square plastic bulb
chopsticks (or similar tool for unrolling and pushing photos into place)
tweezers (just in case)
glitter and glue (optional)
1. Start by tracing the shape of your ornament on a piece of paper. Cut out square to use as a template, and measure the size of the square to figure out how big you’ll need to print your photos.
2. My cube was 2 inches wide so I knew I wanted to print my photos about that size. I picked some favorites (one from each season) and added a white border using Pixlr-o-matic. Then I sized them down by using the cropping tool in Photoshop. To get photos to print a specific size, I cropped them to 2 x 2 inches at 300 dpi. Then I created a new document that was 4 x 6 inches (also 300 dpi) and dropped them into it to create a 4×6 photo from 6 different pictures (see first photo). In the end I had to tweak them a bit more, shrinking them down and adding extra white space on the edges. The actual photos are just over 1½ inches wide, the rest was just white – and a lot of that white border got trimmed off as I found that the photos fit best when I trimmed them to1⅞ inches instead of 2.
3. Once your photos are cut, carefully wrap them around a pencil and push them (one at a time) into the cube.
4. Use a chopstick to unroll the pictures and gently push them to the sides. I liked the look of the photos when they slightly bowed inwards, so I didn’t push them too hard against the glass, just gently nudged them in place. Once all four photos are in they should hold each other up. (Oh and if your photos don’t fit, or you change your mind about one, now is the time to get out the tweezers to pull them out. It’s not easy, so do your best to measure and cut your photos the right size from the start!)
These next steps are optional…
5. To hide the clear bottom of the bulb and the edges of the photos, I poured a small amount of glitter inside (you could also do this before inserting the photos), and kept tilting my bulb upside down until each photo had a small “snowdrift” in front of it. If the glitter sticks to the sides of the glass, try tapping on the bulb to remove it.
6. Then I added a layer of “snow” on top with a thick coat of Mod Podge, and finished it off by writing the year on the bottom with a permanent marker.
I love how it turned out! Might have to make more for Abe’s grandparents. If I find some extra time, I might jot down some of his milestones and funny quotes from this year and tuck them inside. Maybe I’ll also add some memories (our trip to Iowa, my sister’s wedding, expecting baby #2…) to add to our family photo bulb.
If you found this post interesting, I would be happy if you pin it or share it on Facebook or on Twitter or Google + circles! All it takes is a simple click on the “pin it”, “like”, “share”, “tweet”, or “Google+” buttons below the post. It will keep me fomented! Thanks!