Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How To Make Really Cute Christmas Photo Ornaments

Haven’t I been dumping some really heavy, boring stuff on you lately?  After all, it’s the Christmas season!  Lighten up, you must be saying! 

Here’s my apology:
I am going to teach you how to make these sweet little ornaments that I came up with out of pure desperation last year. 
See, I have sent a photo Christmas card every year I’ve been married…(except the first year because we were dirt poor and still puking my guts out with my first pregnancy.)  I always displayed these photos in frames…but last year I decided that it looked ridiculous…too many frames (16!) and where to set them all?  I didn’t have a table big enough!
At the same time, I was also desperate to find something original AND durable (picture boys sliding down full blast) to decorate my stairway bannister.
Somehow (don’t ask me how!) those two little thoughts collided in my tired brain and I came up with this:068 069
046 047 048 064 066Every year’s photo is on one side of this little plaque, and the other side has the year in order (1-17)  and the date (1993-2009).
I’m proud of myself…I love it!  Everyone comments on them when they walk in the door, and the kids can all see how much they’ve grown, and I can see how are family has grown from just the 2 of us to all 7 over all these years.  Lovely! 
And here’s the coolest thing:  They are VERY inexpensive and easy to make. 
So here’s what you need:
1. Scrapbook paper (NOT the really thick kind) and plain card stock in co-ordinating colors.
031  2. These little thin wooden boards that you can find at Michaels or Hobby Lobby....99 cents!033 3. Decoupage stuff and a wide sponge brush. I like the matte kind..(not gloss like the photo shows)...matte or satin finish hides imperfections better.0344. A whole puncher and some kind of stencil and cutting tool to cut circles. (an Exacto knife works too if you have a steady hand!) I bought this kit at Michaels.0325.  Ribbon to hang your ornament with. 067Step by Step Instructions:
1. Make copies or use your printer to print out whatever photos you have chosen.  If you know how, print them out at the exact size as the wooden plaques, 5 x 6.  I just printed mine out as 5x7’s and then cropped the 7” to a 6” because I’m not that computer literate.  I also just used plain old printer paper...nothing fancy!  I printed them all as black and whites to make them more uniform looking.  
2. While you are on the computer, you can make the numbers…I used white card stock and Bookman Old Style font at the 72 size for the middle number and 18 for the outer date.  You will cut these numbers into circles later so leave plenty of room between them on the paper.053 2. Take a drill and drill a hole in each wooden plaque so you can insert the ribbon.  Remember that some of your photos may be the long way (vertical) or the short way (horizontal)…so put that hole on the long side or the short side of the plaque!051 3. Next cut a piece of scrapbook paper for the wooden plaque and make sure it’s about 1” bigger on all sides.  Trace where the hole you drilled is on the paper and use a hole puncher to punch that paper.054 4.  Get out your Modge Podge and your brush.  If you’ve never decoupaged before, don’t worry…it’s so easy!  (I hadn’t either before I did this, believe it or not!)  Take your sponge brush and brush that piece of scrapbook paper on the plain white side all over with the Modge Podge.
5. Place the plaque carefully and centered on that sticky paper and then wrap it on the other side like a present.  Smooth out the wrinkles.058 6. Now take your photo (that is either the exact size of the plaque or a little smaller), and mark with a pencil where the hole should go…punch that out with the hole puncher.  Now use your sponge to coat the wrong side of that photo with the Modge Podge, and stick it on.
059 7. Now let’s do something cute with that number you printed out.  I made a few bigger circles to place behind it to add some color.  Use Modge Podge on the back of those circles…get them all stuck together and then stick them on the back of your wooden plaque.060 8.  Now you are going to coat each side (wait till one side dries till you do the other) with the Modge Podge and your sponge brush.  This gives a very sealed, shiny, protective coat.  061 9.  Look we didn’t even get to # 10 and we’re done!  Insert a ribbon through that hole and WALLAH!
040 These would be so cute on a tree or on a garland by the fireplace too.
And just so you know:  Mine are FAR from perfect.  Some look a little (or a lot!)  messy because I had to finish them in the 5 minutes I had before all heck broke loose.   They still look cute though and hanging all together no one notices (or tells me they notice!) the imperfections.  Mine are also VERY simple…I know you scrapbooking goddesss’s out there can kick my butt on this one as far as design goes!  
Have fun!

76 comments:

  1. I seriously think that is one of the cutest ideas I've ever seen!!! I'm so going to do that! After the holidays...when my brain is working again.

    Thanks Sarah! Love it!

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  2. So sweet!

    This is a project I'll actually finish, too...I only have 3 yrs to complete. :)

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  3. I love,love,love those. You are so clever. I love to do stuff like that but I am no good at coming up with ideas. Thanks for letting me "borrow" yours!

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  4. Just adorable...and I'm trying real hard not to squeeze the cute little guys wearing the red boots in your header! Too cute.

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  5. Really cute! I'll have to try this!

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  6. This might sound really bad. but now i need to find my old Christmas cards. Not my "mom of the year"moment. But, I do have all of their Santa pictures that are taking up way,way too much room. I am on it like glue. No pun intended! :) Fabulous idea.

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  7. Love this!What a cute idea. I have to make these.

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  8. Those are so cute! I do the same thing on my banister but I have been paying $29 a pop for the ornament frames and yours are so much cuter! Thanks for the great idea and for saving me a fortune!

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  9. LOVE these! you're so stinking crafy! i definitely have to do these for next year. definitely!

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  10. These look wonderful! I've only been married for 3 years = even less work! :P

    Seriously . . . I'm totally doing this.

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  11. Really cute Sarah! Thanks for a great idea...we too have sent out a photo Christmas card since we were married and I have the same stair case that you have...crazy! Not the fancy modeling on the outside of it, so perfect...going to work on this before Christmas this year...if I ever get all my crayon roll orders done...Etsy has been crazy!

    Thanks for the nice step by step...great job and hope you are enjoying the holidays!

    Off to get some kiddos up.

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  12. so cute Sarah! I love this idea. Too bad I haven't done anything consistently in my 20 years of marriage (like cute family photos.) I loved the post about your mom and sacrifice yesterday.

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  13. Pure. Genius.

    Except, of course, it would reveal to the world how many years I've slacked....whatev. Doing it anyway. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  14. What a wonderful tradition!!! I can't wait to start mine this year! I have some catching up to do because I'd like to start with the first Christmast we were married! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  15. I LOVE this idea! My husband and I sent out our first Christmas cards this year (this is our 2nd Christmas together as a married couple) and although I had decided never to do it again after all the work they were, this idea alone makes me want to continue doing it every year just so I can have a picture garland! Thanks for sharing your great idea!

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  16. Um, correction, I just realized that I erased a whole year of marriage - this is our 3RD Christmas together. Ha!

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  17. These are so cute. Seriously. They put mine to shame!! Gorgeous.

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  18. I love these - I am going to Michaels this weekend to get the stuff. Thanks for the awesome idea.

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  19. so clever! a few friends have asked me this year for ideas in this department...i'm so happy you thought of such a great one! i will definitely be trying it and passing it along! thanks!

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  20. I love this so much! I've put it into my files to do next year!

    Is it okay if I post about it on my blog & link back to you?

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  21. I love this idea! So cute, Sarah!

    ps. I got your card yesterday. What a big beautiful family you have. So glad I "met" you.

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  22. This is the best idea ever!! And I love that you used pictures printed on regular printer paper! How easy for all those pics from years past still trapped on my hard drive. Seriously, I think this is one of the best Christmas decoration how-to posts I've seen. Thank you for the tutorial!

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  23. i love this! i might try it....for next year. :)

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  24. Oh by the way, your house is straight out of Pottery Barn, even though you deny it. :)

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  25. And I mean that as a compliment.

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  26. Those are so cute! Sarah - you are amazing!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  27. I was like you with the frames only I had one frame and would rotate the pictures each year. I am excited to do all our years and the girls will love it too. Thanks for the great idea.

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  28. This is SO AWESOME! I am only in my first year of marriage, but I am definitely going to keep this in mind for a few years down the road. So creative, I love it! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. What a great idea! I love new ways of displaying Christmas memories!! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  30. love this! might do it next week when i am not overbooked!

    lovely!
    xo
    jody

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  31. These are great! I love how you have them hanging from your railing.

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  32. Super crafty! Thanks for the tip, but I should have been saving the Christmas photos all along. Sigh, as usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short!

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  33. I love this. Just love it. I am thinking of something similar to add to the felt birthday banner I have for my kids. Maybe have a picture of them from each year taken on their birthday? Thanks for getting the creative juices flowing (as always!).

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  34. Awesome! I don't have a banister but I will find somewhere to hang it!

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  35. I so love these!! I post linked to you today :)

    I love your blog too! I've never commented before - I'm usually going in a million directions - but I read it often. Love all your creative ideas and really appreciate that you keep it real.

    Merry Christmas!

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  36. Wow, what a cute idea! My kids are 10 and 8 and I had been trying to gather up all the photos from Christmases past just because it's so fun to see how they've changed over the years. I'm definitley going to try this!

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  37. Fantastic idea! I'm hoping to finish up all of my Christmas errands tomorrow so I will have to add the craft store to my list of stops. Thanks for the fun way to preserve our family Christmas memories!

    -Libby

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  38. Cute! I wonder if you could use coasters from a restaurant instead of the wooden things? They have circles and squares. That might be cute too?

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  39. We've been married for 9 Christmases, but have only sent out photo cards since we've had kids (which will be 5 Christmases this year). That doesn't seem to hard to handle! Cute, cute idea! Thanks for the step by step---that's how I roll! :)

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  40. I am glad you posted this. I was thinking last night how I wanted to display all of our Christmas pictures. Thanks for the idea.

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  41. Sarah - I love this idea. I am definitely going to make these. Even my creatively-challenged-self thinks I can do this!

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  42. ok...i keep looking at this and it keeps getting cuter! seriously sarah i love it!

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  43. I love this idea. I can't wait to give it a try!

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  44. Saw this on meg's sidebar - love this idea and I actually have a staircase I need to decorate!

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  45. Love the pictures on the railing garland - too cute!

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  46. This is such a fantastic idea!! I am going doing it!! NOW, to find all the pictures from the last 11 years!! UGH! ;)

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  47. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your blog...love this crafty idea!

    I need you to come to my house show me ho who have things in order!! I admire people like you who have there stuff together and have more than 1 kid.

    Anyways I am a fan

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  48. so in love with the hole blog
    congrats sarah
    from Argentina with love,

    Aye

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  49. Well LOOK at you, crafty little thang!

    Adorable. Love them!

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  50. Oh wow - I LOVE your photo ornaments. I love how they look on your banister with the garland - just beautiful. I'm going to have to try a few of these!

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  51. So cute!
    I just ordered some 4x4 coaster blanks from here:
    http://www.blockheadstamps.com/
    if anyone else is interested. I am getting circles and squares and can't WAIT to get started. Thank you so much for the great idea, Sarah (and to Kerry for thinking of using coasters).

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  52. I want to fill my room with these! Cute!

    Thanks for the idea. :)

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  53. I LOVE this project. I so want to do this for next year!

    -FringeGirl

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  54. I love this idea so much that I raced out to the craft store to purchase ModgePodge and the wooden boards. I should mention here that we just moved into this house last week(!) and that I should be working on unpacking. Instead I have been digging through boxes to find my favorite pictures from each year so I can make this project. The house may be in chaos but my banister is going to look adorable!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  55. ADORABLE...I have a REALLY little house with NO bannister, BUT, I think I will make some and just hang them on peg racks and other areas around the house! You are amazing...Thanks for sharing!

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  56. I just love what you did! That is beautiful!

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  57. Loving this idea ! I am going to have to use this one for sure for next year !

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  58. This is just too CUTE...love this idea...thanks soooo much for sharing it with all of us! Merry Christmas!

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  59. Thank you for this fabulously easy idea!!! I'm excited to try it out--it'll make a great gift for grandma who has everything!!!!

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  60. I am so in love with this! My son is two so I am going to find my old photo christmas cards from the last two years and start doing this! I also love how you hung these on your garland!! I featured this on my friday favorites!
    http://lilbitofus.blogspot.com/2010/11/friday-favoritesornaments-edition.html

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  61. What a fun project! I would love to link to this project on my site, AllFreeChristmasCrafts.com. On our site, we would link to your project and post a photo of the finished product. If this is something you'd be interested in, please let me know! My e-mail is jlitz (at) primecp (dot) com. Thanks!

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  62. Love, love, love this idea! I've been working on it all day. However, I just went back to check on my pics and some have turned cloudy and some others have what look like tiny little glue bubbles. Any suggestions?
    (tina@thefondrens.com)

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  63. Thanks for this idea! I modified your idea and used vacation photos to fancy up my garland. Loved how it turned out. See them here: http://www.dwellonjoy.blogspot.com/2011/11/christmas-paper-challenge.html

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  64. Did you print out the pictures on an inkjet printer? If so, did the pictures "run" when you applied the modpodge? This is the cutest idea ever and can't wait to try it out....I've got 19 ornaments to get started on!

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  65. fantastic idea! Beautiful photos!
    Kathy by anthomeli(Greece)

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  66. Terrific ornament! Share your ornament (or more) on our Linky List to get exposure for your own blog and share with your community. http://muddymonkeys.me/2012/11/28/wanted-homemade-christmas-ornaments-for-children-and-kids/

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  67. Love this idea!!!!
    Can you use the original photo or does it have to be a paper copy??? I always have leftover cards.
    Thanks

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  68. Love this idea- am going to do this week!! Excited!

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  69. Thank you for sharing! I love this. I am going to make these for my house and I am making each child in my class one for Christmas. Thanks again!!!!

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