19 DIY or Personalized Keepsake Ideas for Grandchildren

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The best grandparents have a tremendously deep bond with their grandchildren. Getting older is a natural part of being a grandparent, and as elders look upon future generations, it’s also natural for them to consider what happens when they pass on. Many grandparents ensure their memory lives on by giving their grandchildren keepsake gifts.

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Keepsake gifts come in many forms. The type of gift you choose for your grandchild should have personal significance. However, good keepsake gifts for grandchildren all have one quality in common: they remind your grandkids of you, bringing back happy memories.

If you want to give a keepsake to your grandchild but you’re not sure what to give, keep reading. This guide offers plenty of ideas for grandchild keepsake gifts. One of them may be perfect for your grandkid.

Tip: If someone in your grandchild's life has passed away—like a parent, another grandparent, or even a pet—you could give them the touching keepsake of a cremation diamond from Eterneva or cremation stones from Parting Stone. This can be a keepsake that helps your grandchild come to terms with and understand death, or it could be something they treasure and appreciate more as they grow older.  

DIY Keepsakes for Your Grandchildren

Do you have decent arts and crafts skills? You can use them to create a keepsake gift that’s sure to be particularly meaningful to your grandchild. Here are a few ideas:

1. Storybook

Are you a creative writer or artist? If you have the skills, you can make a very unique keepsake for your grandchild in the form of a small storybook featuring short stories and illustrations of experiences you’ve had together.

2. Vacation memory jar

This is a DIY keepsake for a grandchild you might consider if you and your grandchild have happy memories strolling on a beach together. It’s also easy to make.

All you need is a blue-tinted Mason jar, some sand, and a few small seashells. Fill the jar a third of the way up with sand, place the seashells on top of the sand, and you have a DIY keepsake that will immediately remind your grandchild of a happy beach vacation you shared any time they look at it.

3. Memory vase

You may need some technical skills to create this DIY keepsake, but the process isn’t very complicated, and you might know someone who can help with any steps you find challenging.

Start by cutting a PVC pipe to about the length of a vase, then glue a pipe cap to one end. Paint the pipe any color you choose. As it dries, print out a few photos of you and your grandchild on printer sticker paper. Apply them to the pipe after the paint has dried.

The result? A DIY vase that celebrates your special bond with a grandchild.

4. Memory box

A memory box is an ideal keepsake gift for a grandchild because the box itself will remind them of you, while also giving them a place to store additional keepsakes, photos, and more.

Making a memory box can be as easy or intricate as you like. There are seemingly countless ways to put one together, so Google “DIY memory box tutorial” to find a project you think you can handle.

5. Picture ornament

A picture ornament is one of the easiest DIY keepsake gifts to make for a grandchild.

There are a few ways to approach this project. If you want to keep it as simple as possible, you can buy a generic clear ornament and prop up a photo inside of it. Or, you could affix a picture to silver glitter cardstock (or any other type of cardstock you prefer) and use a hole punch to make two holes at the top for a string of ribbon.

6. Framed picture or keepsake

Sometimes preserving a memory is as simple as putting it in a frame and hanging it on your wall. A framed picture of you and your grandchild is certainly a thoughtful keepsake that’s easy to put together yourself.

However, you might want to put a unique twist on this idea. Instead of framing a picture, you could frame some sort of written message that has a special meaning to you and your grandchild.

For example, maybe you write letters to each other sometimes. You could frame one of those letters. Or, maybe you’ve helped a grandchild learn to cook. If so, you might frame a special family recipe. Even tickets to a show or trip you took together might spark the memories.

Those are just a few ideas. Get creative! Essentially, if it’s flat, you can frame it!

7. Message in a bottle

This is one more DIY idea to remember if your arts and crafts skills are limited, but you still want to give your grandchild a keepsake gift you made yourself.

Write down a message (or use a letter you already have) on a high-quality piece of paper, roll it up, and insert it into an empty wine bottle. Recork the bottle, and you’re all set.

The message you place in the bottle can be anything you want it to be. However, you might want to choose a message that’s inspirational and motivational. If you do, your grandchild could place this keepsake gift on their desk, knowing they can always uncork the bottle and read the message whenever they need some encouragement from a loving grandparent.

ยป MORE: Loss is hard. Get help with a post-death planning checklist.


Personalized or Engraved Keepsakes for Your Grandchildren

A keepsake gift for a grandchild is very personal in nature. That’s why so many keepsake gifts feature personalized engravings. These are just a few examples of such gifts:

8. Pocket watch

An engraved pocket watch is a classic keepsake gift. It serves a practical purpose, while also reminding grandchildren of the person who gave it to them. A pocket watch can also go on to become a family heirloom.

9. Compass

A personalized or engraved compass is another popular gift for a grandchild. This is partially due to the symbolic nature of a compass.

A compass doesn’t merely need to be a navigation tool. With an engraving of an inspirational message, such as “Go in the direction of your dreams,” a compass becomes a source of constant inspiration.

10. Paperweight

Many keepsake gifts come in the form of glass or clear acrylic blocks with engraved personal messages. This type of keepsake might serve as a paperweight, ensuring a grandchild always has a reminder of you with them at their desk.

11. Snow globe

Does your grandchild love winter weather? If so, consider giving them a personalized snow globe. Many companies offer snow globes with blank spaces on the front of the base for your personal message.

12. Keepsake jewelry

Keepsake jewelry comes in many forms. For example, a piece of keepsake jewelry can be a simple necklace with a pendant featuring an engraved message, or it can even consist of a necklace pendant that functions as a small urn for ashes.

This is another instance when you may want to use Google to find exactly what you’re looking for. Many companies and artists offer various types of keepsake jewelry. With a little searching, you’ll come across the perfect gift.

13. Handheld mirror

Remind a grandchild they’re always beautiful (while also reminding them of you) with an engraved handheld mirror! Numerous suppliers offer handheld mirrors onto which they’ll engrave personalized messages.

Tip: Consider looking up quotes about beauty if you’re trying to think of engravings ideas.

14. Pocket token

You may want your grandchild’s keepsake gift to be something they can keep with them at all times. If so, consider giving them a pocket token.

A pocket token can come in various shapes in sizes, but in general, it’s a small metal object with a flat surface with an engraved message. Its shape may be a heart, circle, or even a religious icon shape, such as a cross or Star of David.

15. Personalized puzzle

If you and your grandchild ever spend time together working on jigsaw puzzles, you can keep the tradition alive with a jigsaw puzzle of a picture with the two of you together. As with many of these gifts, a quick Google search reveals a wide range of companies that will create personalized jigsaw puzzles from your photos. Every time your grandchild works on the puzzle, they’ll be sure to think of you.

16. Pocket knife

Sometimes grandparents help their grandchildren learn how to thrive in the great outdoors with the use of tools like pocket knives. If you have this type of relationship with a grandchild, an engraved pocket knife may be the ideal keepsake gift.

17. Windchime

Do you want your grandchild to remember you every time the wind blows? They certainly will if you give them a personalized wind chime. This keepsake gift is simply a typical wind chime with a personalized token hanging from a thread between the chimes.

18. Personalized pen

A personalized pen is yet another classic keepsake gift idea. Along with reminding your grandchild of you, because we tend to associate a high-quality pen with professionalism and achievement, this gift will let them know you consider them to be mature and intelligent.

19. Jewelry box

This gift will also tell a grandchild you see them growing into a real adult. While a personalized jewelry box can be a DIY gift if you have the skills to make one, you can always order one online if not.

Keepsake Gifts for Grandchildren: Keeping Memories Alive

We may not always get to be with our grandchildren and other loved ones. However, with the right keepsake gift, such as those listed here, we can always keep them in our hearts, and vice versa.

Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, finding ways to memorialize them won't be the only thing you have to consider. Handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

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