5 Innovative Ways to Display Delicate Family Heirlooms

Are you beginning your spring cleaning? Have you been discovering family heirlooms you'd like to preserve?

Heirlooms are tricky because their value varies greatly. Some pieces beg to get displayed, while others need to be kept somewhere safe from damage.

Here are some excellent places to display your family heirlooms.

What Is a Family Heirloom?

A family heirloom is an object that has gotten passed down through generations. These could be things of great sentimental value such as an old diary or scrapbook. Older photos and writings could also have monetary value if they're preserved properly.

Family heirlooms can also be items that are worth a lot of money because of their rare materials. Think about jewelry, dishes, or souvenirs.

1. Display Cabinets

Display cabinets are a classic way to showcase family heirlooms. They're often made from tempered glass, which can prevent shattering. Lockable doors can prevent anyone who may be walking through your house from easily taking something valuable.

Display cabinets are a great conversation starter. When welcoming guests, you can talk about your grandmother's love for silver flatware and how such pieces are rare today.

Display cabinets add an element of class and sophistication to your living space. You can get them with lights, which will add an element of specialness to your display. It's also possible to customize your case with adjustable shelving or storage.

Display cabinets are easy to clean with a simple glass cleaner and cloth. They also make items easy to locate.

2. Framed Art

Years ago, young women would collect doilies in their hope chests in anticipation of the day they would set up their own homes. They were used in order to display food and protect furniture. Doilies could also be used for decoration.

Similarly, handkerchiefs got collected and created. They would use them to wipe faces or shield themselves from the sun. It was common for folks to make hankies more ornamental by sewing careful designs on them.

Hankies and doilies are often passed down through generations as those who owned them attached special meaning and value to them. Given today's home decorating fashions, however, it can be difficult to know how to display them.

You can, however, easily display these heirlooms as artwork. Simply sew them in place onto a fine mesh screen and attach them to an old picture frame. A stylish chipped painted mirror frame will also work with today's rustic styles.

If crafty framing isn't your thing, consider taking the pieces to a professional framer for mounting. It gives you a classy, stylish way to display your family's history.

3. Platter Wall Decor

Formal platters were often used for serving food, especially when folks were entertaining company. The china or silver platters you may have inherited may be too precious for serving up chicken fingers. But they could still be great items to display.

If you've got gorgeous platters, make sure you wash and polish them first. Then you can attach wall hooks to the backs. Finally, hang them in thoughtful ways in your hallways, dining room, or kitchen.

If you don't want to get glue on your pieces, consider using plate hangers. Silver and china can get mixed if you've got a lot of space to fill and an eye for unique designs.

4. Jewelry Trees

Some heirlooms are easy to re-use, and others require a little creativity. A candelabra or old lampstand, for example, may not be something you want to stow away in your attic. Yet you may not have any use for them as illumination.

These items can get put to use as jewelry trees, which are used to organize the necklaces and bracelets you wear often. Simply drape your necklaces over the arms, use candleholders to stack bracelets, and place holes in the bobeches to keep your earrings. It will give you a great way to memorialize the past while keeping your dresser more tidy.

5. Quilting Time

Fashions from the past work great for memories but often won't do as hand-me-downs. Similarly, family heirloom recipes may be wonderful things to preserve, but you won't want to be reading them off of a yellowing piece of paper while you're preparing a meal.

A quilt can be a great way to display cut-up pieces of clothing or old hankies. Pieces of flannel and fleece can be used to back the cloth. They can then get sown together in a row. It's important to remember to leave a seam of at least one inch between blocks.

You can actually scan recipes and other heirloom writings into companies online that will turn them into the personalized fabric. This can then be used to create a recipe quilt or blanket. Other options include drapes, tea towels, or table runners.

If you aren't much of a quilter, check out local community groups on social media and see if you can find a local seamstress who will create your dream quilt for you. Make sure you get a speak to a few references first. Local craft stores are also a great way to find someone to do the work for a reasonable price.

Preserving Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms bring so much value into our lives. They connect us with generations we may never have met and represent a doorway into the future. With a little creativity, you can display family heirlooms in a way that everyone in your home can enjoy.

Don't stop getting smart about preserving your valuables now. For more information on quality display cases, contact us today.


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