Cute, thoughtful ideas as well as silly ones are presented in this instructional guide of 27 DIY projects that "tell stories, hold memories, and celebrate family heritage." Although I would only spend time working on one or two of the DIY projects included in this collection, the ideas presented have inspired me to think differently about how to individualize our midcentury-styled home.
A few ideas from Crafting a Meaningful Home that I found to be super thoughtful and just plain awesome.
Dad's Patchwork Coverlet: "Rae Dunn sewed a memorial patchwork coverlet after her father passed away. She used his old shirts to make the coverlet, choosing parts of the shirts with interesting accents, such as buttons or pockets, for some of the pieces. For visual interest, Rae also alternated the orientation of the fabric, so the designs sometimes run in the opposite direction." Though this is not an original idea, I love it for its sentimentality and sincerity.
Doily Rug: "Jean Lee adapted crocheted doily techniques she learned as a child to create this, literally, handmade rope rug." An absolutely fabulous idea, but since I don't know how to crochet, I'd never take the time to make this rug. Though I would purchase one from Jean Lee—that's how much I love the final product!
Love Notes Shadowbox: "Nick and Lisa Wong Jackson celebrated their love by framing their private notes and assembling them into a wall composition. The same idea can be used to showcase drawings, notes, and other memorabilia from children or other important people in your life." My husband and I have received wonderful thank you notes from family and friends from their various visits and dinners we've thrown—pulling them together to hang in fames and shadowboxes in our guest bedroom is now on my to-do list.
City Rubbings: "Susan Connor documents her New York neighborhood through rubbings displayed in her home. Though Susan has a preference for typefaces on signage and building numbers, you can essentially create a rubbing from any raised surface. This is a great way to celebrate special places, for example, your hometown, college campus, or honeymoon destination." Because this activity is so simple, it's easy to involve your children. And to top it off, Susan formalized her family memories with simple, understated frames.
Family Banner: "Stressing the importance of family, Samantha Hahn decorated her baby's nursery with flags bearing the silhouettes of her and her husband's family." This is a great idea—it's just so thoughtful!
Button Garland: "Brook Davies created a garland for the holidays by stringing together buttons inherited from her family. You can mix store-bought buttons with sentimental buttons from old clothes or your stash to create your garland. In this project, the garlands are hung from a window frame, but you can modify the instructions to lengthen the garland for decorating a wall or a tree." This DIY project is definitely on my to-do list—I have been saving buttons for years! I'm a firm believer in making my own Christmas ornaments, and all I'm missing is garland.
(Image: Abrams Books)