Even the most intricate scrapbooks or detailed photo albums have one shared flaw: They’re hiding all your favorite photos from view. And if you’re looking to display some of those gorgeous shots in plain sight – but without boring frames – then these five craft ideas can help. Turn your must-see shots into puzzles, décor, artwork, and more – and enjoy looking at them every day (without pulling out the albums).
Keep your favorite images front and center – and under your drinks – by attaching prints to simple, inexpensive blank ceramic tiles (check your local hardware store for these). Trim your images to size and then affix one to each tile and cover it with resin so that the condensation doesn’t ruin the photograph. For higher contrast, layer black and white images over brightly colored paper; give the finished product as a gift to happy relatives (or keep them for your own living room).
Votive Candles (Inspired Ideas)
The minds at Dwell pointed us toward this tutorial from Inspired Ideas for a primer on attaching photos to glass votive holders. They suggest starting with black and white images, which makes this a great project for showing off those vintage photos you found in your grandparents’ basement. Attach the photos to glass using transparent contact paper for a simple project that makes a statement.
If you want to show off larger images that won’t fit on a tile, candle, or other small project, try this lampshade project from Better Homes and Gardens: Use the images to decorate a lampshade. Choose baby photos of you and your partner for a lampshade in the nursery, collage old family photos in a living room, or use photos from your husband’s fraternity days to brighten up his man cave.
The striking part of this project from Martha Stewart comes not just from the images but from their placement: Using them to create a single letter. All you’ll need is a letter traced onto a plain piece of paper and enough photos to create a collage within it. Make one with images of your favorite pet; fill up your child’s first initial as a Father’s Day gift; or make one with the first initial of your last name (and then make copies for all your relatives).
You could display the finished set of these photo blocks on a table or shelf in your living room – but this is a practical project, too: Enlarge images of your family members and attach them to blocks to create a puzzle game for young kids (or use smaller images for a memory matching game, instead). Your kids will boost their brainpower while putting together puzzles of their friends’ and family’s faces, and you can look at some of your favorite photos while you’re helping.
Chalk paint — no priming, no sanding and, though slightly more expensive, a great painting alternative. HowStuffWorks looks at this DIY superstar.
- “Making Memory Candles.” Inspired Ideas. (January 6, 2013) http://www.inspiredideasmag.blogspot.com/2008/05/making-memory-candles-project-from.html
- “Easy Crafts with Photos.” Better Homes and Gardens. (January 6, 2013) http://www.bhg.com/decorating/do-it-yourself/fabric-paper-projects/easy-crafts-with-photos/#page=5
- “Letter Photo Mat.” Martha Stewart. (January 6, 2013) http://www.marthastewart.com/348356/letter-photo-mat
- “Cool Photo Crafts.” Parents. (January 6, 2013) http://www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/photography/photo-crafts/