DIY Photo Craft

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My friend Chuck is a lot of things: brash, a bit crazy, an animal lover, a great skateboard instructor and a surprisingly crafty mother effer. He’s always texting me photos of his homemade pickups, or new quilting table, or the sugar skull he needlepointed and framed, or the “murder sheets” he made. No joke, check it:

Boris the puppy on the murder sheets

So, he’s an evil craft genius is what I’m getting at – one of Chucks more recent brilliant ideas was to take photos of his last road trip, get them blown up to 2 ft by 2 ft at Office Max, then adhered them to some foam matting.

Four 2 x 2 photos on foam matting.

Neat, right? It reminded me that digital photography is a broke-ass gold mine. Here are four other easy ideas:

Image courtesy Photojojo

Snow globes are a super easy option if you’ve got a bottle or a mason jar. Just seal your photo with layers of clear packing tape, then put in the jar with some glitter and sparkly bits. Next, fill the jar with a 50/50 mix of water and light corn syrup, seal and shake. Makes for a really cool gift, too.

Image courtesy Threadbanger

Photojojo – a book I’m exceptionally eager to grab – gets the credit for this idea: cardboard frames. Just snag some cardboard (cereal boxes come into play nicely here), cut it into a neat shape (starburst, badge, heart with an arrow through it, classic, art deco…) then tape your photo to the back so it shows through the hole. And because you’re using cardboard, these frames are super easy to decoupage or draw on so design away!

Image courtesy Instructables

This photo tile:

Costs less than $3 to make – as long as you have printer paper, tissue paper, tile and decoupage glue handy. This is also going to require some editing skills: change the image size to 30cm X 30cm and edit as desired, then cut your photo into squares and save each square as a separate document. To print, carefully use double sided tape to adhere tissue paper to the printer paper – yes this is tricky – then print each of your five documents. All you need to do after that is cut out your prints then adhere them to tile using decoupage glue.

Image courtesy Photojojo

Lastly, there’s the photo wall calendar – and this one takes some dedication. Take photos of numbers that you come across, then letters or text to mark the days of the week, and have a few extras lying around in case you have gaps that need to be filled. Print photos out at a 4 x 6 size then laminate using packing tape, or trim to make square. Working off a calendar, clip the photos together using Fotoclips, working row by row. You can reconfigure each month easily by following the handy number guide here.

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.


  1. matt f.
    April 23, 2011 at 4:24 am

    YAY CHUCK!!!

  2. […] a better way to keep track of your days, consider some of the following! Back in April, we covered photo wall calendars and if you liked that, or if you’ve got a sweet Instagram account, you should try your hand at […]