Thursday, December 22, 2011

Memory Tree Ornaments

Well now that Christmas is literally upon us, I thought I'd finally show you some of the ornaments I've been working on this year.  I have been wanting to do this for quite some time.  I love the Christmas trees decorated with framed pictures.  Have you priced out those cute little frames?  YIKES!  So, I took matters into my own hands.

The first step was to rifle through all of our old Christmas photos.  Luckily this isn't hard to do now that most of our pictures are digital.  It isn't easy to narrow down the selection to just a few favorites though.  I chose some really old photos from my childhood (that's me up there with my little brother) and I chose some from each of the eighteen years we have been together as a family.  I ended up with one hundred photos that I wanted to feature on the tree.  Why one hundred?  Well, the real reason was that I had a coupon for a hundred free 4x6 prints.  I don't think I will end up using them all on the tree.  But now I have them printed for future projects.  I decided I wanted them to have a vintage feel.  So, I printed all of them in sepia.  To have a couple of different size options, I used my photoshop to put two pictures side by side.  Then I just cut them with a paper cutter when I got them back from the printer.  The final size of these smaller pictures was 3x4.  (So really I have more than a hundred pictures-sweet!)

Now to "frame" them. 

We had some bead board left over from this project.  The pieces were too small to use in the house.  But they were perfect for cutting down and making "frames".  They aren't really frames so much as just mats.  My husband and daughter (she has now been power saw approved!)  spent a few days cutting the boards.  We made them just barely bigger than the pictures.  I wanted to keep the size and weight of the boards down as much as possible.  But I like the white matted look.  So, I left a little edge.

After the boards were cut, I grabbed my pictures and my ModPodge and got to work.  I covered my work surface (in this case my kitchen counter) with newspaper.

I put a thin coat of glue on the bare board, using a foam brush.  Then I positioned my photo and followed up with another thin coat of glue.

There is a moment or two of panic when you glop the glue all over the photo.  But, don't will dry clear and the photo will survive.  I promise!  I let my photos dry overnight.

To finish them up, my husband drilled a hole in the center top of each board.  You will want to drill from the back.  (We did add some hangers to the back of a few to avoid drilling through someone's head)

I looped some ribbon through and tied a bow.

Ta Da--lots and lots of wonderful family photos to hang on the tree.

Want a cost breakdown?

frame boards--leftover beadboard.  FREE
ModPodge-leftover from many other projects.  Free to me.  But if you had to buy new, it would only cost a couple of bucks
printed photos-FREE with coupon
ribbon-70% off at JoAnn's this week.  Each spool came to under a dollar.
Total cost-$5.00


Even as we worked on this project, the kids were commenting on the photos and recalling wonderful Christmas memories.  It was so fun to listen to them reminisce.

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