There is something about the holidays and spending time with family that brings about a sense of nostalgia. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, many of us will be pulling out old family recipes that will spark memories and stories of past holidays spent around the table. It is these moments that make the holidays special.

I am always looking for ways to use personal memorabilia to preserve family history. Although I never had the opportunity to meet my husband’s great-grandmother, I feel a special connection to her. It is her ring that I received for our engagement. Wearing something that was once worn by someone else gives you an instant intimate connection to them. More recently, I received a box of her handwritten recipes and embroidered table linens and lace from her collection.

I wanted to find a way to use these items rather than keep them hidden away in a box, and creating a family heirloom breakfast tray is a great way to do this. This craft is very easy to make and takes a short amount of time. It’s a thoughtful way to highlight an old family photograph with a shared family recipe as a gift for other family members, and a great way to visually honor your family roots.

Collect family memorabilia that you want to include in your collaged frame. I decided to use old recipes, a handwritten note, an embroidered napkin and a few feathers for color and interest. Open up the frame that you have purchased by removing the back hardware that holds it together. Arrange your collage in any way that you find pleasing on the paper insert that comes with the frame. You may glue it down if you wish, but once the frame is put back together, the tightness of the glass will hold everything in place. Once you put your frame back together and the collage is arranged, drill in the drawer pulls on two ends of the frame. To add some height and to finish it off, glue on some small wooden knobs or scrap wood to each bottom corner. This will create “feet” on your tray. Your tray is finished and ready to be used.

Whitney Dahlberg is an artist, owner of The Muse, and a firm believer in the power of craft.

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