I think I’ve mentioned it briefly before (like, a while ago), but I’ve had this little “art” project going for several years now. It’s always a great topic of conversation with friends who visit our apartment, and after telling some girlfriends about it earlier this week, I realized I should do a proper DIY share! Let’s be honest though — while I’m filing this one under DIY, if you have a glue stick or even tape, you can do this. Most of the time it takes to complete this project is spent dining out, and I don’t know anyone who would argue with THAT kind of crafting.
Several years ago, I was looking through a big collection of business cards I had stockpiled and pulled out all the ones that were keepsakes from various restaurants. I realized I liked looking at them — after all, I’d taken each one with me for a reason! — because they reminded me of good times, memorable meals, meaningful conversations, or a certain period of my life. I left them out on my desk for a while, then wanted a better way to preserve them.
So I made a quick trip to a local frame store, got an inexpensive black mat board and frame, then got to work with a glue stick. That’s pretty much the extent of this DIY (anyone can do it, seriously!). What started out as a basic craft project has become a treasured item in our home, even though it’s so simple. Joe and I will visit a restaurant or place a few times and literally discuss if it makes the board. Sometimes, I’ll uncover an old business card hidden away in a book or a drawer, and will want to add it. It’s so fun to remember meals and places you hadn’t thought about in a while — what every good scrapbook should do, in my opinion. I have a card from a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro circa 2005 that re-surfaces every few years during a cleaning spree — one of these days, I’ll find it and glue it in place!
Sooner or later, this frame will fill up and I’ll start another one. I love this way of preserving our memories and happy times! Beyond keeping track of restaurants and events and special moments, this could also be a good way to display actual business card design you really love. I’ve definitely come across some cool ones over the years.
My favorite cards currently on the board? While it’s very hard to pick a favorite, the top left one is from a restaurant that no longer exists in SF. I visited the city and wine country in the early 2000s for a long weekend, and my uncle took me to this little Italian joint. That first night in SF left the deepest impression on me, and I always knew I would eventually live there. I also love the huge business card from Bottega in Napa, which we’ve dined at a few times. But this card, specifically, was picked up the night Joe and I got engaged. Finally, I have a special place in my heart for the Foreign Cinema business card, because of the brunches I used to have there with some girlfriends in SF, and the time in my life it represents. That’s a good one.
Let me know if you give this little project a try! Do you have a restaurant, place, or memory you’d want to preserve on yours?
Images by Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese