Keep of piece of your family history close at hand by creating a paperweight that showcases an excerpt from the United States Federal Census. Copies of original, handwritten census pages from 1940 and earlier are available online, usually free of charge.
I used Ancestry.com as the source for my family's census information. From Ancestry's main page, click Search from the top navigation menu and select Census & Voter Lists. From there, enter as much information as possible about the family member you're looking for. Once you perform your search, a list of possible matches will appear. Underneath the title of the document for your ancestor, click the "View Image" link to view a copy of the report.
Ancestry.com has built-in printing options that will allow you to print the entire document or zoom in. I used the zoom feature and printed the report in landscape mode, along the length of the paper. Although I printed onto white paper, you can print your report on paper with a slight color or an aged look to it to add warmth and interest.
In addition to creating a paperweight that reflects your family's history, you can also have fun searching for your favorite celebrities and notable figures of the era.
I hope this project helps you learn a little more about your family tree while being able to create a valued memento for you desk or a thoughtful gift for someone you know.