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DIY Travel Memory Collage

DIY Travel Memory Collage

If you’re anything like me, you are a sentimental collector. I have my childhood teddy bear on my bed, framed photos everywhere, and a pile of favorite (mostly Kappa) shirts I just can’t give away. Vacations are treasure troves of collectibles, and often I return with my bag littered with little momentos from my journey. Restaurant menus, plane ticket stubs, tour brochures, and postcards are anything but paper- they are tokens of laughter, remember whens, and that one times.

Six months have already passed since the big graduation trip I had been counting down to for so long. My mom and I traveled around Germany and Austria for two weeks last November, visiting five cities and their famous landmarks and Christmas markets. Since our return, plastic baggies and folders of  my collections have taken up residency on the bottom of my bookshelf, awaiting the perfect DIY project.


When I was younger, I made scrapbooks. Picking up my packet of developed pictures from a disposable camera was like my birthday. Images of summer camp, concerts, and summer vacations stuck to the pages next to pressed flowers, handwritten letters, and other collectables. Digital photos and Apple Photobooks have long since replaced my scrapbook days, but I will always love collage keepsakes.

Last night I was feeling a little inspired so I finally pulled out my scrap souvenirs and an old picture frame I had hanging around and got to work! Here’s how to make your own travel collage:

Above my desk: Hand-painted gold letter from Westward Pages, Colorado print, framed map of Vienna, and my newest collage

It’s all simple, really. Lay out the items you want in your frame and begin arranging. I used halves of two maps for the background and haphazardly moved the smaller tokens around on the front. Try it a few times and see what works best for you! No glue or tape needed, unless you really want it. I just left as-is and let the pressure from the glass hold everything in place.

Tips for creating the perfect collage:

  • Forget perfection and let each scrap tilt, overlap, and bunch up on the others
  • Use larger items for the background, layer smaller tokens over them
  • Highlight where you went by letting city or landmark names peek through when layering (see above corner of map and ticket stubs)
  • Vary colors, size, & items
  • Use a larger frame if you have a ton of items so it doesn’t seem too crowded

Read more about our trip in my travel journals: 

Nuremberg  |  Rothenburg  |  Munich  |  Salzburg  |  Vienna


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