Photo Inspiration: Ideas for Fun and Creative Repurposing Projects

Admire your photos in a brand new light! It’s time to consider putting your favorite family photos or snapshots from a recent vacation to new and improved uses.  Don’t let leave your priceless memories stacked on a shelf or buried in a forgotten album; there are an infinite number of ways to repurpose valuable photos to bring them to the forefront of your life.  With exciting new editing programs, websites, and the ingenious ideas from crafters everywhere, you can make your photos more accessible, visible and creative than ever. So what are you waiting for? Check out VistaPix Media’s top inspirations for photo repurposing.

Photo Pillows

photo pillow 2pillow collageLooking to transform your home into a space that truly reflects your life, or ready to give a gift with a more personal touch? A photo pillow may be just what you’re looking for. This adorable and supremely simple photo repurposing project puts your favorite memories on display, with the added bonus of comfort.  How does it work? Simply upload your photos to a website like www.shutterfly.com, browse options for pillow sizes, design, color, editing features, and add text and graphics, or choose from an existing design for special occasions. We suggest considering ordering multiple pillows of varying sizes featuring different photos for a complete set, or choose the photo pillow collage feature which allows for multiple photos to be displayed on one pillow. Want to display your favorite photos on other living ware? The Shutterfly site also offers thoughtful options for woven and fleece photo blankets, photo coasters, desktop plaques and more.

A Custom Photo Book

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Replace your traditional photo album with a stylish customizable photo book from an online program like www.shutterfly.com or www.mixbook.com to add a touch of personalization to your photo collection. Photo books are created online with scanned and uploaded photos and result in a professionally printed photo book you can hold in your hands. Choose from among dozens of photo book styles to reflect your personality or that of the loved one you’ll be gifting the book to. Online photo book programs allow users to upload selected photos and craft the design of every page in the book! That’s right. You’ll determine the layout (which can vary among pages), adjust background color and design, add comments and descriptions, and crop your photos to your liking. Photo books can be ordered in a variety of sizes (typically 8×8 to 12×12) and in a variety of page quantities. Capture the beauty of your big day with a personal wedding photo book or send out-of-state relatives a custom photo book of baby’s first year. The possibilities are endless with this innovative new medium.

Photo Coffee Mugs

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Coffee cups are the perfect platform for incorporating a favorite family photo into your daily life! Thereare a multitude of companies like www.cafepress.com that allow customers to upload photos to be printed on high quality, ceramic coffee mugs of varying sizes so you can enjoy your morning coffee and a fond memory simultaneously. Much like other photo processes, photo coffee mugs allow customers to determine features like background color, photo filters (B & W, Sepia, etc.), and the placement of text. There are also options for choosing among existing designs. What’s more, photos can be added to large travel mugs or printed on cups and mugs as a collage, and like pillows and photo books, photo coffee mugs make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Canvas Creations

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Transfer your favorite old family photo or snapshot of a sunset from your last hike can now be printed onto a high quality canvas of varying sizes; once on the canvas, you can mount and frame (or leave in free form) to decorate a bedroom or living room wall. Canvas photos serve as an excellent solution to the size limitations of traditional photo printing as well as the limitations of selecting from commercial artwork. Now, with canvas printing your home décor can feature full size photos you actually want to look at, designed by you! Companies like www.canvaspop.com offer great options for both quality and customization, and all of their canvases are hand-stretched.

Canvas printing also opens up  doors for other unique photo repurposing projects. Have your fondest photos transferred to unbleached canvas material to a beautiful memory leaf! Give as a gift or display on a coffee table, or even attach to a necklace as an accessory.  Stop by this Pinterest crafter’s website to explore her memory leaf collection and order your own. Additional options for jewelry, memory flowers and memory bookmarks available as well. 

Photo Lamps

Illuminate your favorite photos with this simple DIY photo lamp shade repurposing project. Perfect for adding a thoughtful element to any living space, a handmade photo lamp shade is relatively easy to put together and provides lasting enjoyment. Once you have your selected photo scanned and transferred to a digital format and printed, transfer your photo onto the fabric that will overlay your existing lampshade (measure beforehand), following manufacturer directions on transfer paper. Next, encircle fabric around lampshade and spray with adhesive. To creative a photo lampshade collage, upload photos to a site like http://picasa.google.com/where you can arrange and edit photos to your liking.

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Editing and Sharing Your Photos

As you prepare for your DIY photo renovation project, a photo editing program can offer the added enhancements to make your photos pop. Check out sites like www.picmonkey.com, where you add effects, frames, and textures or remove those blemishes from the high school days with only a few clicks. PicMonkey is easy to use, fun and most features are free! If you want to exercise more creativity, however, http://www.collage.com/helps you combine photos into a single collage to print and share with others. If you’d like to be more hands on and edit the images more directly or even make your own custom collage, consider purchasing Photoshop Elements. As the most basic part of the Photoshop family, it’s a great way to get started and allows for a more involved user experience.

Once you’ve scanned and edited your photos, why not share them via social media sites with friends and family? Turn to a digital photo storage site like www.flickr.comwww.dropbox.com or www.snapfish.com to keep your collection of up to 1TB of digitized photos in one safe place, and send links to these photos friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and more. Share your life with those you love!

Scanning Services

The first step to a photo renovation project is digitization; this means you’ll need photos scanned to a disk, USB card, or uploaded to a computer out of both necessity and convenience. Given the time, expertise and equipment needed for the process, let VistaPix Media’s professional scanning services convert your photos to a digital format and preserve their quality in the process. Our bulk picture scanning service can scan hundreds or thousands of your photos into high-quality digital images; simply request a Scan-A-Box package to be delivered right to your door, send back the photos you’d like scanned and restored, and we’ll have your priceless memories back to you in a few short weeks on a disk or USB card, along with all of your original prints. VistaPix Media offers great deals for our bulk scanning packages and uses the highest quality scanners. Contact us today to get started!

Our final word of advice as you embark on your photo scanning and photo project adventure: always keep an extra copy of your digitized photos on a second disk, downloaded to a hard drive, or tucked away in a lock box/fire proof box.

 

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