How to repurpose your travel memories: Collaging and scrapbooking

Elysa Dombro/Staff

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OK, so your summer travel plans are canceled. As much of a bummer that is, this time with limited travel is the perfect opportunity to make use of your memories from previous adventures. If you’ve gone on a trip recently and have scraps of paper, old receipts, ticket stubs and more, using these memories to create a beautiful scrapbook or collage is a great way to keep a record of your adventures. Follow these steps to make use of your memories while you’re stuck around the house.

Collect all your receipts, ticket stubs and postcards

The first step is to scrounge up all those scraps that you stuck in your pockets during your last adventure. Even if you didn’t intentionally save things such as receipts, bits of napkins and train tickets, you might find you still have some bits and pieces to remind you of your travels. If you bought a souvenir, maybe you have the receipt or the packaging it came in, or if you visited a museum, you might find that you kept the paper map you were given at the door. Collect all your travel-related paper memories and prepare to put them all together.

Print photographs and graphics

It’s generally not that common nowadays to print photos unless they’re professionally taken, but printing photos from your travels can be a great way to add memories to your travel collage. Maybe you don’t have the map from the museum you visited, but you have pictures you took of your favorite paintings. Print them out and add them in! They don’t have to be destined to live in your phone forever. If you aren’t someone who takes a ton of pictures while traveling, try printing out some cool graphics of landmarks where you traveled. For example, if you went to Paris, you could find an interesting graphic of the Eiffel Tower instead of a picture of it.

Don’t forget the little things

Some of the best parts of travel scrapbooks are when you add in little memories and inside jokes from your trip. If you and your travel buddies had a phrase that you kept saying throughout your trip, write it into your collage! Captioning pictures can be a great way to do this as well. Or maybe you can find the label to the foreign candy you were obsessed with during your trip — not an integral part of traveling, but a sweet memory! When you look back on your travels, you’ll be able to remember all the small moments as well, not just the touristy activities that everyone else does. 

Buy stickers, decorative markers and other special materials

If you really want to make your scrapbook look nice, splurge on some cool stickers and supplies at a craft store. Many craft stores have stickers that are travel-related, but even just some sparkly or fun-shaped stickers can jazz up your collage. Using nice markers and cool, printed paper can also help make your scrapbook look complete. Of course, if you’re on a budget, you can get creative with decorations you have at home.

Put it all together in a picture frame or scrapbook

There are plenty of ways to do this, so make sure it works for you. Maybe you want to make a large collage that you can frame and display on your wall, or maybe you’d rather have a scrapbook that you can flip through to relive your travels. Or, maybe you have some other way of organizing altogether! When you put together all the things you’ve collected, have fun with it. If you’re someone who likes to be completely organized, you can section off your materials in a very neat way and draw borders for different days, places and activities. If you prefer a more free-flowing design, overlap all your materials in an aesthetically pleasing way. Don’t forget to add a good mix of stickers, writing and printed materials with your postcards and ticket stubs to make your collage or scrapbook flow well. 

Congratulations on your amazing new scrapbook! Now you’ll be able to preserve and share these memories for a long time. And if keeping a bunch of scrapbooks in your living space isn’t your thing, making a collage or book for your travel buddies can be a great gift. Be sure to get creative with what you’re documenting — if you haven’t traveled in a while, you could still make a travel mood board for where you wish to visit, and you could even use a virtual travel experience to inspire you. Happy scrapbooking!

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].