Relatives’ possessions often have more sentimental than practical value: You don’t want to get rid of them, but you may not have a use for them, either. Instead of letting jewelry, clothing and other collectibles gather dust in your attic, try one of these ways to give old keepsakes new life:
• So Aunt Jess’ insect charms aren’t your style? Grandpa Joe’s watch is beautiful but broken? Bring them to Lulu Frost (<www.lulufrost.com>), a New York-based family business that specializes in turning old jewelry into new pieces. You also can purchase ready-made designs from vintage pieces.
• You don’t have to mothball your mother’s 1960s silk taffeta wedding dress or your grandfather’s WWII military uniform just because it doesn’t fit. Instead, consider wearing only a piece of a vintage garment. Take the clothing to a tailor or seamstress who can make something new — a cocktail dress from the wedding gown or a military-inspired jacket from the uniform — and you can wear your family history.
• Maybe Grandma’s fur is worn around the edges, or you don’t need it in sunny Miami. With the help of JR’s Bears <www.fur-teddy-bears.com>, you can preserve her favorite coat by transforming it into a plush teddy bear. One coat can be recycled into multiple bears, so several of your relatives can have remembrances of Grandma.