Every Memorial Day, we go to the local Memorial Day parade. My son gets so excited, and loves all of the cars and trucks that go by. This year, I took pictures of all of his favorites. Don't get me wrong, I love digital cameras. They have turn me into a virtual paparazzi, but we almost never print out pictures. If you take a picture and no one looks at it, does it exist??
After getting a free collage coupon code from Shutterfly, I decided to turn those pictures into something productive. I made a collage, purchased a frame, painted it, and viola, instant art!!!! It has been one of my son's FAVORITE presents, and he loves looking at it every day. The thing that I really love about it is that it offers double the benefits - you get something pretty to look at, and it's meaningful because the pictures represent experiences you've actually had!
Here's how to do it! It took me about 1 hour of hands-on time (with waiting time in addition to that), it cost me $15 total.
Make Your Own Memory Collage Art
- Six to ten of your favorite photos
Tip: Ideally, they'll all be of similar themed subjects, like honeymoon pictures, vacation pictures, beach pictures, holiday pictures, etc, and taken in decent resolution.
- Inexpensive 11 x 14 frame
Tip: If you're going to paint your frame a different color, make sure it's made out of wood or another paintable surface. Shiny plastics are impossible to paint.
- A Photo Site, such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.
How to Make It
The Collage -
- Select your photos and edited as needed. Crop them, change the orientation (from vertical to horizontal, and vice versa, if necessary), etc. Make them pretty!
- Google for "coupon codes" for Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc. Right now there are tons of deals, so take advantage of them!
- Select which site you want to use, and create a new "Collage" product. Select which way you want it (horizontal or vertical), upload your pictures and play around with it until you're happy. Using Shutterly, I added lines between the pictures to make them stand out. I knew I was going to paint the frame navy blue, so I used that color for the lines.
- Order the collage. Some sites offer the ability to pick the collage up at a store that day. If you don't want to wait to receive it in the mail, give that a try.
The Frame -
- Go to a place like TJ Maxx, Michael's, or AC Moore. If you're going to a craft store, make sure to bring your coupon with you!
- Purchase an 11 x 14 frame. I got one for $10 from TJ Maxx. It was beige, but I knew I was going to paint it, so I didn't mind.
- If you're going to paint the frame, make sure you have at least one or two containers of your favorite acrylic paint from a craft store. They only cost about $1.50 each, so it's a steal!
- Remove the glass and backing, and put the frame on newspaper.
- Start painting! My frame took three coats to completely cover. The frame will only need about 30 minutes between coats, so you can get it done in one day!
- Let the final coat dry for at least 4 hours, put in the collage, and enjoy the results :)
And got to work.... Here it is after the first coat! You'll notice that my favorite paintbrush for frames is a nubby little guy.
The finished product turned out great!