What would you do with all these pins?

Traveling for the last two years with the family is starting to catch up to us.

Every place we go to has a very special memory. Like my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon (wow!), following the steps of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk (inspiring) and dancing in the Mediterranean with Sponge Bob (surreal).

To preserve these memories — and save space when packing — I don’t buy T-shirts, hats or shot glasses. I go for the lapel pins.

But now I have too many. Too many for a lanyard, fishing hat or vest. Way too many for a shirt. What’s a mom to do?

No, I won’t get rid of any. Most of my pins are closely tied to a precious memory.

In Tuscany, we stayed at the old stables of the Medici family and made pasta with the kids – a highlight on our Disney Adventure in Italy. The whole trip was amazing, but you can’t top the Italian countryside.

I sure hope the folks at Hertz were okay with us taking our rental on the ferry to Put-In-Bay on a trip to Ohio. Even after riding the Millennium coaster at nearby Cedar Point the highpoint of the trip came when we visited Perry’s Victory and the International Peace Monument. It’s one of my all-time favorite National Parks.

I had to throw in the old-fashioned buttons found only in Andes, NY, a place where I learned how to be a country girl. A place the kids have learned all sorts of life lessons. This year my oldest son’s frog won the July 4th frog jumping competition at the old Mill.

We stood at the sight of the Boston Massacre, looked down to the crystal blue waters from the caldera at Crater Lake, found bears in our backyard in Tennessee, caught snowflakes on our tongues in Lake Tahoe and wandered the squares of Savannah.

And I have the pins to prove it.

But if we keep going, I’m going to need a better way to display my pins. Or maybe my memories will have to be enough.

What do you do to help you remember your trips? And should we keep collecting pins, or is it time for a new hobby?

Should we keep collecting pins?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Kari Haugeto

Kari is a serial entrepreneur with an education addiction and a profound curiosity that, more often then not, fuels some pretty incredible adventures. Currently her attention is focused on social and digital media technology and she is developing a project with her family of five and a variety of sponsors to share their cross-country adventures online in an interactive, socially responsible, educational and authentic manner.


  • http://www.facebook.com/haugeto Kari Astrid Haugeto

    Probably should have mentioned that we have hundreds of pins going back as far as Aren’s first trip ten years ago.

  • Nikki

    Every trip and pin is a different memory and from five unique perspectives… how about a corkboard you can place in a common room of the house? I’d keep the pin backings in a little container… and let the pins place themselves. (Proverbially speaking.) One pin can lead to another (like, the Route 66 pin, and then the towns and/or other stops you all made right after that…) – - you’ll find your own way around all that pinning. :D

    • http://www.facebook.com/haugeto Kari Astrid Haugeto

      I like it Nikki! Originally we were going to make boards for each trip, but we had way too many pins.

  • Wendy

    Take a small chunk of wall, and cover with batting and fabric., maybe frame it out with decorative moldings. Make that your spot for pinning memories. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/haugeto Kari Astrid Haugeto

      Wendy, you sound super artistic. Thank you.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Do I get a vote? OK, I’ll vote anyway. Keep the pins, but please find a place for them. They are cluttering up the kitchen. I spent all morning cleaning up after last night’s 2012 Mayan Apokalypse-themed party, and I almost threw some of the pins away. Accidentally. But I didn’t.

    PS — The Mayans were wrong. I’m still here.

  • cowboyinbrla

    If you have a big enough wall, I suggest combining some of these ideas – put up a couple of layers of cork board, and cover with the biggest map of the country you can find. Put the pins in the map as close to where you got them as possible – while you can still remember where most of them came from.

    If you don’t want them all on display – get sheets of chipboard (like the kind of backing on writing tablets, but white) and store them in there – writing next to each one when and where you got it, again so you have the memory. Three-hole punch the pages and put them in binders – by region, by trip, or however you’d like to group them.

    What you want to avoid is having them pile up to the point that, five or ten years from now, you can’t remember where you got it, or when.

  • Lauren

    My friend has covered the back of her couch with them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haugeto Kari Astrid Haugeto

      That is cool!

  • REDdy4Living

    I would buy (or make, if you are handy with woodworking) shadow boxes & cover the back in a piece of velvet. You can choose various colors that coordinate with each other to make each one different. Each box can then house many pins and you can arrange the boxes in patterns on one or several walls. They can all be displayed in one room or you can sort them by memories that are child-specific and display those in their rooms. I collect spoons from my travels and have more than 350. I use eight racks of various sizes to display them across one dining room wall. Every so often, I change the pattern in which they are set up to give the room a quick and easy lift.