara’s love for them inspired my own creation.

I had tucked away in a closet some hats that my Grandma and Mom had crocheted. Lovely as they are they are just not a style that is worn nowadays so I couldn’t imagine anyone putting them to use. I did, however, think that their beautiful work should be appreciated, so I, too, designed a wall hanging.

When my other sister, Jamie, learned what I was doing she offered a pair of gloves that belonged to our Great Aunt Louise to add to the collection.

To assemble my project (pictured above) I bought a shadow box frame. The backing it came with was a piece of thin foam covered with a white, canvas-type, fabric. I bought the rose pattern fabric, cut it to size and used a double-sided fabric tape to bond it to the backing of the frame. I sprayed each of the hats and gloves with starch to help them keep their (flat) shape. Once they were dry, I placed each on the backing and put several stitches in it to attach it to the backing. Once all of the items were secured I put the backing into the frame. I am quite happy with the results.

I attached an envelope to the backside with a note enclosed giving a best guess history of each item (since my Grandma, Mom, and Great Aunt have all passed away my sisters, my aunt and I used our best guesses). The hat on top was made by my grandmother probably sometime between the 1960’s and 1980’s, the gloves belonged to my great aunt Louise and she likely wore them as a young lady, the hat on the bottom was made by my mom probably in the 1990’s.

A few weeks ago I presented this to my daughter Kara as a birthday/housewarming gift. She and Sheldon (her significant other) agreed that it would go nicely in their dining room which they have decorated with other family heirlooms and antiques.

Thanks for visiting.

Do you have any family heirlooms? Do you display them or have them tucked away for safe keeping?

20 thoughts on “Preserving Family Heirlooms

  1. My doily pictures make me smile and think of mom every time I go into the spare room where they are hung. The shadow box turned out so very beautiful. I love the rose background fabric you chose. Very vintage. I’m sure Kara and Sheldon will treasure it 🎀

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  2. Beautiful because people have a habit of tucking things away. Forever I’ve put almost everything gift that wasn’t to wear out in open. I’ll have to double check. Love your display ❤️🙌

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  3. What a great idea!!! I do have a couple of aprons that my Grandma Rose used. I always remember when we went to her house she always had an apron on. She must have had about a hundred. When she died my cousins
    and I got several of them. I recently gave several to some cousins who had not gotten one of them when she passed. I might do that with a couple of her aprons that I have. I’m sure your daughter will cherish it.

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    1. Thanks! I would probably wear the aprons. I have a couple that I use on days that I’m doing a lot of cooking. My sister makes memory bears (and other animals) out of clothing of people who have passed away. A lot of people send her clothing of their loved ones, and she makes the stuffed animals and sends them back. People really treasure them.

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