How to preserve travel memorabilia?
January 7, 2011 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Looking for cool and unique ideas about what to do with tickets, boarding passes, photos, etc. from a trip.

I just got back from Europe and have a huge pile of rail tickets, foreign coins and bills, maps—all sorts of things like that, along with a bunch of digital pictures I can print. I want to do something with all of this that's more exciting than sticking it all in a box, but I'm not sure what.

I want this to be more about "this was a really cool trip" than "OMG EUROPE"—something that friends could look at or that I could show off would be nice.

Ideally, this would be something that I could do with trips in the future as well.
posted by reductiondesign to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There are tons of ways to scrapbook of course, but what about shadowboxing? You arrange all of your stuff in a frame that is thicker than a picture frame, but it can still be hung on a wall. You don't have to put it behind glass, but if you wanted to you could make one with a glass door so the things would still be accessible.

Also, this ticket stub diary could be cool. You could get really ambitious and bind some of the paper articles into a small book that was part of the shadowbox.
posted by soelo at 3:56 PM on January 7, 2011

A guy I know has all of the metro cards from all of the transit systems he has used in the world framed between two panels of glass. It's hung up above the toilet in his guest bathroom for dudes to look at when they pee. He's left extra space for additions to come. It's really cool.
posted by phunniemee at 4:01 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

This isn't really presentation or display, but I like to use tickets and passes as bookmarks. They're just the right size most of the time, and when I open a book in which I've stuck one, the memory of that trip comes back to me as kind of a pleasant surprise.
posted by tully_monster at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2011

You could place them under glass on a table top, then you could keep adding more momentoes from other events.
posted by jennstra at 4:06 PM on January 7, 2011

Well, it's not so much displayable, and you'll probably be the only one who sees them, but I like to take ephemera like that (concert tickets, etc) and make them into bookmarks. I pair the ticket with some paper that I like, adhere the two together with glue or double-sided tape, then cover with clear contact paper. If I'm feeling extra fancy I add a tassel or a beaded ribbon. For me, it's a nice way to recall good times, and hey, it's functional too.

On preview: what tully_monster said.
posted by Janta at 4:17 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

While on a trip to Europe, I bought a notebook and some tape, and started writing an account of each day into it. I taped in all my various museum receipts, train tickets, etc, as I went, and it wound up being a much more interesting record because of it.
posted by adamrice at 4:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is a scrapbook too traditional?

A lot of scrapbooking is kid's soccer photos with big bubbly letter stickers and crap, but it doesn't need to be. Pick up a screw post photo album, (I love 12x12 or 10x10) some nice archival paper in the same size and photo corners or photo mounts, which are basically small squares of tape. A few nice pens, plastic pockets for coins and such, and you're set. A local scrapbooking store would be your best bet, but Target carries most of these supplies too.

Stick things in a chronological order, or in a aesthetically pleasing way. Make notes where you want to, play with textures or colors by mounting photos on different paper, etc. You might not have a photo about that awesome coffee you had one morning, but you could write a short memory of it down. Maybe cut a piece of your map and use it as the background of your page.
posted by fontophilic at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2011

Best answer: Go to a thrift store and buy a picture-frame (complete with glass panel) for a few bucks (say 3x4 feet?). Go to an office supplies place and get a similar sized sheet of foam board. You're going to use these to create a giant shadow box.

Buy a map of Europe. This is the backdrop of the shadowbox, upon which to arrange your loot.

Arrange your loot around the areas of the map from which they came.

Use coloured threads tied between colored pins in the map to depict that route of your travels. Use similar pin+threads to pinpoint (literally!) the origins of some of the more interesting elements of loot.

Use thread/pin colors to denote, for example that this part of the journy was by train, and this ticket here is that train ticket.

Add notes and photos, so that there is a story to read, as well as well as look at, should someone be interested in more details.

At the end of it all, most of the map will be covered (leaving visible mainly just the route your took), and the whole trip will be laid out as a narritive, in words and items.

For extra coolness but at extra inconvenience, use gently illuminated LEDs instead of coloured pins. Add a small digital pictureframe cycling through photos, etc.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:55 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

I would recommend a shadowbox or what I want to do: scan the ticket stubs, etc. and put the scan/photo of them in one of those photo albums you can get printed from places like Kodak or Snapfish. I've been building my photo albums in iPhoto on my mac and just waiting for my husband to help me figure out the scanning tickets part.
Those are easy to show off and collect and don't take up inordinate amounts of wall space if you go on lots of trips in the future!
posted by LilBit at 5:58 PM on January 7, 2011

I'm not sure if this qualifies as "preservation", but I love to scatter this sort of ephemera around for myself to discover months or years down the line. For instance sliding a ticket stub between the pages of a book (even better if it's a book I read when I was there) or putting a coin of foreign currency into a hidden part of my purse or wallet. Bulletin boards are also great for this sort of thing.

I would only bother framing or making scrapbooks with things that are beautiful to look at or which will bring up specific memories of something meaningful that happened on the trip. In 10 years, you're not going to care whether you flew on Air France or Alitalia. You might, however, care about the local wine you had in that little village where you stopped to look at a cathedral. Preserve the label. If you feel that you must keep the boarding pass, do my suggestion from above, or maybe just chuck it into a drawer.
posted by Sara C. at 10:38 PM on January 7, 2011

I had the same predicament after I studied abroad in 2005. I ended up drawing a picture of my favorite euro train (a French TVG) and stuck the passes around that. Throw it in a cheap frame or shadow box and find the perfect place to hang!
posted by msk1985 at 6:58 AM on January 8, 2011

I've got an old trunk that I've covered in stickers, photos, and other things I've found here and there. You could do the same thing – take a trunk, a table, or whatever – and use decoupage to cover it with maps, tickets stubs, photos, etc. Coins would be more awkward, but they might be great for decorating hardware like a drawer pull or for corners.
posted by bassjump at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2011

« Older help me get into grad school!   |   I want my old boss back Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.