Create Lasting Memories: Make Your Own Souvenir
Why spend money on tacky souvenirs when you can tap into your right brain to create memories with your own hands? Here are three ways to make your own souvenir that will give you joy and create long-lasting memories.
The Rock Solid Souvenir
Collect a rock from each place you visit. Size doesn’t matter; choose a rock that best suits your personality. Whatever you decide, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your souvenir rock collection.
Paint a sun or a palm tree on your rock if you visited the Bahamas, or a snow-capped mountain if you traveled through the Colorado Rockies. A visit to Disneyland? Mickey Mouse ears are an easy picture for toddlers to draw.
Be sure to write the name of the state and/or tourist spot you visited and the date somewhere on the rock. Not sure what to do with your souvenir rock collection? Put your rock(s) in a decorative basket on a coffee table for a conversation starter, or display them on a shelf in the family room where everyone can enjoy them.
Items You Need:
- Acrylic paints
- Paint brush(s)
The Memory Card Journal
A twist on a travel journal, the memory card journal lets all family members participate. At the end of the day, each person on the trip writes a favorite memory of each day of the vacation. For children who haven’t learned to write, a hand-drawn picture is always a great memento.
Also, you can do this activity once you get home from your trip; it’s a fun way to travel down ‘Memory Lane’! Decorate your cards and a special memory box to store them. Remember to display your memory box where every member of the family has access.
Items You Need:
- Index cards (colored cards are always more fun, or go with white and decorate the cards with scrapbooking materials such as stickers, ribbon, buttons, etc.)
- Card box
Nature Shirt (Outdoor Activity)
Designing your own nature shirt is a fun souvenir project for RVers, campers, or for people who rent a vacation home. Collect different flowers or leaves from your vacation site. Fill a bucket with some cold water (approximately 1/4 full), enough to rinse a T-shirt. Place a piece of cardboard inside your T-shirt and lay on a flat surface. Then place your collected nature items on the T-shirt to create your own design.
Once you are confident your design is set, spray the 3-part water, 1-part bleach solution over your flowers and leaves; spray enough to lightly saturate the flower/leaf. Let the bleach solution set for a few minutes, then carefully lift the petal or leaf from the shirt; do not drag the leaf because you will smear the bleach to other parts of your design.
Hand rinse your T-shirt in the bucket of water; soak the shirt in the bucket for approximately 5 minutes. Then squeeze the water from the shirt and dry the t-shirt in a dryer. Your result will be a shirt that you can wear any time you wish and will be testament to your creative and crafty side! You can also use fabric paint or marker to write the date and/or location where you created the shirt, or your artist’s signature.
Children should be supervised during this activity due to the use of bleach. Another option for children is to forego the bleach solution; instead, provide fabric paints and markers, and have them trace flowers or leaves. They can also paint their own memory-picture on a T-shirt.
Items You Need:
- T-shirt (any type, any color but white)
- Small spray bottle
- Tall bucket (tall to avoid splash)
- Piece of cardboard, large
- A flower, flower petals, leaves, a found bird feather (chosen from your campsite, hiking trail, etc.)
- Optional: fabric paint, or fabric marker
Any one of these activities will provide you with a more lasting memory than any store-bought tacky souvenir!