Ever wanted to share your family’s history? It’s hard, right? First of all, you have to gather up a lot of obscure information, track down photos, and trace the family tree. There’s some technology and apps that make it easier, but it’s still a lot of work. Here’s how to incorporate crafts and gifts into the mix so that it all pays off.
Go to the craft store and start assembling small picture frames – tiny ones. You’re looking for one inch, no more than 2-inch frames. Collect a dozen or more of these frames from places like Jo-Anne Fabric and Crafts, Michael’s, and similar stores.
Now comes the fun part. Get all the old photos you can get your hands on. You can use reproductions or the originals. If you want to protect the originals, which many people do, then try to make good replicas. If you’re going for authenticity, and you know you’ll keep this keepsake indoors, use originals.
Once you’ve got all the photos in the little frames, it’s time to string them together. You have a few options. You can use strong cardboard or a pool noodle cut to size and glued or taped into a circle with duct tape. Then, cover the backing by wrapping it up in ribbon.
You could also antique it by using vintage-looking fabric or burlap.
Form it into the shape of a circle or wreath. Attach the photos to the front. You’ve got a family circle wreath.
Hang it up anywhere – it’s one of those things that your grandchildren will come to remember.
Family Towels and Recipes
Drag out your grandmother’s favorite recipes. Buy some plain white or off-white tea towels. Take photos of the recipes and use a free photo editing tool to clean them up. Then, use a local print shop, or an online service like spoonflower to do the printing.
Does your family have precious jewelry, or things which have been handed down to you through generations? You don’t necessarily wear these things, but why should they sit in a drawer? Frame them, and hang them on the wall.
If you’re willing to shop thrift and antique stores, you can find some amazing old picture frames that can be hollowed out.
Get some batting and fabric, and then pin the jewelry on there – you’re done. This can be done for anything from brooches to necklaces to bracelets.
A Keeping Watch
A keeping watch is basically an old watch that’s been gutted and replaced with photos. In that sense, it’s more like a bracelet. Antique watches that are broken or otherwise unusable make the best keeping watches.
Because the photo would have to be quite small, you’re probably best off using reprints for this one. Stinky Ink can help you load up on all the ink supplies you’ll need, and you’ll run through a decent amount of ink too – color and sepia prints will use up a lot of supplies.
A tree ornament is a very traditional way to celebrate your family’s history. Convert digital photos to black and white. Then, print them out and cut them into shapes that will fit into small metal tart tins or candle trays. Glue the photos into the tins, let them dry for 24 hours, and then string them up with ribbon.
They make great gifts or you can hang them on your Christmas tree.
Print out black and white photos and cut them to the size of small ceramic tiles. When shopping for the tiles, white or pearl works best. Use mod podge to glue and seal everything to the front and let it dry. You can also glue felt backing to protect whatever surface it will rest on.
John Sollars runs a successful printing ink business. Whenever he has the chance, he likes to share what has worked for him with others. You can read his articles mostly on business, marketing and technology websites.