Get crafty: Photo fun!
Scrapbooks and Much More
It’s pretty easy to get photos printed — do it yourself with a flash stick at the kiosk at the local hypermarket, on-base craft store or MOMs photo center, or upload them to several online businesses and they’ll print and ship them to your APO box.
If you enjoy scrapbooking, find supplies at craft stores on and off base, plus several websites offer exclusive scrapbooking supplies, including die cut machines, paper, notions and albums. Get the kids involved in picking themes, colors and putting the books together.
Need multiple albums or calendars for gifts? Those websites that print your photos usually offer these services, too. Just upload, choose from dozens of themes and colors, and they’ll make glossy, quality photo albums with different price points. Many sites also offer photo-personalized items, such as cards, stationery, fashion accessories, electronic device covers, even postage stamps.
Have your photos printed onto large canvases and create a wall display. Or, frame them in inexpensive frames (such as those from IKEA) in the same color or shape, and group them together.
Photo Transfers & Découpage
Make a cool piece of art with your photos by easily transferring them to canvases, wood blocks, furniture and even fabric. Several techniques work, such as gel mediums or acetone on photocopies from a laser printer, or printable, iron-on transfer sheets. You’ll also need a basic photo editing software (to flip the photo on its horizontal axis before you print it — that way it appears normal after you transfer it); the whole process is easy and takes very little drying time. Sew the fabric photos as pillows, into quilts or use in other craft projects.
Be bold and use one large photo to completely transform a dresser, bench, headboard or other flat-surfaced piece of furniture. This dramatic statement piece will become the focal point of the room.
Or, use a lot of small photos and create a découpage mosaic effect. Make black and white copies on printer paper to create a fun “antiqued” look, or use a photo editing software and give them all a “pop” color or other effect for a themed look. Printer paper from laser printers also works great in découpage, as it soaks up the medium well (such as Mod Podge), the inks keep their intensity and the paper dries quickly.
Photo Slide Art
It seems like ages since anyone used photo slides for anything except to fill a box in the attic. Upcycle those forgotten gems into a cool lamp shade or curtain! Leave the cards white, or paint the edges black or even in bright colors with craft paint for a color-block effect. Then, using a tiny hole punch and jewelry-making jump rings found at a local craft store, attach them together and onto a drum lamp shade frame. Or, make a large sheet and larger holes along the edge for curtain rod rings. Use your own slides, or find interesting travel photo slides at a flea market. Either way, it’s a great way to showcase interesting photos and create a conversation piece; the effect is quite dazzling when the light hits those little framed photos.
More Examples and Ideas
For more spectacular examples of projects discussed in this article, find me on Pinterest; I’ve gathered some stunning samples of photo slide art and other projects in my Photo Crafts and Scrapbooking boards.
We’d also love to hear about your great craft projects. Send us your before and after photos and tell us how you made it; we’d love to consider it as part of our next “Get Crafty” article. Send your ideas and projects to firstname.lastname@example.org.