Storytelling Frames

You might have already read this at Ali’s blog but I wanted to re-post it here…

In a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living there was an article about a little girl’s birthday party where they displayed a wall of “scrapboxes.” Right then, I tore out the pages and was ecstatic to start celebrating my daughter’s memories in a frame. Yeah, I know it is reminiscent of shadow boxes and can be considered quite cheesey, but hey, who doesn’t like cheese? ;) Honestly though it is a fun and creative way to document and showcase pieces of my daughter’s lives.

Think of it as your own storytelling wall. What story do you want to tell? What stories do you want your children to remember each day?

First, choose a wall to decorate. Because of the content of the frames I settled on a wall in my daughter’s play room. I’m so glad I did because my oldest daughter was completely elated when she walked in and saw all these wonderful memories. Her eyes got so big as she recalled horse back riding for the first time & one of her drawings so I know she will enjoy seeing the pictures everyday.

Next, gather decor pieces including frames, photos and some mementos. The white frames are from Ikea with about 1 3/4 depth which gives a great space to fill with keepsakes. Here are a few ideas I used in my frames.

Pair a favorite toy with a favorite memory. Think of a photo/story/toy that illustrates something your child loves at the moment. Or if your child has grown think of something they loved and possibly shaped who they’ve become. For my daughter it is animals. She loves animals and one of her happiest moments was riding a pony for the first time. Her smile says it all. I included several horse figurines that she loved to play with but has grown tired of. Of course once she saw them in the frame they looked so fun again. Thankfully, I was prepared with others she could play with.

This is often my favorite keepsake to showcase in our home. I don’t think we realize how much it means to our kids when they see that your hung their school work on the fridge or display it in your studio. I included crayons for added color and playful touch.

One of my favorite memories is having tea parties with my daughter. I included actual teacups glued inside the frame. I took out the glass because they wouldn’t fit with it but was still happy with the result. I printed the photo in black and white so it wouldn’t compete too much with the other colors. Lastly, I added a couple of rub ons from my line craft line, Dear Lizzy.

Since my daughter’s famous rain boots couldn’t quite fit in the frame, I thought of the next best thing… her sunglasses. She adores wearing her shades so much that when I was making this frame she wandered off with them, despite the fact that they don’t fit her anymore. I will replace it with the originals once I find the treasure hunt she’s put me on. You could also include clothing, swimsuits, newborn outfits, hats or even shoes.

I love that children create an attachment to their favorite books and want to read them over and over. Not only do they remember the story but all the fun times you spend together reading. I included a strip of photos of my daughter reading with the date and title of book, “Pinkalicious.” You can tell this book was loved and it was okay to frame this one since it has been replaced with a new one.
In my studio I have a cloth box from KOLO where I store nostalgia and pieces of our adventures. In this frame I included a photo from a carousel ride, tickets I saved, & embellished with a flower by Prima. The options are endless for items in this category including: clothing tags, movie tickets, menus, postcards and love notes.

Along with the frames I added decor pieces and vintage keepsakes from my childhood including Disneyland records my Mom saved all these years and a vintage camera from my Grandpa.

Other decor items include a clipboard with favorite quote that I can switch out easily, photobooth pictures of my little brother, a retro record album, vintage cuckoo clock, Instax photos, a silhouette, “&” from Anthropologie, and finally some music note fabric.

34 thoughts on “Storytelling Frames

  1. Collin

    That wall has a lot of love. Hunny, show em a picture of the wall with a life-size cardboard cutout of me dressed like Edward from Twilight.

  2. Jacy

    Oh I really love those ideas!! SO cool!! You are so amazing. Also I have to say I LOVE your playlist too.. I turn it on EVERYDAY while I work, clean and cook dinner :)Keep your cute ideas coming!!!

  3. L.A. Harker

    Um, WOW. That is quite possibly the most creative and adorable thing I've ever seen! I wish I had kids so I could do it too!

  4. Many Titles

    I just found your blog today by way of a friend. I LOVE this idea!! It is so cute and a great way to add personal style, memories and conversation starters all to one area. I can't wait to create my own!

  5. Beatriz

    I love your ideas, you are so stilysh! I'm looking for those Ikea frames because I'm decorating my house and doesn't have a lot of money at this moment (my boyfriend is going up&down to ikea ahahaha)

  6. Helen Tilbury

    Collin is the funniest! Love this idea & have already begun my own collection since seeing it on Ali's blog just the other day…am recycling all my frames & spray painting them before embellishing them with all my gazzillion extra Prima flowers! Just to let you know I have been following your blog forever from South Africa & bought your new book online from the UK & it has provided me with many hours of inspiration so far ;-D Helen

  7. Erin

    HO w in the workd did you get your littlest to sit still for the profile silhouette? I LOVE all of your little touches!

  8. erin m

    Just finished reading it over by Ali's blog and wanted to pop over and tell you how much I loved it! Favorite idea was the children's artwork and the page from Pinkalicious—a favorite at our house too!

  9. Haili Hunter

    Lizzy your so GENIOUS!!!
    I can't wait to have kids so I can do cute things like this. I've heard a lot of mom's start doing things way cute like this with their first child and then kind of slack on their next children…I think that is bologna! For all those moms or people who think this is silly follow this link and share with me your stories!

  10. Dani

    Dear Lizzy: I think you should make a blinkie so that we can link your blog beautifully! It would be gorgeous publicity :)) lol.

  11. Jenn

    I can't help but smile when I see that Q's toes don't quite touch the floor-too cute!!
    I 've been mulling over what I want to put in mine since watching the MS show! Your frames are very inspiring. =)

  12. Amy Dahl

    Hi Lizzy, I think you ideas are awesome. I love the crayons in the shaddow box with the photo. I seen that you are doing a class in Des Moines. I have a new company called, was wondering if you would design one of my albums? See what you think. You can email me from my web site.
    Thanks! Amy Dahl

  13. Amy Dahl

    Hi Lizzy, I think you ideas are awesome. I love the crayons in the shaddow box with the photo. I seen that you are doing a class in Des Moines. I have a new company called, was wondering if you would design one of my albums? See what you think. You can email me from my web site.
    Thanks! Amy Dahl

  14. Amy Dahl

    Hi Lizzy, I think you ideas are awesome. I love the crayons in the shaddow box with the photo. I seen that you are doing a class in Des Moines. I have a new company called, was wondering if you would design one of my albums? See what you think. You can email me from my web site.
    Thanks! Amy Dahl

  15. the johnson's

    Are you seriously teaching a class in Des Moines? Need the info (please). And too cute to see the Pinkalicious book in your wall art…sooo glad your girlies have enjoyed it! You are inspiring so many…thanks! Amy N.J.

  16. Beck on Melrose

    Oh my goodness…these are amazing and I'm completely inspired. I'm seeing a present for my sister using delightful treasures from her little treasures. Thanks for always sharing your creativity!

  17. Pam's Place

    Love your shadowboxes! I made one with a picture and some souvenirs from a trip to Paris, where I went with a friend.
    Planning to do the same from a Florida vacation. It's so fun to see happy memories displayed on your wall!

  18. Amy

    What a fabulous idea! I wish I had seen this a few years ago. When my daughter was younger she had an array of super fun sunglasses with matching swim suits from Gymboree. I have the photo's still, but unfortunately not the shades :( There are many milestones ahead of us yet, I'll have to save the idea!

  19. Emma

    Love Love Love this idea!! Charlotte and I needed a project for this week, I think we have found our project!!! What backing paper did you use Lizzy in the Tea Parties frame!!

  20. Cate

    I just stumbled upon your blog today and am totally in love with your frames idea!! I wish I was this creative! :D

  21. Janna

    Thank you for posting these wonderful creative ideas! You have inspired me to do something similar for my kids. The first thing I thought of is photos from vacation at the beach in a frame that also includes some sand and small shells loose behind the glass! Yeah, that's probably not "archival", but who cares? In this digital age, we can print multiples of important photos and put the special ones in the albums and do fun things with the copies. There are so many ways this can be adapted for so many different memories. Thanks again for sharing this!!


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