Keepsake Gifts

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“The real treasures of a family are the people in it. We save the stuff because we can't save them." K Loparco [1]

keepsake - Mementos, something of sentimental value, anything kept, or given to be kept, as a token of friendship or affection; remembrance.

Some keepsakes are traditional items handed down from one generation to another, while other keepsakes are creatively expressed in new ways. Technology has allowed some items that were only seen by a small group of people to be seen by more and preserved for a longer period of time.

Types of Keepsakes

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Baby Keepsake

Hand and Feet Prints - These can be created from a kit as a stamp or a mold of the child's hand or feet.
Christening Clothes - Beautiful when preserved in a shadowbox frame.
Bronzed Baby Shoes - A classic way of preserving a reminder of when they were small.
Tooth Fairy Box - A trinket box to hold that first precious baby tooth.
Handkerchief Bonnet - A christening or baptism bonnet [2] made from a handkerchief that is used later as the "something old" when the baby becomes a bride.
A Lock of Hair - Kept from that first haircut for a boy or as a special memento for a girl. Can be preserved in a locket or a trinket box.

Family Heirloom

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A Handmade Quilt or Afghan - Memory quilts were originally created with scraps of fabric from clothes made for special occasions. Today many keepsakes are created as a custom throw blanket with photos or an embroidered message. These make sentimental gifts for weddings, graduations and family reunions.
Family Photo Album - Today's photo albums use better preservation techniques than older albums. With acid free paper and special adhesives, the images don't fade or discolor.
The Family Bible - The long-held repository of family history, the new books can be created online or saved to a CD that can be copied and sent to multiple family members.
The Family Coat of Arms - Beautiful as a framed print or printed onto t-shirts for a family reunion.
Grandma's Squash Casserole Recipe - Create a recipe box and have everyone add their favorite classic dish. These can also be consolidated into an online book, web page, or CD.
Family Photo Collage - For a DIY project, create a family photo collage using an old window salvaged from the original family home.

Romantic Tokens

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A “First” Gift - A gift for couples to each other. A token from their first date, the first present he ever gave her, their first Christmas together.
A Jewelry Token - A forgotten piece of jewelry, a locket with a photo inside, a pendant personalized with their name or initials, or a bracelet customized with a special message.
A Preserved Rose - A long-lasting gift of affection that won't wither and fade.
Message in a Bottle - Create your own with sentimental tokens or a poem that has meaning for both of you or have a professional create a treasured keepsake.
A COSIMO a breathtaking, handmade artifact used to deliver a romantic message. These are usually wooden gifts with engraved symbols, carrying a romantic message, poem, or prose.

Keepsake for a Best Friend (aka Keepsake for a BFF)

Photo Album - A collection of those silly photos you made in the photo booth at the mall, or that time you went to Daytona for spring break. (Might want to hide that one from Mom)
Picture Frame - A sentimental reminder of all the good times you had together.
Personalized Calendar - Fill the months with the images you want to remembered by. A great gift for graduation, off to college or a moving away farewell memento.
Photo Keepsake Box - A heartfelt way to let your BFF know how much you treasure your friendship. Include a few small trinkets that they can add to with their own keepsakes.

Military Service Mementos

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Granddad's Military Medals - Create an awards case with his medals or small items he brought back from the war.
Grandma's Military Mementos - She didn't get the GI Bill but she was a WASP or a WAP and she did her part for her country, and she was proud of it. She still has her dog tags, so preserve them with care in a shadowbox frame.
Military Reunion Mementos - Preserve their memories in an acid free photo album or memory book.
Reunion Plaque - Surprise your best buddy with an engraved plaque with their old military photo or create one of your whole group for a reunion keepsake.

First Responders: Police, Firefighter, EMS

Tribute Video - Have friends and family submit photos or contribute stories for a Tribute Video keepsake. This can be used at an honor ceremony, retirement party or a memorial.
Flag Case - Created to hold a flag that was given as a special memory or that has flown over a capital or other special building or site.

Related Pages


  1. The Stuff of Life - Creating Your Family Heirloom Inventory
  2. Keepsake Handkerchief Bonnet