Ten crafty ideas to utilize your printed photographs
You have hundreds of photographs of your memorable vacations, beautiful family and friends, and meaningful moments from your life. You also have stacks of photo albums and walls lined with framed faces and places. Possibly, your computer's hard drive is full of photos you rarely see because you haven't taken the time to print them. You don't want to resort to refiling them again in photo boxes, so what are you going to do with all these great photographs? Maybe it's time to move that energy to a new creative outlet of documentary craft. Here are ten new ways to display your photos.
Here are two beautiful projects that could also make great DIY wedding and anniversary gifts. First is a photo collage lamp shade utilizing Picasa
or your own digital or paper photo collage skills, wrapping an array of photos around any traditional lamp shade shape. You just apply your photo collage to your lamp shade using either tape, glue or spray adhesive. This photo collage may be one you create with existing prints, gluing each individual one down, or it may be a printed sheet of your carefully designed layout of images. Once the images are in place, wrap a clear or colored sheet of vellum around the lamp shade to protect your photos and seal the look. Be sure to use a fluorescent, heat-free bulb.
The second is a quick sewing project, creating a kitschy photo frame from various pieces such as a vintage towel, lace or doily trim, handkerchiefs, and scrap materials. You just layer your materials in a squared framing structure, stitch around the pieces and then hang with a wooden skirt hanger.
Make your photo come to life by adding it to a shadowbox or diorama. You could build a themed keepsake shadowbox, including related pieces like baby shoes and toys, along with (for example) a baby picture. Or you could create a surreal story mixing a photo or two, along with random found objects and craft materials, creating a stage for the imagination to build from. Maybe you want to bring an old beach vacation back to life, like in the shadowbox pictured to the left. Purchase the shadowbox frame from your local crafting supply store. To construct your interior, you may have to use several methods for securing your pieces. Photos and backdrop fabrics will stay in place with glue and spray adhesive, but 3-D objects will need a strong bonding glue, stitching methods, or screws.
Fridge magnets are a quick and cheap way to knock out a stack of photos, especially those you don't mind cutting up. You can buy magnetic sheets and create square or shaped flat magnetic photos. Or you can make marble magnets. You'll need clear flat glass marbles, round magnets in a similar size and silicon glue.
Here's a new way to play with your craft or scrapbooking papers. If you're expecting a new baby in your house, or just want to fill a corner in your own room, you can bring color and movement to your photos with this paper mobile project. The tutorial provides a step-by-step photo gallery and the printable template as well. To hang your paper photo globes, purchase a cheap metal mobile from a craft supply store.
Better Homes and Gardens provides several online galleries and articles filled with photo projects. Here are three to check out:
-- Firstly, we have a photo block collage you can rotate and change on a daily basis. You'll need to purchase twenty cubed blocks of wood. To create the puzzle effect, draw out a squared template grid on the back of your larger photos.
-- Second, we have your favorite pet or loved one transferred onto a soft handmade pillow to cuddle with. Purchase transfer paper and follow the instructions to transfer your image to your fabric. Sew up the sides and stuff with polyfill and stitch up the rest.
-- Lastly, we have candles adorned with transparent photos. Print your photos on tissue paper, pin in place onto your candles, then use a heat gun to adhere and transfer the image to the wax candle.
Instructions can be found here.
Have a little fun and make a game out of your old embarrassing photos. Pull out your old basketball team shot, or your middle school class portraits. The trick is you need doubles for both game boards. If you have an old Guess Who game, you're in luck. If not, try dominos or other block shaped pieces to adhere the photos to. The fun part will be playing the process of elimination with an old friend.
Try this super easy 3-D photo collage if you have a collection of unused clear glass cylinder vases or Mason jars. If not, you can probably pick up some for practically nothing at a thrift shop. Glass candle canisters work well also. No glue or tape is necessary. Just roll your photo a little so it can shape itself to the round interior of the jar.