Old Family Photos

by Diane Boykas

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Do you have a lot of photographs lying around that didn't quite "make the cut" for your scrapbook or photo album, but you can't bear to throw them away? Well, you don't have to throw them away. Here are a few creative ways to use them.

1. Make a fun game for everyone.

Make your own family matching game. Do you remember the memory game where you flip cards two at a time to get matches and the one with the most matches wins? Well, forget pictures of turtles or apples. Why not match family members, friends and pets?

No need to match the photos exactly. Any two pictures of Aunt Mary will do. In fact, to make it even more fun, find a baby/child picture of an adult family member and then have an adult picture as the match. Or you could have a picture and the name of the person on the "matching" card.

Once you have your pictures chosen (at least 15 pairs), cut them to about two inches by three inches each. Then you'll have to get the backs of your cards to look alike. Glue the cards on a single color of construction paper, then cut them out and you're ready to play.

2. Make a special placemat for yourself or to give as a gift.

Everyone can use a placemat to mark their special place at the dinner table, so why not make it an extra personal one with photographs? First choose thick paper to be the base of your placemat. Construction paper or cardstock works well. Now get out some old photos you'd like to use. Pictures of the grandkids eating is cute for the grandparents, or photos of family members accompanied by their name is great for a young child who is just learning who is who. You have two sides to your placemat so you can have two totally different looks.

Glue the photos onto the placemat and add any writing or embellishments. Then repeat on the other side.

Take two pieces of laminating paper or clear contact paper and cut them to overhang the placemat by half an inch on all sides. Carefully stick the laminating sheet on one side of the placemat and then flip it over and laminate the other side. Be sure that the laminating sheets stick to each other around all the edges to form a good seal and you're done.

3. Make a great, personalized calendar.

Who wouldn't love to see photos of all the people, pets and things they love each day they look at their calendar? This is a great gift and very simple and inexpensive to make.

First, buy some cheap 9 X 12 calendars at the dollar store, or maybe you have some extras that you received for free. The designs don't matter as you'll be covering those if you like. Next, get out your photographs and choose some for each month. If there's a special occasion during that month, you can choose photos accordingly. For example, use photos of the grandkids for the month when it is their birthday. You can even write in special dates as an added touch.

Next glue a sheet of plain paper over the existing calendar photos for each month. Now simply paste in your photographs, write in any special dates or messages and you have a very unique gift.

Diane Boykas is the founder of www.kidoozy.com, a fun place for families to find creative ideas for making beautiful homemade gifts, games and more. Visit her site to watch how-to videos and print out detailed directions for making your own projects.

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  • Do you have a lot of photographs lying around that didn't quite "make the cut"? Well, you don't have to throw them away. Try these creative ways to use them up.
  • For more photo ideas check out Smilebox
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