Creating Keepsakes :: Four Ideas for Non-Crafty Moms


I am not one of those crafty moms and neither am I overly sentimental, so when it comes to creating keepsakes for memorable life moments, I always struggle. Over the years, and especially with the advent of digital and online offerings, I have developed a few tried and true ways to capture those moments without a lot of skill or fuss needed. If you’re like me (and even if you have mad skills), you may want to consider these simple ways to commemorate everyday moments as well as 2020’s unforgettable days.

Photo Books

You have the images on your phone already, so why not gather them into a photo book? I use Shutterfly because I have mastered their upload and design navigation, but there are quite a few options to suit every ability level. Recently, I created photo books to commemorate my husband’s 55th birthday trip to Walt Disney World and my daughter’s 21st birthday visit to San Francisco — they loved them. My long-term goal has been to create them for every year, and while that hasn’t happened before, I have the time now.

Creating keepsakes - even non-crafty moms can make a photo collage.

Photo Collages

My mother, however, has mastered the photo collage to commemorate each year. She purchases one of those pre-fabricated frames with the varied photo openings and then grabs photos from her own stash as well as the family’s social media feeds (her choices are sometimes questionable, but she does not seek agreement). Then, she crafts an annual photo collage and, undoubtedly the best part, hangs it in the guest bathroom of their home. We have come to look forward to the day the new one is added to the wall (the old one retires to the back hallway). This is a visual history of our family story that we just love.

T-shirt Quilts

This may not seem an obvious way to commemorate life moments, but it certainly can be one. When my daughter graduated from high school, she had a huge collection of soccer t-shirts from all the tournaments and teams that were such an integral part of her school experience. I sorted through them and then had a quilt made (it takes about 22-24 t-shirts for a one-sided quilt). I used a company called Project Repat, but I’m sure there are others out there or even a skilled friend who can create one. She took it to college with her, and now post graduation, it is still always on her bed. With all those closets and drawers you have cleaned out, you probably have a few quilts worth of shirts.

Creating keepsakes - even non-crafty moms have options!

Keepsake Boxes

Even Marie Kondo approves of boxing up memories to keep them tucked away. As I mentioned, I am not sentimental by nature, but I do have a few boxes of special items on my shelves, like baby boxes for each child and special cards and notes I have received. I even keep a little glass-fronted box on a bookshelf for dropping in ticket stubs from plays and concerts. Perhaps you keep artwork from your quarantine days or takeout menus or notes received from friends in a special pandemic commemorative box.

These are my simple ideas, requiring no special skills and just a little effort, to commemorate life’s special moments as well as this unexpected global crisis. If you have others, please let me know — 2020 certainly demands to never be forgotten for so many reasons, and I have time to take on something new.

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Born in Wisconsin, Chris moved South with her family, first to Richmond, Virginia, and then to Birmingham when she was 12. She loves being a girl raised in the South, and her only remaining Midwestern traits are a love for the Packers and a fondness for bratwurst. In 2010, Chris reconnected with Christopher, a former Birmingham-Southern College classmate, after a random meeting in the cereal aisle at Publix. They married in 2011, not realizing that they were bringing together a perfect storm of teenage angst with their three children. Today, Chris is the center support that keeps the seesaw of her family balanced, leading a blended family of three young adults and enjoying an empty nest. Before the pandemic, most days were busy managing client relationships for a corporate event production company, but after six months of unemployment, she has become the parish administrator aka “the church lady” for her church. When she's not working, she loves reading a rich historical novel, volunteering with her sorority, and planning their next wine-tasting excursions.