Ask Design Mom: Displaying Heirlooms

June 14, 2010

Ask Design Mom Question:
I have a collection of crocheted doilies and some antique baby shoes I’ve inherited. Do you have any ideas for displaying heirlooms? Thanks in advance. — Monica

Design Mom Answer:
Great question, Monica. And how fun that you’ve inherited some display worthy antiques. The freshest idea I’ve seen lately is actually one of the simplest. It’s from Emily of Jones Design Company. Emily took old gold frames, cut foam core to the size of each frame, then fabric glued linen fabric to it. Each little item is simply pinned to the foam core. You can see more pictures here.

Don’t you think they look great? What about you, Dear Readers? How do you display heirlooms?

P.S. — Here are more ideas on displaying objects. Also. I originally saw Emily’s idea on Say Yes To Hoboken.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie June 14, 2010 at 11:44 am

This looks cute!

I keep meaning to do some shadow boxes. They were featured in Martha Stewart Living in Feb of this year I think. I want to make one with my daughters hospital blanket, hat, shirt from when she was born.


2 Anne June 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I hang my sons’ baby shoes on our Christmas tree…we love getting them out of the box each year.


3 Anna June 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for the question and the answer! I have a christening cap from my great great grandmother and some doilies from other family. This is the perfect idea. (I didn’t think it would look nice with glass in front but hadn’t thought of taking it out.)


4 Tanya June 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I love this idea. Ingenious.


5 Jackie June 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I LOVE this idea!!


6 Alice June 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Great idea. Normally those type of treasures are just stashed away in a box.


7 Deborah June 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I stuffed my husband’s great grandmother’s baby booties with cotton batting and sat them on a shelf in the nursery. We also have a white under dress with lace on the edges. I found a small hanger wrapped with silk ribbon and hung it on the wall. (Of course I also took pictures of my daughter in that dress on the lawn too!) We used to have a set of Betrix Potter books, although I couldn’t find them so I got a new set to sit on the shelf too. Now that my kids aren’t babies anymore, this frame idea would work great in the hallway with some great old black and white photos of family ancestors. (hmmm, perhaps a summer project!)


8 Carrie June 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm
9 Sharon June 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Oh these look lovely. I have some fabulous frames like those at home and never knew what to do with them. Now I feel a plan hatching…


10 hadley June 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I used LP/album frames that I bought at Michael’s for 9.99 and used spray mount to place my grandmother’s doilie’s onto black cardstock. They look great! The contrast against the black is so simple and I hung a set of 6 of them in our dining room.


11 Stacey June 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm

They look great, however, i tend to put the heirlooms that i have so far in a chest.


12 Lesli June 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I did this for my daughter’s white baby religious dress. I love it, I hope she will as she gets older. I hope it reminds her of what our religion means to us as she grows up.


13 LLH Designs June 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Saw this on her blog and love the linen. My girls are 7 and 9 and I STILL have vintage baby dresses hanging. The day will come when they have to hide in a drawer, but I sure do love ‘em on a wall! Xo…Linsey


14 claire June 15, 2010 at 7:12 am

What a beautiful project! I really like the frame & linen backing — makes the treasures stand out :)


15 wanderluster June 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

I used some doilies to make art for my daughter’s nursery. You can see it here:


16 Mary June 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

I framed 3 doilies that were the same size but different patterns in three same size frames and used them for my headboard. If you think of a way to display the baby shoes, please post it. I have my dad’s high button baby shoes and I don’t know what to do with them.


17 Katy at Minnesota Attorney June 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

I love this idea! I’m always sad when I have to put away the precious baby items that symbolize this time in their lives.


18 Pammer June 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I’ve done the same – but in a glass enclosure. We have Husband’s grandmother’s dress from when she was 5. The dress is over 100 years old. It is a bit yellowed and the lace is a little brittle, but it’s still lovely – so I framed it in a memory case pinned to black velvet and hung it in Leah’s, my 9yr old, room. She is named after Husband’s grandmother. She tells me it is her favorite thing in her room – even though her great-grandmother died right before she was born.


19 emily June 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Thanks for featuring my baby’s nursery! It was a fun project and looks so elegant and charming in real life. No need to put beautiful things away when you can enjoy them everyday.


20 Heather August 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

This idea is lovely, but in my mind, I would prefer that they are behind glass so they don’t get dusty. Also, keeping them out of direct sunlight is important so they don’t get sun damaged. I prefer to keep my knick knacks to a minimum so that I have less to dust. :)


21 Mary May 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

I remembered this post when I saw this on Pinterest. These lions look to be right up your alley!


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