Display Memorabilia and Paper Souvenirs

We used to travel often, when travel meant hopping on trains in foreign countries with an overnight bag, not juggling car seats and snacks.

Most of the souvenirs we brought home were bits of papers tucked into envelopes or taped into notebooks: drawings, ticket stubs, and maps. For this picture I taped a train schedule, postcard, and Metro stub inside a frame.

I like to see reminders of the places we’ve been.

Do you save little bits of paper memorabilia too? Maybe movie tickets or note cards? What do you do with them?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. That’s so beautiful!

    As a general rule, all of my memorabilia are photos. I used to have boxes upon boxes of every little scrap of paper that had once been important to me, but then I realized that it was a lot of extra weight. Now, I try to limit everything to my photo album, and if I collect enough important papers, I’ll tape them into a notebook and flip through it every once in a while.

  2. I put all our paper stuff from trips into a plastic flip file (looks like a book but “pages” are see-through plastic sleeves).

    Not very pretty but it keeps them all together. And I also LOVE keeping the receipts?

    “can you believe we paid 75 euro for dinner” I say to my hubby and other such things…..

    I do like your idea better though :)

    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen´s last post…How do you organise your jewellery

  3. I used to save all sorts, recently I have started scanning in all that stuff and making it part of the album. I have the screensaver that uses your photos, so if I hang about I see the image moving onto the screen among a host of other memories…

    angelvalerie´s last post…about that groove…getting out of the mud

  4. How cute!

    We keep some of our stuff, and it usually ends up in a pile meant for a scrapbook. But I’m so very busy I dont usually get around to actually putting things IN the scrapbook. That’s a really great idea, though. I’ll have to find a frame I like :)

    Tara´s last post…Never Underestimate the Power of Tupperware

  5. I love your idea Rachel.

    I keep records of our trips in a moleskine notebook; metro stubs, bus tickets, anything that reminds me of the time…it’ll be lovely to look back on in the future.

    • the cottage child says:

      Us, too! Love the moleskin notebooks.

      When I look back through them these days, I wonder “Who was that girl who sketched and wrote thoughtfully and in complete sentences, and what have you done with her?” Hopefully she’ll turn up again in a couple of years.

  6. I’m like Tara… Most of my stuff goes in a pile to scrapbook, but it doesn’t end up actually BEING scrapbooked. *Sigh*

    I recently opened a box in our basement, and found my autographed ticket from James Taylor, who is my favorite musician. I thought I had lost it years ago, but it was just packed up in a box. Obviously I need a better memorabilia system!!

    Sarah´s last post…Welcome to my Life

  7. I keep everything when I travel…then I scrapbook the trip, and if you don’t belong or fit into the book, then you go in the trash. Once a trip is in the scrapbook, then there should not be any remaining memorabilia laying around the house.

    Suzanne´s last post…Toesday Tuesday – A Contest

  8. I have a wire strung across part of my bedroom and I attached some tiny clips that hold postcards.

  9. I love this idea! I have several shoe boxes that I’ve used over the years to house my odds and ends I have collected. I call them my Memory Boxes. I’ve never really known what to do with the valued treasures of my various adventures. Scrap booking never really caught on with me and I can’t stand throwing away most of what I have, but framing it? Why didn’t I think of that!

    Alisha´s last post…Save the Ta-Tas!

  10. I love the look of this. I got the idea to use a family travel journal awhile back. We write in it and past pictures and stubs in there. It has a pocket in the back (it’s a moleskin as well). I put any maps and other paper items back there too. I also love that my tot can draw pictures in it about what he likes.
    P.S. I wish I had kept all my concert ticket stubs from when I was in high school and collage. I think I could have made something really cool with those!

  11. That is such a neat idea. I’ve never thought of organizing my memorabilia, so I know that it is everywhere. I’ll have to work on that. You could do the same thing for a kid in their room – I’m thinking if they went to circuses, sports events, or even if they were in a state event or something. Rambling now… Thanks for the idea :)

    Sally´s last post…Fall decorating for FREE!

  12. We keep every ticket stubs, and things we have done together as a couple, kids first outings to adventure(anyplace first time), we collect also post cards or stretched pennies (they are reasonably priced to cheap) and keep one box as our individual time container.

    We open up, every 5 years and go through it all and have wonderful memories to share and enjoy.

    Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last post…Why learning from history is cool – Part II

  13. I have saved city maps from just about everyplace I’ve travelled to as an adult. I keep them in a basket on the same shelf as all my (used) travel guides. Sometimes I lend them to friends heading to the same destination; mostly I just like keeping them there to remind me of my travels.

  14. Sandra Gonzales says:

    That’s a great way to display souvenirs. It the little things that will bring a smile to your face.

  15. I HATE clutter but travel ephemera is my downfall. I can’t seem to part with postcards, brochures, ticket stubs, maps, etc. This is one reason I love scrap booking. When I scrapbook the photos, I also scrapbook the related paper memorabilia. My scrap booking is very simple (not like the elaborate stuff many do), but having ticket stubs, postcards (and such) to place on the same page as the related photos can make for a great scrapbook page! : )

    I love your collage frame idea too!!

  16. This is a lovely idea! I will be doing this for my husband’s study. I am always sorting through memorabilia and sometimes I scrapbook with them or make little shadow boxes. This frame idea is really lovely!

    Yvonne´s last post…The forest room in progress

  17. I keep quite a bit. None of it really from anyone famous. I do have a memory box which contains all the letters my husband wrote me while in basic training, including the envelopes. He would draw some amazing things on them or just funny stuff. A tiny diaper from each of my boys, our wedding cake cutter, my HS homecoming princess tiara. I’ll get around to displaying some of this stuff later. I did display a letter my husband wrote to me that was a “declaration” of his love for me, on the mirror of our dresser.
    I really like the frame idea though. I may do this for my mother, I have ticket stubs and pictures of our trip to Nashville/ft.Campbell KY, to pick out my first apartment!

  18. I’ve done that too!

    Having been blessed to make a lot of trips, I collected a lot of paper memorabilia. I love getting art postcards at museums I visit, and I change a few around at my work desk…but what to do with the rest?

    I use a photo album (old-fashioned static cling type, but acid-free) to store and display all my old stubs, napkins, nifty bar coasters, plane tickets, museum postcards, funny notes and cards from college. It may make no sense to other people, but occasionally I’ll pull it out and it makes me smile to remember hiding the giant pickle card in unexpected places of our dorm with my college roommate…

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Icky Yucky Detox

  19. We’ve been looking everywhere for nice oval frames. Would you mind sharing where you got yours? Thanks!

    Unplanned Cooking´s last post…How To Clean Out Your Closet

  20. What a great idea! We have taken some pretty incredible trips around the world and this is such a GREAT idea! Great post!

  21. I’m terrible at scrapbooking, so lately I’ve decided to stop trying. All of my travel ephemera has been relegated to a plastic bin in the basement {and let us not begin to discuss my feelings on plastic bins either in or out of the basement} and is generally ignored. BUT this is a beautiful idea! So well edited too! Now, if only I could figure out a solution for that baby book…

    Zom G.´s last post…Ginger is the secret

  22. Has anyone discovered Paperblanks – beautiful writing journals come scrapbooks. There are so many different covers with different themes that you can theme to your trips. French floral silk covers, Italian leather looking covers, I just love collecting them. http://www.paperblanks.com

  23. I like to make bookmarks our of paper mems! I’ll cut out a piece of card stock to bookmark size and glue my pieces of memory all over (no bother if it goes off the edges), then I cut around the edges to bring the bookmark shape back and laminate… if I have a ribbon/rope type memorabilia related to the same event, I would use it as the tassel. :)

    Christine´s last post…Making History- Ha!

  24. I do save bits of paper (too many, in fact — time to declutter!). I LOVE your idea! I hadn’t thought of that! I usually put them in photo albums along side the pics, but one important thing I do first: I scan and print out a copy to display. You may want to consider this, especially if you are displaying in a frame, as the longer some things are exposed to light (especially movie tickets, receipts, etc), the more they fade, and sometimes alarmingly quickly. Some papers can also damage nearby photos. Scanners and printers are so good now, most of the time you can’t tell the copy from the original. Just a thought. I can’t wait to do this with some of our things. How neat to be able to daily see the things that have happy memories!

  25. Great idea. You have the best posts. I love to have LOTS of pictures of my family all over my house. I have collected beautiful frames over the years (on sale of course) and I put them in every room. Now, you have given me a great way to display memorabilia, as well. Thank you so much!

  26. Great idea. I try to sort through my memorabilia but I still have a lot. This is a great way to organize and maybe sift through some things I no longer need…

    Nicole´s last post…nora 1 month

  27. Oh I just love this idea! I usually keep the special little items in my Mom notebook but then no one gets to see them. This is perfect way to keep the memories alive!

    Paula@Simply Sandwich´s last post…Sunday Simple

  28. What a beautiful idea. I have become lazy over the years and our travel memories are stored in photo boxes pushed unto closet shelves. I think I will look for some good looking black frames and try putting some of our photos, show stubs, tickets, etc. together. They would look great in our hallway. Thanks for the idea!

  29. Since I am a really bad clutter magnet, I have tried not to keep too much memorabilia other than photos. But, I do love the little picture you made, so I may pick an outing and specifically collect the ephemera for that event and immediately frame it.

    25th wedding anniversary, perhaps?

  30. What a very unique way to “see” your vacation memories…LOVE the shape of the frame too! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

    Sharon´s last post…Dear Friends

  31. What a lovely idea! I really haven’t thought about this or done this.. Thanks for showing me something new.

    Prerna´s last post…How to Have an Organized Mommy Handbag Moms’ 30- Minute Blog Challenge

  32. Another great idea Rachel!So sweetly thoughtful and and as a result, beautiful too.

    Right now I have our trip memorabilia in a small box waiting to be scrapbooked with pictures. But with a limited budget, a tiny toddler and a need for pictures on our master bedroom walls, this just might be the thing to do!

    Rhiannon´s last post…Rainy Day Blues

  33. I am wondering if anyone has ideas for how to display greeting cards? Like, I have lots of cards that my husband has given to me over the years and situations, and I would like to keep them nice, so I don’t want to just clip them up on a clothesline or something. Right now, the best I’ve come up with is a binder and plastic sheets, but I’m worried that might not be good storage for them. Anyone have any suggestions??

    • Ugh! I also have this problem!!! I have SHOEBOXES-FULL of greeting cards that I’ve received since leaving home (10 yrs now!) I can’t bear to part with them… yet. :) I LOVED looking through letters & cards that my grandparents & great-grandparents received & think that *maybe* *someday* SOMEONE will want to look @ cards I received… Horrible!

  34. I don’t keep all the paper bits, but my boys do – what a great craft project and then we can hang their finished frames in their rooms! Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

    melanie´s last post…10 on Tuesday- Fall Funk

  35. How come I have never thought of that? That is too sweet!
    I will remember this idea!
    Love it!
    Thank you!

    Leslie, the Home Maker´s last post…Things My Relevant Roomies and You Should Know

  36. Yours is so elegant looking! I made three “scrapboxes” in shadowbox frames from Ikea for my hubby for our anniversary recalling three cities we’d been to and I love how they came out.

    Nicole aka Gidget´s last post…gratitude- finally summer

  37. Put ‘em in a beautiful vintage hatbox and occasionally sit and dream over them and get lost in my past. I love it.

    Margo´s last post…Genevieve Chops Mushrooms

  38. I *love* this! When I have room on my walls (and am not sharing an apartment so I have, yeah, my OWN walls) I am totally doing this.

  39. That is a great idea. So often all of those little things are just shoved in a box and never seen again. Thanks for the idea.
    I’d love you to link some of these great organizing posts to my new link party!
    Sandy Jenney´s last post…Sandy’s Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 1

  40. oh dear.. I do have boxes of stuff to Do something with or dispopse of…. I just got back from 3 days of sifting thru my recently deceased mother-in-law and even tho a small condo she kept EVERYTHING!! BAGs of travel stuff ( every piece of paper from the trip), every letter received, every christmas card, every paid bill in the 17 years she lived there.. among the stuff were some treasures but it motivates me to get moving before someone is sifting thru MY stuff…. or just tossing boxes away (more likely..). EEEEK!

  41. LOVE your idea. I have ours in brown envelopes with the name of the trip. I mean to scrapbook them but of course, never have. I am thinking about scanning it all and using it to make a photo book (for the backgrounds) which would get them all out of here.
    Shell´s last post…Writers Workshop- Winter Roads

  42. What a wonderful idea and always visually close for happy reminders. While on the road, I keep a journal kit, in it’s own little zippered pouch with colored pencils, glue, eraser. I’m not much of an artist but do try, all those paper bits are glued into the journal, a daily record is kept and at journey’s end, I have a wonderful memento.
    Sandra´s last post…Rest in Peace