Twenty years ago we started this "nature" or "natural" collection of things and over the years we have collected things like: duck feathers, bird feathers, pine cones, acorns, dried flower petals, sea shells, small river rocks, small pieces of drift wood, etc. If the item has a hard surface like a seashell or river rock, we will take a Sharpie marker and write the date onto it along with where we found it.
We place all of these "nature items" in what we call our "Family Beach Nature Bowl" which is an old pasta jar with wooden lid. It's quite large and at one time, it held 1 gallon of dried pasta noodles. We simply washed it out and decorated the bowl with some dried raffia to keep with our "nature" theme.
Two years ago my hubby found a dollar bill on the beach in New Jersey and he added the dollar bill into the bowl too...although, I have been trying to remove it since it's not a natural thing, he insists that it stay within the bowl! LOL
My photo of our Family Nature Bowl looks small, but trust me, it's a very large old glass pasta container. It's a great little "family craft project" that won't cost you a dime since you are recycling an old glass container and filling it up with mementos that you find out in nature.
We add small items to our collection every year and it's always fun to sit & talk about the things we have already collected and the new things that we are adding to it. We keep ours sitting on our fireplace mantle most of the year and then during the holidays we move it onto a side table, so that our mantle can be dressed up for the Christmas holiday.
If you love to travel and/or spend a lot of time outdoors (hiking, camping, walking the beach, etc.) then this is one easy and frugal home decor craft project that you can start right away and build upon it over the years. Enjoy!