Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photo Garland

I have sent a photo Christmas card every year I’ve been married…(except the first year because we were dirt poor and I was 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…way too much clutter for me and I didn’t have a table big enough to set them all anyways!

At the same time, I was also desperate to find something original AND affordable AND durable (picture boys sliding down full blast) to decorate my stairway banister.

 I came up with this:
068 069075
044 046 047 048 064 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!  Visitors comment 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. 
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, and look for them on sale!033 3. Decoupage stuff and a wide sponge brush. I like the matte kind of decoupage..(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 or just use old fashioned scissors if you have to). I bought this kit at Michaels with my 40% off coupon.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.  

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. 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.  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 with the kids.   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 scrap booking goddessses out there can show me up on this one as far as design goes!  

Have fun!