Craft Wars: Two New Ways To Display Your Photos Without Boring Frames

Grab your gel medium and a clothes hanger and get to work.

You Instagram fiends have probably forgotten how nice it is to have paper photos you can touch and do physical things with. So if you haven’t done it in a while, print out a few snapshots and consider incorporate them into your decorating scheme. What’s even more fun than putting them in frames or albums is doing something special (read: crafty) with them. Two clever DIY bloggers offer suggestions for what to do with photos that’s more interesting than stuffing them in frames.

First, Christine from Black Oak Vintage demonstrates how to make photo transfer cards.

Here are the steps she took.

Gather your supplies. You’ll need several sheets of thin plywood available at most craft stores), a box cutter or Exacto knife, a straight edge or ruler, gel medium, Mod Podge, a paint brush or sponge, a rag, scissors, a customizable stamp, and whatever photos you’d like to use.

The examples shown are vintage book images, but this works great with laser printed versions (do not use originals — you will destroy them) of your own photos as well.

Cut out your cards. Use a ruler to mark the outlines of the shapes you’d like to cut out of your plywood with a pencil. This is where you can get really creative: try business cards, bookmarks, gift tags, etc. Angular shapes are easiest. Using a box cutter and a straight edge, score the plywood a couple of times along your marked lines until you get a clean cut and your cards come loose from the sheet.

Choose your photos. For each card or tag you make, trim your photos to about the same shape and size as the wood. Some hangover is okay so don’t worry about getting them exact.

Apply the gel medium and press on your photos. Brush a thin layer of the gel medium on to each piece of wood. Press the photos onto the wood, making sure the photo is face down, so that the image you want to transfer is in contact with the gel medium. Smooth the image out to remove air bubbles. Let dry overnight.

Remove the photos. After drying overnight, soak the photos with a rag dipped in water and rub until the paper begins to disintegrate. Repeat until all of the photo paper is rubbed off and the original image appears as a transfer on the wood.

Apply Mod Podge over each image. Use a thin layer and let it dry.

Stamp a message on the reverse side (optional). Christine added her shop address, but you can customize yours as you like!

Next, Jessica Jessica from Time for Tea Beads turns clothing hangers into photo displays.

Collect your materials. You’ll need PVA glue, some spare fabric and wool, a couple of hangers (pictured here are kids’ hangers, since they’re cute) and some miniature pegs. Of course, you’ll need a selection of photos to display.

Paint the hanger with the glue. Then stick on your first piece of fabric, shaping it around the hanger. You can apply the fabric flat or you can wrap it around the hanger.

Add some yarn. When you get to some tricky curvier areas on the hanger, wrap wool or yarn around them. You can use multiple colors if you like.

Once your hanger is fully covered with fabric and yarn, coat the hanger once more with glue. Tie one end of a piece of yarn to each side of the hanger. Put your photo pegs onto the yarn and hang your photos.

Have fun playing around with different colors and patterns to match the theme and imagery of your photos!

Pippa Armbrester is a quilt maker and designer. Follow her adventures in quilting and life on her website.

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