The Vault history blog over at Slate has an article about sweetheart pincushions made by British soldiers during World War I.
Yep, English fighting men took a break from inhaling mud in the trenches to make needlepoint mementos to send to their girls back home. The tradition started back in the 19th century at the suggestion of Queen Victoria, who thought the handicrafts would provide a welcome distraction for the troops.
Many of the projects used pre-printed panels that showcased their regiments. Check out the article for more examples and, before you laugh at the guys who made them, realize that their handiwork is getting shown in museums while the high Xbox scores getting racked up by today’s troops in Afghanistan will just be vanish into the ether once everyone comes back home.