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8 Sentimental Art Ideas for Your Home

A list of ways to add meaning to your walls inexpensively with family artifacts, heirlooms, and special memories, plus ways to DIY them.

Out of all of the projects we’ve done together and out of all of the decorating we’ve done in these rooms over the last two years, the one thing that always leaves me feeling like a sappy pile of mush is the art on our walls.

Sentimental Art Ideas | A list of ways to add meaning to your walls inexpensively with family artifacts, heirlooms, and special memories, plus ways to DIY them.

When I was in middle school, I remember keeping a Caboodle box of special memories: ticket stubs to my first concert, handwritten notes from my best friends, photo booth strips, seashells and small souveniers from family vacations. It was my heart in a box underneath my bed.

And to this day, I still love doing the same thing to our house by putting heart in our art.

If you’ve ever wanted sweet yet inexpensive ideas for decorating your walls with meaning, I thought this would be the perfect post to share.

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

8 Ideas to Add Sentimental Art to Your Home

1. A Childhood Lovey

We just hung up these to prints to represent Regan and Olivia’s beloved stuffed elephant and tiger in their bathroom, and I’m OBSESSED with how sweet it is! I’m giving Robert total credit on this one because he came up with the idea. (The reveal is coming next week! Finally!)

Snag the prints here (along with other animals).

Sentimental art idea - frame your children's favorite stuffed animals

2. Your Honeymoon Spot

Robert and I had our honeymoon at Biltmore Estate, so it seemed fitting to frame a piece of art of the house in our living room where we spend the most time.

I found the art print here.

Sentimental art idea - Frame your old honeymoon spot

Sentimental art idea - frame your old honeymoon spot

Check out these two kids at the fresh old age of 24. 😉

3. Your Previous Homes

When we lived with my parents for a couple of months while we were between houses during our move, I commissioned an artist to paint a watercolor of their house, my childhood home. The artist gifted a copy to me as well.

And Robert’s mom commissioned a local artist to paint his childhood home too. Both hang on the wall right beside our front door to remind us of our roots.

You can find all kinds of talented artists to paint house portraits on Etsy.

Sentimental art idea - commission an artist to paint your childhood homes

4. A Favorite Vacation Snapshot

We visited The Great Smokey Mountains last summer with Robert’s side of the family, and we snapped all kinds of pictures of the gorgeous landscape, including this one from our cabin porch. I edited the photo to add autumn hues and framed it for fall on our kitchen shelves last year.

You can get the free printable of this autumn landscape here.

Sentimental art idea - Frame a favorite vacation snapshot

5. Lines from a Beloved Book

When we lived in our last house, I made three storybook art pieces for our playroom using just engineer prints and a few pieces of lumber featuring sections from the books Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Love You Forever, and The Velveteen Rabbit. Each one has a sentimental meaning behind them about growing up.

You can snag the tutorial here.  And you can learn how to make your own prints on Picmonkey here.

Sentimental art idea - make art from your favorite lines of a beloved book

Sentimental art idea - make art from your favorite lines of a beloved book

6. Lyrics from a Special Song

When I was little, my parents always sang “I Love You, a Bushel and a Peck” to me. Now, I sing that song to my little girls. So when I found this sign with those lyrics, I had to have it for Olivia’s room.

You can find similar signs here.

Sentimental art idea - display lyrics from a special song

6. Handwritten Artifacts

My mom found a big stack of handwritten recipes from both of my grandmothers, my great-grandmother, and herself. So I decided to preserve them with UV film and place them in these floating frames to hang right beside my own stove in my kitchen. Maybe they’ll give me positive vibes to help my cooking? 😉

See how to preserve handwritten recipes and letters to frame in this tutorial.

Sentimental art idea - preserve and frame handwritten recipes and letters

Sentimental art idea - preserve and frame handwritten recipes and letters

8. Favorite Family Photos

This one’s a total no-brainer, but there is something so nostalgic about family photos on a stairway to me. I always like using black and white prints because it has a feeling of days gone by, and it’s a total classic that goes with any decor.

See the best trick for hanging the perfect gallery wall here. 

Sentimental art idea - hang a gallery wall of favorite family photos

Sentimental art idea - hang a gallery wall of favorite family photos

Sentimental art idea - hang a gallery wall of favorite family photos

You can see all of the ways we added sentimental pieces to our last house here too.

It’s so easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of home improvement projects and chasing kids and folding the neverending mountain of laundry that what makes our home beautiful isn’t the decor or the styling; it’s the people in it. Sometimes I have to remind myself to keep that perspective.

Home is a feeling, not just a place.

Got any other ways you’ve added special meaning to your walls? We have a few more rooms to go in this house, so I’m all for more ideas. 😉

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8 Sentimental Art Ideas for Your Home | A list of ways to add meaning to your walls inexpensively with family artifacts, heirlooms, and special memories, plus ways to DIY them.

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21 Comments

  1. Love all of these ideas! I did have a question about where you got the two frames the childhood home portraits are in? I absolutely love those!

  2. I like that you suggest having paintings of important places hanging in your home. My brother and his wife are moving into a new house and I want to get them a housewarming gift. I will keep this in mind and start looking for an artist that can do realistic watercolor paintings.

  3. I have sent this post to my daughter and husband for inspiration in their new home. I have a question about that wall sconce shown in the gallery going up the stairs. Do you know the manufacturer? I need to replace two and I love that one.

  4. I love all of these! I’m not a huge fan of just buying art just because it’s pretty. I need it to mean something. On our art ledge in our dining area I printed out the three places that mean the most to my husband and I: a beach in our college town where we met, a lake we’ve been camping to a lot, and a nice photo of the front of our home. The rest are all kind of artsy photos we’ve taken during our travels. I smile every time I see them 🙂 AND oh my gosh those cheeks in your story! They are so squishable!

  5. Very cool ideas. There were a couple I hadn’t thought of here. I actually have my own children and my grandchildren’s school work from when they were little. I think I will hang them! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Very nice Lauren. I made a collage of the grandchildren’s pictures in the kids’ playroom around a “You are So Loved” printable from Etsy.,,,had it enlarged and framed….looks great…

  7. I love these ideas! We have a framed copy of our wedding invitation. Thirty-three years later, it still makes me smile.

  8. I completely agree with in decorating our homes with things that are meaningful and relevant to our families, as opposed to mass produced decor (or at least a good mix of the two). In addition to family photos, I love decorating with antiques that either actually belonged to my family, or antiques I have purchased because my mom or grandma had the same thing that may be long gone. When we travel, I love to find items that can be displayed in our home as special reminders of the trip, like locally made art/crafts, Christmas ornaments, or something from an antique store in the area. Sheet music to meaningful songs is also nice to frame. My kids are now young adults, and I like to bring out some of their class childhood toys I saved to use with Christmas decor, like wooden toys, dolls, stuffed animals and books. We have aerial photos of our house, but I love the idea of having a photo of our home done as an art print!

  9. Whenever we travel, we try to bring home a small piece of art. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much room, and they are beautiful reminders of all the places we’ve been. We also have three foil-pressed maps from Minted of locations that are important to us hanging in our bedroom.

  10. I got married last summer and as a Christmas gift, my parents printed and framed parts of my husband and my vows to one another. They’re hanging in our bedroom over the dresser. 🙂

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