There are so many easy ways to use your digital photos! If you missed my first post in this series, How to Organize Your Digital Photos, click here. Now that you have your edited pictures all in one location, you are now ready to do SOMETHING with them!
Because digital pictures on a computer have not proven to be a very successful way of sharing these memories with others, let’s put those pictures to use!
Below are some of my favorite ideas to do with your pictures.
Yearly Calendar – I started doing this when my first born was a baby (because that’s REALLY when the pictures started getting out of control). I just love making a calendar because it lets me use a lot of pictures in a small space. A calendar is also something I need anyway so why not let it be filled with memories from the past year?!
Plus, it makes a great gift. Win – win, I get a calendar to use every day for the next year and I’ve knocked out Christmas presents for grandparents and aunts and uncles!
I use Shutterfly for my calendar because I love their backgrounds, all my photos are saved here, and they have an option for a 12×12 calendar that is so much nicer than the traditional 9×12.
Digital Photo Frames – These are a great way to show pictures continuously. We plug ours in during family dinners and holidays. It lets everyone see the pictures whenever they look over that way!
Photo Wall – There are endless ways to lay one out. My husband and I loved how our stairwell was open leading to the 2nd floor but hated how bare it was. We loved pictures so this seemed like an easy and relatively cheap way to fill the space.
We already had quite a few black frames and bought any extra from a local craft store when they were 50% off. This means they are not matching and that’s ok! We chose to have continuity by having them all have simple black frames (no embellishments or writing), They are not collage photo frames, and they all have white mats.
We then laid all the frames in our hallway until we felt good with the symmetry and hung them up from that. We love this use of pictures and now that the hard work is done, we simply trade out old photos for new ones periodically.
Album of the Year – No this isn’t a Grammy award! =) When I say I take a lot of pictures, I mean a lot- like I end up with around 500 to 600 pictures to edit each year. Even I can’t use all of those in frames or calendars.
At one point I had grandiose visions of scrapbooking all of these memories…even went so far as to spend way too much money on scrapbook supplies! But that was just too tedious for me.
So 3 years ago, I came up with this awesome idea! I buy a large photo album that will hold all (or most) of my yearly pictures. I print all of my “year” pictures from Shutterfly. They print chronologically so I simply take the photos in chronological order and put them in the album.
I don’t think about it or torment myself with how I put them in…I just put them in and am done! I choose one picture for the front of the album and label it with the year. I then put these albums in rooms throughout our home.
Canvas Prints – A few years ago, I was looking for a creative way to use some professional photos we had made and at the same time fill a long, empty wall in my dining room. Viola! Canvas prints to the rescue! I purchased these from Canvas On Demand when they were running a special. The uploading process was super easy and for a total of $180 I completed my dining room wall and now have wonderful memories up as well.
It is amazing to walk through my house and be transported back to all these special memories. My girls love to see all of our pictures everywhere around the house too. An everyday reminder of how special every day is. And in the end, isn’t that what all of our pictures should do?
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