I must admit, when I go on vacation, I tend to pick up a bunch of junk and instead of chucking it out before heading home, I find a special place in my suitcase to store my newly acquired items.

The thing that makes no sense? I go through all of this trouble to save pictures, souveniers and items I had found on the beach, only to leave them in whatever bag they came home in and stuff them into a corner of my closet…. never to be seen again.

So what CAN you do with the stuff you got on spring break?

You don’t want to simply place a bag of shells on your desk and those little trinkets you bought in the souvenir shop aren’t going to appreciate themselves, so we’ve got a few ideas to help you get the most out of all the crap you brought home!

1. Spring break Pictures

You no doubt took hundreds of pictures while on spring break; some are appropriate, some are better left deleted or stored in a box somewhere your parents will never look.

Either way, you need to do something with all those pictures! Collages are cool and you could definitely make a great one, but you’re in college—you can do better.

How about a digital movie of your vacation?

Upload your awesome vacation pictures into a movie-making program on your computer (or an online version) and get to work! Simply add music, some words and special effects to create a lasting memory of your vacation that you can share with family and friends.

Make it a calendar

Take your best 12 photos to CVS or another personalized store and have them make your memories into an awesome calendar that you can have for yourself or give as a Christmas or birthday gift to a fellow spring-breaker.

Shell Frame


2. Shells and beach stuff

If you like to collect beach stuff like I do, you probably have a nice smelly bag of shells and other beach memorabilia in your suitcase or closet rotting away as I type.

Your roommates are threatening to throw your bag of beach goodies away, so you need to find a way to use them ASAP.

Display jar, martini glass or vase

Find a way to display your treasures without grossing anyone out. Make sure to wash all of your beach findings so they don’t stink up the room and then find a way to display them properly.

Grab a novelty martini glass and fill it with your shells; use a jar that is intended for candles or flowers (you can even add both to the mix) or simply pick up an empty vase and fill it with your goods.

Decorate a box, frame or random item

Want a way to knock off those pictures AND the shells? Pick up a wide picture frame and some glue and you’ve got yourself a project!

I once went on vacation with an old boyfriend and for Christmas, one of the gifts I gave him was a picture of us from vacation with the frame decorated with all the shells we had collected together while on the beach. Sure, it was a little corny, but it gave me a way to use the shells AND capture our memories.

The same goes for a box or mirror or something you can use to glue the shells to. Every time you look at it, you will be reminded of your awesome vacation and all of the cool things you found on the beach!

Shadow Box


3. Random souvenirs

Now, what to do with those trinkets, magnets, t-shirts, shot glasses, alligator heads or whatever garbage you picked up in the souvenir shop.

While you could line your desk with them, this is only going to create clutter for your dorm room and attract a lot of dust. You need a way to display everything at once so all of your items can be fully appreciated.

Shadow box display

This is an awesome option where you can cram ALL of the aforementioned items into one place. Grab your pictures, t-shirt, shot glasses and all of that other stuff and get to work.

You can use the back of the shadow box to pin up pictures and t-shirts and use the space at the bottom to display your other small items. Some of the bigger shadow box frames come with mini “shelves,” AKA pieces of wood sticking out, for you to place a shot glass or some other item that needs to stand up straight.

Get creative and find the best way to use all of your spring break memorabilia so you don’t end up wasting your money or throwing all of your stuff out.

You want to keep your memories from spring break, not store them in a closet or garbage can somewhere, so make the most of your trip and get to work!

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