Passing Down Family Heirlooms

My husband’s job transferred him to Albuquerque in 1984. It was the first time either one of us had lived more than 10 miles from family. We were excited about our new adventure, and at the same time sad to leave our very close-knit family behind.


Rose Bowl from Germany was given to my grandmother by her mother.

We moved into a new and larger home so I needed more wall decorations.

This was before we had the Internet so I visited several furniture stores, but had difficulty finding pictures I liked in my price range.

We lived several months without anything on the walls until one day I was making room to store old dishes passed down to me by my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother.

mother's-first-set-of-dishes-thoughtful-gift-ideaI didn’t dare use the beautiful dishes for fear of breaking them. Then I got an idea! Why not frame several of the dishes and display them in my dining room?

Each dish has its own story that was shared with me when they were passed down to me.

I remember the “freckle bowl” (her name for it) that my grandmother always used to serve mashed potatoes. She told me many times she paid only a dime for it.grandma's-freckle-bowl-thoughtful-gift-idea

Decorating with heirloom dishes felt so good. Being so far away from home, they gave me comfort of family being near.

As a side note, I used 25 to 30 photos of extended family members to decorate our long hallway and renamed it the “Wall of Frames.” Every morning as I walked from our bedroom down the hallway, I felt my Oklahoma family greeting me. It really is the little things!

Many of us have old family dishes, heirlooms, or other mementos that can be framed or displayed.

My mother framed her father’s straight edge razor, shaving brush, hair clippers and coin purse to add to my collection of pictures. I remember my grandfather taking his coin purse from his pocket and giving us money when the ice cream man came down the street.

Passing down family heirlooms, stories and sentimental treasures make for perfect gifts to remember the importance of family.

Family heirlooms keep us connected to our past, present and future.

There Are 2 Comments On This Article.

  1. Love this idea. Can you share with us how you attached them inside the frames. They look like shadow boxes. Where did you find the frames? Would love a picture of your hallway wall.

    • Queen Darlene

      Yes, you are correct. The frames are shadow boxes. They were custom made for each dish. I would recommend Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any local framing shop. I no longer live in Albuquerque and did not take a picture of my Wall of Frames. I should have. So happy you liked the post and let us know if you “pass down a family heirloom”. We would love to hear all about it.

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