Travel Memento: Old Key Framed with Scrapbook Paper Scraps

During a vacation in Tuscany, we strolled along the cobblestone streets of an outdoor weekend market in the village of Radda in Chianti. And there, we found this key. When we returned home I wanted a reminder of Tuscan villages so I could revisit them in my memory every day. And here is the reminder:

Looking at this memento, it’s all coming back … in Radda in Chianti, we found a lunch menu on an iron stand, just outside a thick wood carved door. Peeking inside, the place looked dark and all we saw was a big bar. We weren’t sure. But the menu descriptions made us salivate, and as we’re vegetarian the options are a bit slim, so with faith we stepped inside. We were escorted through the bar’s dark stone galley to doors that opened onto the most glorious stone terrace overlooking mountain views and blue sky and olive groves for miles. And there, we had a two-hour (maybe three, who’s counting on vacation) lunch of antipasti cheese, wine, breads and soups all underneath the gnarled arching branches of a huge fig tree. Afterwards, a bit tipsy from all the wine, we walked through the outdoor market where wares were displayed under white tents, and we found this key among many other wonderful things.

Yes, this shadowbox literally contains the key to bring back all these memories!

You can make a “travel memory box” like this too, and I hope it’s just as powerful for your memories …

I already had the shadowbox. I tied the key with saffron color string to suspend it in the box. I made some extra knots in the string. No good reason — “just because.” The string is simply taped onto the frame’s cardboard backing to suspend the key. Then, I covered the back of the shadowbox and the existing matt with a mix of scrapbook papers. I love scrapbook papers with script, so I worked some of that in. I made some paper edges ragged and some edges clean for contrast:

I honestly never noticed the wine grape bunch on the key until just now! How perfect for a memento from Chianti. Photos really do make you look at the world with new eyes.

I chose scrapbook paper colors to coordinate with our dining room rug:

These paper colors also remind me of Tuscany — the olive groves and the terra cotta rooftops.

It’s a very easy project to do, and it’s much more interesting to use scrapbook papers to decorate frames than a plain color matt, isn’t it!

On the back of the frame, you can write about the travel memory on more scrapbook paper, and glue that to the back. I’m glad I did that, so I was reminded of which Tuscan village we found this key.

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