Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making Family History Come Alive

We have a guest blogger for you today!  Our friend Becky just finished her family history wall.
Here's her post on how you can make your own!

Ever wanted to display your family photos in a wall collage but didn’t know where to begin? Here’s a few tips to get you started.

1.      Gather your photos:
The focus of my wall was family history, so I have included photos of 6 generations of family members. But maybe you just want to stick to your immediate family at different ages/stages. Collect more photos than you think you might use, since it may help to have choices as you look for photos that complement one another.

2.      Prioritize the photos you want to include:
Make a rough list of what pictures you want to include, realizing your plan may have to shift according to what photos you have available and what sizes they are. Costco is super cheap for developing 5x7 and 8x10 photos.

Favorite things that I included:
a.       A current family photo of my husband and I with our kids, grouped with a family photo of my husband as a young boy with his siblings and parents, and a family photo of myself as a young girl with my sibling and parents.
b.      I used a pre-made collage frame to display the wedding photos of my brother, my husband’s brothers, our parents and us (notice the sticky note arrows in a couple spots where I’m waiting to insert photos…sometimes you just have to get the project going even if you have a few missing pieces!)
c.       baby photos of my two kids
d.      photos of my two grandfathers
e.       wedding photos of all of our grandparents
f.       Isn’t that a cool pic of that guy and his awesome beard?  This is the oldest photo I have on my mother’s side—it’s her great grandfather. The lady on the motorcycle is my husband’s grandmother, also a cool shot because I can hardly imagine her doing such a thing!

3.      Measure & Frame!
Now that you have a big pile of pictures, you need to measure the space where you want to display your photo collage. Spread out your photos on the floor or large table and start to play around with arrangement ideas. It will be helpful to have some frames to play with as well.  If you use a Michael’s/Joann’s coupons you can get them really cheap.  Some  of mine are matted and some are not, but all are black.

4.      Wrapping paper – the first key to success in hanging your frames!
 Now that you have your arrangement perfected,  you're going to put your template onto wrapping paper.  Depending on the size of your project, you may even need to tape together two pieces of paper roll.  You'll want a piece of paper that’s as big as your collage space. Carefully move your pics/frames off your table/floor, and place it onto the wrapping paper. Next you will place all your frames on the paper (turn it over so it’s a blank white side up).   Measure precisely where you want each one with appropriate spacing. Now trace the frames onto the paper. Now you can remove the frames, and measure where the hook is on the backside of each frame.  Mark an “X” on each frame space where you would hang the nail. You are now ready to tape your wrapping paper on the wall where you’re going to hang everything up. Now you can start hammering your nails (yes, right on top of the paper. It will easily rip down afterwards). This is where your second key to success might be handy—getting the help of your husband or handy friend!  Once all of your nails are up, rip down your paper and hang up your frames!!

There you have it. Four simple steps to preserving your family history and a newly decorated wall space to enjoy. I would love to hear from you if you’re inspired to do this or if you have other ideas to keep your family history alive.

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