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.
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.
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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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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? 😉
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.
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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