As surreal as it sounds for me to say it, my baby will soon be turning 16. She’s been talking about it for an entire year and it’s given me some time to think about making something special for her that celebrates her 16 amazing years. For those of you with teenage children (or older), I don’t have to tell you that the entire process of family photographs has changed dramatically over the years. The thought of digging through my old negatives to get prints made for any kind of photo project made my head spin. But flipping through old photo albums seems both easy and enjoyable. So, why not make it easy and enjoyable? Instead of worrying about getting prints made, I chose the most simple method of copying a print I could think of: taking a picture of the picture. And then, just as easy, I printed that picture using the mobile printing app and my HP Envy printer. Done and done.
I thought of a few different ways I could incorporate these photos of my daughter in her birthday celebration but I wanted it to be something that felt celebratory. What could be more celebratory and festive than a photo garland? So, with a few simple craft moves, I took my favorite shots and created a personalize birthday decoration for my daughter’s “Sweet 16.” It’s a work in progress as I still have a few months but getting a head start feels great and now, I’ve got an awesome photo craft under my belt that I can use for a lot of occasions. I can see it now: a photo garland for every occasion!
Here’s how it all happened (and how you can do it too!):
DIY Photo Garland 1 of 11
Excavate the archives 2 of 11
Browse your archives and choose the images you'll want to use in your garland.
Capture the moments 3 of 11
Taking pictures of your old pictures is one of the easiest ways to then print them out. This saves the time and effort of finding either negatives or digital files and making copies of them. This is a especially important if you want to preserve your original photographs and use the copies for a craft like this. Once you take the photos of the photos you can crop out any of the unwanted backgrounds on your phone before you print them out.
Make prints 4 of 11
Although these are pictures of pictures, the quality is perfect for a craft like this. Even when the color isn't true to the orginal, the process offers a nostalic feel to the final print. It adds to the nostalgic feel of the garland.
Stock up 5 of 11
Depending on the look and feel you're after, choose card stock to match or compliment your images. Trim down the card stock to 5X7 size pieces.
Spruce it up 6 of 11
If you want to spruce up the photos and/or card stock, you can use a paper punch or crafting scissors.
Time to match up 7 of 11
Mount your images (centered) onto your card stock using photo adhesive, rubber cement or double sided tape.
Attach a straw 8 of 11
Trim plastic straws to the with of your card stock (4 3/4 inches) and adhere them to the back of your card stock close to the top. I used rubber cement but hot glue in moderation would work.
Thread it 9 of 11
Depending on the width of your straw and the thickness of your string of choice, you'll need to figure out the best way to thread your straws. I used a thinner straw as a needle to thread this fine thread through my straws.
Line things up 10 of 11
It's easiest to line up all the pictures on a flat surface and thread them together. I flipped mine upside down and went from one side to the next. Please note: If you want your pictures to be strung in chronological order and you're threading them picture side down (straw side up) be sure your first picture is on your far right and thread chronologically from the right to left. That way, when you lift up the garland and turn it around to hang, the first photos will read from left to right. Voila!
Hang it up 11 of 11
Hang up your garland against a wall, in a doorway or stretched across a corner of a room. When you're done celebrating, these garlands are easy to store and you can add new (or old) pictures anytime. My daughter has asked me to save this one for her graduation party. Sniff Sniff.
For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at traceyclark.com.
For the story about how she and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.
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