Taking care to memorialize the special moments in your life is a sacred assignment, but just as important is making the photographs stand out rather than confining them to a drawer or an album where they will be viewed from time to time rather than daily.
How can you make sure this doesn’t happen? By borrowing any or all of the clever ideas we’ve found to turn your photos into decorative touches that brighten up every corner of your home and your life. Choose the one(s) that appeal to you most, but if you decide to borrow all of them, we want you to know that we’re flattered!
1. Table magic
Got a glue gun and lots of vintage photos that have been begging to see the light of day? Celebrate a special occasion by splashing the photos across your dining room table to make a dramatic runner. Mount the collection onto sturdy backing once the dinner party is history and have your collage framed. You’ll fill an entire wall with memories that last a lifetime!
2. Shelf surprises
You know all of that space at the back of the shelves gracing your bookshelves? It’s kinda boring, right? It won’t be if you fill those areas with mounted photographs like the arrangement created by Elise and Emma is nothing short of inspiring.
3. Circles of life
You’re welcome to adapt the idea dreamed up by Singaporean graphic artist Claire, but you don’t have to use photos of buildings to achieve project perfection. Instead, trim photos of family members and wrap them in circles using tape to secure them. The bigger the photo, the more dramatic your finished product, once you install a small tea light within your photo circles.
4. Tiles with personality
Angelika Temple uses photos to custom-make tiles (that morph into collectible drink coasters) by properly trimming and mounting photographs on blank white tiles culled from your favorite home building store. Make sure you spray surfaces with lacquer if you want to protect your tiles from heat and water stains.
5. Serve some love
Have you collected plates while antiquing just because you love the rims? Rejoice. This idea makes use of them. Mount photos on plate surfaces to create one-of-a-kind framed decor. Use an adhesive/glue that works for ceramics and paper and expect compliments!
6. What a surprise
Amass photos of someone you love and turn them into a spectacular circle of life to make a gift that can’t be duplicated: a floral photo hoop. This clever idea would work as brilliantly for a baby shower as it does for a wedding, just as long as you get your hands on childhood photos of mom and dad. Guess what will wind up displayed over Junior’s crib?
7. Photos that hang around
Need a large statement for a blank wall but can’t afford expensive, oversized framed art that can bust your budget? No worries. Make this modern masterpiece of photos, yarn and card stock that’s reminiscent of a mobile and expect to stop your visitors in their tracks when they see how talented you are.
8. By the letter
Crafter Kenzie Mastroe knows a thing or two about the clever use of photographs and demonstrates her expertise on the eHow.com site by covering letters with snippets of photos that are undeniably cute. She made just one letter, but if you’re ambitious, you can splash the entire name of a loved one across a wall or table.
9. Light up Grandma’s life
It’s a simple lampshade that turns into a parade of loveable faces when your grandmother, mom or dad turn on the light. Supplies needed to make this treasure are relatively inexpensive, but plan to spend some time crafting this limited edition because the finished product is extremely worth your effort!
10. No holiday required
KariAnn’s photo wreath looks hard to make, but it’s not. Use a simple grapevine wreath for structure, burlap, mini-frames and wire to craft this project–or try this easy-to-make graduation wreath for your favorite scholar to celebrate his huge accomplishment.
11. A Jar Filled with Family
Because she was running out of room to display her family photos, craftista Yvonne carefully folded and shaped her pictures into cubes and then filled a lidded glass vessel with them. You’ll need patience and Yvonne’s cube construction instruction to put serious wow into your home décor once you’ve finished this impressive project.
12. Girls just want to have lights
Project Inspired’s Nicole Weider knows a thing or two about how to make the most petulant teen girl happy: employ strings of holiday lights, clothespins and photos of friends and family to mount a lively, sparkling, wall-to-wall display. As time passes, photos of new buds can be added or replaced so that beautifully lit wall is always filled with images of BFFs.
13. Wall-to-wall friends
Ali may be dedicated to finding and posting mouth-watering recipes, but when it comes to posting images of her Instagram friends, nobody out-does her. Ali made a museum-worthy photo display that includes her nearest and dearest Instagram besties that nearly reaches the ceiling. How much room do you have to recreate her spectacular idea?
14. Everything old is new again
Do you have boxes of slides languishing in the attic, but you can’t bear to throw them out? You don’t have to if you use Laura’s ideas for turning slides into decorative accessories that are both practical and artsy. Not every idea may appeal to you, but one may be exactly what you’re looking for!