Turn treasures from your family vacation into a keepsake collage

I am so very proud of my newest collaboration with Vitamin Daily. I decided to write about summer vacations and how to make a decorative keepsake collage from findings that got picked up and made their way back home, as a collaborative art project the whole family can do. You can read the whole article here.

When we’re on vacation or just out somewhere, my eldest, Danika, is always walking with her head down, looking for wonderful little treasures from nature and I asked myself, how can we use these collections to create lovely visual reminders of the great time we had as a family?Findings from vacation for keepsake collage | Smocks & Shops

About our collaborative art piece (the backstory): My sister Sonya lives in Moncton with her man, Kevin, her little man, Zac and her furry four-legged man, Logan. Every summer we go there to visit and every summer, we spend a few days at their family’s seaside cottage in Cocagne. On this particular trip, bouncy castles, splash pads, fireworks, hermit crabs and provincial parks, were the order of the day week… Great, great memories.Vacation keepsake collage | Smocks & Shops

I didn’t use a shadow box. I really wanted the collage to leap out of the frame. To show off the textures and dimensions. Just by removing the glass, I was able to accomplish this effect. I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

I was inspired by examples I found on Pinterest. This series from Completely Coastal is my favourite. They used seaweed and driftwood in their collages. Love it.


Enjoy the read. I’ll keep you posted on my next collabs.

Rock collection storage box for kids

I love it when Danika expresses curiosity about something new. I love watching her discover the world around her. So naturally, I want to encourage her curiosity any way I can. You never know when something seemingly small might become a lifelong passion!Rock collection storage box for kids - Smocks & Shops

A couple of weekends ago, we were doing some yard work (Spring finally reared its head) and she went bananas when she found a particular tiny pebble. She must have lost – and found that pebble a dozen times that weekend. I thought, surely we could find better storage than pockets. Then I remembered the small plastic compartmentalized boxes I got from the dollar store I originally meant to use to organize my (messy and random) bead stash. Looking at it, it screamed “make me pretty” and I knew exactly what we needed to use. Washi tape! I think I’m more impressed with how it turned out than she is, but she loves that she has a cool little box to store whatever other tiny treasure she’ll find in the garden.


What you need:

  1. Plastic box with compartments – From hardware section of the dollar store
  2. Washi tape – Got mine from here, here and Target (when it was open)
  3. Mod Podge – From anywhere, like on Amazon here
  4. Krylon spray finish – From Amazon
  5. Rock collection – Danika’s collection started with a couple she found outside that she really liked went bananas over and this fun crystal mining discovery kit (I love that it comes with tiny magnifying glass). This weekend I’ll be giving her a simple Chakra kit I picked up from a local New Age shop, much like this one here

Rock collection storage box for kids - Smocks & Shops

How to:

  1. Before inviting your child to join you, I suggest pre-cutting the washi tape. I pre-cut a bunch of different pieces of washi and stuck them along the edge of the table we were sitting at. Danika could just grab whichever piece she wanted, at her pace and not have to wait for me to be done cutting (she sticks faster than I cut, lol).
  2. Once she was done applying as many pieces as she wanted all over the outside of the box, on both sides and the edges, she abandoned me to go play, which was fine. The next part was for mommies and daddies only anyway…
  3. Because not all washi tape stays stuck, I covered the box with a coat of Mod Podge to make sure nothing pealed up. I’ve written before (here) how I really don’t like how even though Mod Podge claims to be a finish, the surface stays sticky. Even after “curing” for a week. So here again, I top-coated the whole outside of the box with the Krylon spray. Be sure to spray outside or in a well ventilated space (the box will also smell at first but it goes away after 2 days).
  4. If you have a little plastic magnifying glass, you can create a little holder by drilling two tiny holes on the top of the box and passing elastic cord through it. I capped it off with a couple of glass beads I had in my stash.

Rock collection storage box for kids - Smocks & Shops

Don’t you just LOVE Washi tape? The colours and patterns remind me of candy wrappers. And I love how because the box is transparent, we see the tape through all sides. So pretty.

Washi tape for rock collection storage box for kids - Smocks & Shops

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