When you think of the word “heirloom”, do you think of the old doilies your grandmother hand crocheted so long ago, but now look yellow and dingy? I do. When I think of heirlooms, I think of useless objects that have seen better days. Old sienna photos in antique silver frames, handkerchiefs with flower embroidery that my grandmother used to carry around with her, family albums, quilts, baby blankets, family Bibles, and my own wedding dress, which I hope to one day hand down to a granddaughter or great granddaughter of my own. One day! Not anytime soon mind you. What heirloom object would you treasure if it were given to you, to pass on to your children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren? How would you preserve it? 


You may already have a cedar chest full of potential heirlooms, or maybe even in the attic in boxes.  I remember playing with my grandmother’s old clothes when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. She had vintage hats made of black velour with feathers and trim which covered the top half of my face. I remember they were in a box that my cousin and I used to go through to play dress up. 


Isn’t it funny how certain memories resurface when you see an image, read, or even for me as I  happen to be writing in my blog about something as simple as family heirlooms? The memory of my grandmothers old hats just popped into my head for some reason. I wish I had all of her old hats! That would be such a treasure! I don’t know whatever happened to them after she passed away, but it would be an heirloom I would treasure!  

Family Heirloom Ideas

Family heirlooms should evoke special memories of a bygone era. You can even create your own if you wish. Here are a few ideas that have crossed my mind a time or two. It doesn’t have to be expensive to make it an heirloom of quality. For most, it is just tradition past on from generation to generation. 

  • Wedding dresses or christening gowns
  • Create a family cookbook of family favorite recipes- include some that are handwritten   and  dated.
  • Jewelry~ If you wish, you can have a custom made ring, broach, or even a charm bracelet made.
  • Artwork or drawings that were created by an ancestor- have it professionally framed and matted for other generations to see.
  • Medals of Honor- maybe one of your ancestors fought in the Civil War or the American Revolution- creating a shadow box of these medals would be an idea!
  • Another popular idea is creating a scrapbook for each of your children, inside include items of times past i.e., a piece of lace fabric, pressed flowers, photos, or something else that may bring back fond memories.
  • You could even gather memorabilia from older generations, like maybe a childhood diary that may have been kept over the years, a favorite book that an ancestor may treasure. For example, it could be a signed baseball that was part of a collection in your grandfathers belongings, an old trophy, the list can get longer, believe me.
Use your imagination when it comes to collecting family heirlooms, the possibilities are endless. 


Share your ideas! Comment below…


Image Source: 

Photo Credit: Doris Rudd Designs, Photography


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