DIY: Organizing Printed Photos

Growing up I never thought I’d see the day where printed photos were out of style. While sorting through pictures recently, I realized that I barely have any from the last decade. Why? Everything went digital and I stopped printing them when I could easily save them to disc. I also recently realized that my children will never understand the link between cassette tapes and pencils…oh wait…they won’t know what a cassette tape is. I feel old.

Part of decorating the Spare Bedroom involved cleaning out a few shelves full of random photographs. They were tucked into the pages of photo albums and piled into stacks. They aren’t organized in any way. In an effort to both organize and decorate, I tackled the photos. We’ll leave the records and my grandmother’s vintage Polaroid camera for another post (although it wasn’t vintage to her). I also have her pea green rotary phone, but I digress…

Organizing Photos

As I was organizing the photos I realized the photo albums just aren’t working for me right now. They take up a lot of space and the full albums were falling apart. I have a lot of picture that mean the world to me and they deserve to be treated better than this.

Organizing Photos

That little pup was my first love. She passed away in 2005. It still makes me cry to talk about her and it took  me three years to work up the courage to get another dog.

Organizing Photos

This collage was for my grandmothers funeral. The two largest pictures were from my grandparents wedding day, married about 64 years. She passed away the same year my beloved pup…it was a tough year.

Organizing Photos

Wow, I wasn’t planning on turning this into a share fest of passed relatives, sorry about that.

While some pictures are framed, most are stuffed into boxes. In reality the boxes didn’t even close. Organizing Photos

It took a few hours, but I was able to pull all the pictures out of the old albums and sort them into new white boxes that I picked up for $2 each at Michaels. Simple, Clean, and Stackable!

Organizing Photos

Unfortunately I underestimated how many old pictures I had and needed one more box. Since it was 10pm and I’m impatient, I didn’t want to wait until Michaels opened the next day.

Enter the SHOEBOX!

It’s ugly and boring, but it’s the perfect size and sturdy. So I grabbed some leftover white duct tape from the photo light box project and some wrapping paper.

Organizing Photos

I kinda sorta love it.

The duct tape covered up all the blue and has a great texture. The wrapping paper was clearance paper from Target this past Christmas. I loved it because it doesn’t look remotely holiday, just beautiful.

Organizing Photos

Organized Photos

I may need to buy some more shoes instead of photo boxes this weekend!

…like I need another reason to buy shoes…

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DIY: Photography Light Box For Under $25

One of the biggest struggles I have with this blog is the photography. I work a full time job during the day which limits the amount of time I have to take picture with daylight. This becomes a bigger problem when I try to document recipes. I cook at night and often battle the yellow and bar lighting in the kitchen. It’s nearly impossible to get a good picture without spending hours in editing.

In an effort to increase my photography skills and reduce my photo editing time, I built a photo light box today. It cost under $25 and it’s easily moveable all over the house.

I took a few test shots of the Gratitude Jar in the office and I think it was a wise investment.

Here is the gratitude shots from this post. This was taken in the exact same spot as the next photo during the afternoon. It was the best light I could get that day and I had to do a lot of editing afterward.

Gratitude Jar

Here is the after! I took this today, same spot and time as the above picture, but inside the light box. It made a world of difference. Editing took only a minute on this picture.

Light Box Test Photo

There are a lot of tutorials on the web on how to make these boxes. I did my own research before I started and followed the basic directions found via Google. However, I did make a few adjustments, especially in how I hang the lights. In stead of taking up a lot of space on countertops or rigging up chairs with the lights, I found a way to hook them directly to the box.

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Medium Cardboard Box
  • Duct Tape/Packaging Tape
  • 2 Clip Utility Lamps
  • Piece of scrap wood slightly wider than the box
  • 2 Daylight Light bulbs
  • Tissue Paper
  • Box Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Step 2:

Using the packaging tape, close the bottom of the box.

Photography Light Box

Step 3:

I cut out a large hole on three of the sides of the box. To keep them even, I used the ruler and pencil to mark off the cut lines on all three sides. I used a box cutter to cut the box.

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Step 4:

Cut off the flaps is the easiest next step. I wanted a little more support for the edges, so I cut them down and folded them back. I used White Duct Tape to secure all the edges. It doesn’t matter what color you use. I had the white on hand from a project that didn’t quite happen so I thought now would be the perfect time to use it. Duct Tape will give you good support, but use what you have; masking tape or painters tape work well too.

Photography Light Box

Step 5:

Tape a few sheets of tissue paper over each opening. This will diffuse the light created by the lamps. Of course you can also use white linen or other fabric as well.

Photography Light Box

Step 6:

Next I cut slits big enough to fit the thin piece of scrap wood across the back of the box.

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Make sure the piece of wood is long enough to clip the lights on either side.

Photography Light Box

Step 7:

Attach the clip utility lamps.

Photography Light Box

Step 8:

Using the back of a piece of wrapping paper, tape the background to the wood plank across the back. The great thing is, I can change out the color anytime I want and the scrap wood makes an easy place to hang the paper.

IMG_3555

Project Cost Breakdown:

Medium Cardboard Box (Home Depot) = $1

Duct Tape/Packaging Tape (Already Owned) = $0

2 Clip Utility Lamps (Lowes) = $15

Piece of scrap wood slightly wider than the box (Already Owned) = $0

2 Daylight Light bulbs (Lowes) = $6

Tissue Paper (Already Owned) = $0

Ruler/Pencil/Box Cutter (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $22

Holiday Food Wrap-Up

Yesterday was a lot of fun and there was plenty of great food. However, I only took pictures of the appetizers because they were by far my favorite. I also made some dark chocolate pistachio toffee for dessert. It’s addictive and I’ll be sharing that recipe in a separate post sometime in the next week.

S’mores Marshmallow Pops

Holiday Foodie 2011

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Sugared Cranberries & Dark Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti in the background (I’ll share this recipe later as well)

Holiday Foodie 2011

Toffee fixin’s

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Chocolate Fruit Skewers

Holiday Foodie 2011

Holiday Foodie 2011

Blueberry Gingerbread

Blueberry Gingerbread

Balsamic Almonds

Balsamic Almonds

Holy Goodness!

Holiday Foodie 2011

Holiday Foodie 2011

For the decor I used my vintage blue ball jars, pinecones and Christmas lights. I absolutely loved them and am trying to figure out how to leave them all year long.

Holiday Appetizer Decor 2011

 

I don’t have any pictures right now, but as a DIY junkie I got the best gifts ever this year, a workbench for my garage and some tools. I can’t wait to set them up and starting sawing things in half, oh yeah!

Aside from the frustrating back injury, it was a great day and we all had a wonderful time.

What was the best part of your celebration this year?

Something to Make You Smile

I’m swamped at work so I don’t have any fun announcements or projects today. For some reason it’s always a nightmare coming back to work after a 3 day weekend. So if you need a little break from the monotony, just enjoy the pictures below of a newborn elephant in San Diego. I actually took these last year, but they always make me smile.

Baby Elephant, Newborn

He was a little uneasy on his feet. He tipped over…

…Mom helped him up…

…where he tipped over again. It was the cutest thing ever.

Sometimes we all need a little nudge.

 

Happy Wednesday!