Are your drawers and cupboards filled with what others would call junk? Maybe they have been filled up with past birthday cards and wedding announcements? Or postcards and letters? Whatever it is that is causing your cupboards and drawers to burst, it isn’t just junk to you! These ephemera items are more than printed words on paper, these carry a strong sentimental value. So why not think of a way to display all of that sentimental value instead of allowing it cluttering your home?

I was faced with this problem when my husband refused to let me toss his concert tickets! Here is how I was able to create my husband’s concert tickets into a fun display using a shadowbox! Read on!

Photo by Wherda Arsianto on Unsplash

Cleaning out the Junk Drawer

Is it a common thing to have a drawer designated for junk? My mom had a couple which is probably one of those not-so-good traditions I continue to practice today! If you do have one you may be able to relate to this experience:

Find a random battery?

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

Throw it in the junk drawer.

Find chapstick!

Into the junk drawer it goes!

Does this sound familiar at all?

I love junk drawers because they are so convenient! Unfortunately, it might show others that I’m not very organized! In my home, I have multiple! Usually, there’s one in my room and another in the kitchen.

In fact, I have so many that my husband started stuffing his concert tickets in them! I was so confused! I was understanding when it came to bobby pins and hair ties but concert tickets? One day I was cleaning out the junk drawer to get rid of actual junk (How ironic! Dejunking a junk drawer. Haha) when I asked my husband if I could throw his tickets away. He looked at me in shock! As if to say, “How could I ask such a question?!”

The Meaning Behind the Concert Tickets

You see his concert tickets have quite the sentimental value to him. These printed paper objects have brought so many fond memories to him. For him, they are considered ephemera. Even though ephemera is meant to be kept for a day or so he couldn’t let them go! If you are interested in learning more about ephemera, read So You Want to Know More About Ephemera?

They meant so much to him because he grew up going to concerts with his dad and to this day he continues to go to concerts – even if it means going alone! Although he no longer goes to concerts with his father, he treasures his tickets because of the memories and feelings they bring. He has even continued his concert-attending hobby with me! Our senior year of high school we went to A Day to Remember concert. It was my first one, and believe me, the crowds can be rough! Since then we have continued to go to concerts together, making road trips out of them. The trips include Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Chicago, Saint Louis, and many more.

At the moment, I’m beginning to realize that the concerts we went to together mean a lot to me as well! Now I can understand why he looked at me shocked when I questioned if I could throw them away.  

Coming Up with the Idea

Upon finding this out about my husband I knew something had to be done with the tickets. I couldn’t have them lying around stuffed in our junk drawers! If these were meaningful to him, (and now me) they definitely didn’t deserve to sit in the drawers collecting dust. With all of this in mind, I was set out to come up with a solution! Meanwhile, it was getting close to Christmas and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make it into a gift for him.


Before coming up with the solution, I had to recognize a couple of things! First, he was still going to concerts. With that being the case, I had to think of a way – an EASY way for him to put his future concert tickets in the display (because let’s get real here if it wasn’t going to be easy for him he was going to continue to place his tickets in the junk drawer). Second, the fact that we had a Christmas budget meant it needed to be under $20! Third, it had to be something he liked. Meaning simple yet unique!

Checking Off the Criteria

Considering all the criteria and after a lot of thought and research I came up with a simple, yet classy way to display his tickets.

Photo from Hobby Lobby

I found out that Hobby Lobby sells shadow boxes that have slots at the top. Here is the one I bought. Here is a bigger shadow box I was able to find on Amazon.

This shadow box checked off the first criteria: EASY! The slot at the top of the shadow box allows my husband to easily place his tickets in by simply dropping the ticket in the slot. He doesn’t have to take apart the frame to get the job done! Now that I found that it checked off the easy criterion, I had to put it to the budget test! It was priced at $19.99 and I used Hobby Lobby’s amazing 40% off coupon which brought it down to around $12! I was well under the budget! Lastly, it was unique and simple. I chose to go with the black frame!

End Result

Overall, I was happy with my purchase! Once I got home I simply gathered all his concert tickets and put them inside the shadow box.

We have since then added to it! We put our brochures from our travels inside. Eventually, we will have to sort through our ephemera and organize it, which means I’ll have the challenge of coming up with more ideas of how to display our ephemera!

vintage books paper

Photo by Markus Clemens on Unsplash

Do you have ephemera with a sentimental value around your house? Often times these printed papers are stuffed in boxes or journals and are very difficult to throw away. It’s ok if you don’t want to throw it away! Instead, make a display to show off what is meaningful to you! If you’re looking for other ideas to help you display your ephemera in a unique way read Top 10 Creative Ways to Display Your Ephemera

How do you display your ephemera? Comment below and share with us!