Summer is over, but you have memories with your kids that you want to hang onto forever. Use these three ideas to turn your souvenirs into keepsakes.
Slide Sleeve Treasure Holder
This playful version of a shadow box can be tacked up just about anywhere or hung like a mobile to let the sun shine through.
Simply fill the pockets of a slide sleeve or a nine-pocket trading-card page protector with small mementos, such as ticket stubs, map fragments, photos, bird feathers, pine needles and dried flowers.
Memorialize your trip to the shore with a sandcast plaster mask made with beachcombed features.
1. Collect objects, such as shells, feathers, small stones, bits of plastic and rubber, bottle caps, driftwood, leaves, twigs, sea glass, rope and pinecones. Avoid things that might eventually stink or shrink.
2. Dig a shallow mold in the sand, 5 to 8 inches across and 2 inches deep. The ideal spot is in the moist, hard-packed strip just above the wet tidal sand.
3. Place your objects in the mold, keeping in mind that you're working in reverse and are seeing the mask from the inside out.
4. Fill a disposable container, such as a half-gallon milk jug with the top cut off, partway with water (salt water is fine). Sprinkle in plaster of paris a little at a time, until the powder no longer dissolves (about twice as much plaster as water). Stir the plaster and water together. Add more plaster, if necessary, to get a thick-cream consistency.
5. Carefully fill the mold until the plaster is about an inch thick, pouring slowly so as not to dislodge your objects. Tie knots in the ends of a short length of string or wire and poke them into the plaster to create a hanging loop.
6. The plaster should set in about ten minutes. Gently dig away the sand from the sides and underneath, then lift up the mask.
Lightly brush away any extra sand and smooth out any rough edges with your fingers before the mask sets completely.
Place the mask face up and let it harden, then take it home and display it.
This wire-wrapped necklace shows off a prized rock picked up on a summer hike with your family.
Place a small stone at the center of a 15-inch-long piece of colored wire (we used 22-gauge) and wrap the wire around the rock a few times to secure it. Twist together the ends, then wrap the twist around a pencil to form a loop. Use needle nose pliers to close the loop, then cut off any excess wire. Hang the pendant from a length of leather cord.