Genealogy-Gencrafts Getting your genealogy assets out of the file cabinets and onto your walls
Browsing all posts in: Genealogy Photo Projects

Using Vintage Postcards in Framing and Scrapbooking your Ancestors

November 5

How I use a vintage postcard to make this custom matte for a Civil War Ancestor.

 

Photo of GAR Postcard

I found this vintage GAR postcard on ebay for $3 plus $1 postage

 

Picture of vintage GAR Card

You could use the original, but I have another project in mind for it, so I scanned the card and deleted the area where the soldier was.

Step 2

Then using the clone tool to keep the original color and texture, I deleted the words “To My Comrades” on the banner

 

Adding the name on the banner

I added D. McArthur on the banner in a color I picked up from the eagle.

 

Adding photo of David McArthur

I put the photo of David McArthur in the opening where the soldier had been.

 

Finished picture of David McArther

Instead of enlarging the card to fit a 5×7″ frame, I put a matte behind the photo in the shade that was in the shadows under the banner and put a drop shadow on the card layer to make it pop. Now it is ready to print and frame.

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Celebrating the Veterans in your family with Military Collages

November 4

A military tribute to your families veterans makes a memorable addition to your family history scrapbooks.

I cannot believe I passed my high school history classes. I remembered just enough to pass the test and the dates and events flew out the back side of my head faster than the chapter on the next war. Now with those date put in relationship to each generation of my ancestors, I cannot believe that my brother fought in Vietnam, my father in WWII, my grandfather got out of fighting in WWI somehow (I wish I knew the answer to that), and my great grandfather was a cook in the Civil War because of a bad back and his brother died in Andersonville Prison (a very bad place where most died of disease.

Somehow that puts war in another light. I think if they had all the students make a chart that showed which generation of their own families fought in which war, maybe they would pay more attention in class.

 

John Whedbee's Honorable Discharge Page

Even if they did not do anything heroic or get wounded, any individual who served during any conflict or war would have received a Campaign Medal or Commendation that are a colorful addition to a military collage. If the collage is for a page in a family history book and you don’t have the actual medals, photographs can be found online. If you are doing a shadow box it is possible to order replacement medals online.

Military Page of John L Whedbee

A Timeline is a great way to show military service. If a person were in the Navy it is a simple process to search for the name of the ship and get photos (for personal use) and list of dates of where the ship was and the conflicts it engaged.

 

Mikels Military page

Fold3.com is your one stop internet site (for a fee) for millitary records, Revolutionary War through current conflicts and among other thing it has photos from “Cruse Books” from the Vietnam conflict that has unit photos and information on the various Navy ships of the era. It is a simple matter to find information on the internet regarding a given ship after you narrow down the dates your ancestor was on it.

 

For a fee you can get your ancestors entire military file from the National Archives online at: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records which will list everything you need for timelines and searches for appropriate photographs if you don’t have any. If you are lucky enough to already have discharge papers or any other documentation regarding your ancestors service, there is huge amounts of data that you can find for free online to add spice and variety to your collage.

 

Photo of GAR Medal

There were and are also many veterans organizations for veterans of every war, starting with Daughters of the Revolution, The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and currently Amvets that retain many records and photographs.

 

Photo of David McArthur.

For step by step instructions on how I turned a vintage postcard into a personalized photo mount – CLICK HERE

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Making A Unique Ofrenda from a Shutter Frame

October 19

Celebrate your Mexican ancestors with this Simple Shutter Frame Ofrenda

Photograph of simple but unique Ofrenda

Perfect addition to your table top family alter.

 

Photo of matterials to make shadow box Ofrenda

To make the shadow box Ofrenda, I started with a Plaid brand Shutter Frame, a wooden laser cut oval frame and some packing material that came with a small hard drive.

 

Photo of painted frame.

I wanted the shutters to look like “Papal Picado” so I painted each one different tissue paper colors. I painted the shadow box black, so I painted the frame in front a contrasting bright color.

 

Photo of the frame and Day of the Dead notions.

I pulled out all of my Day of the Dead themed notions.

 

Photo of oval frame.

The oval frame needed a way to float in front of the shadow box so I used hot glue to glue a couple tin flowers on the front of the frame.

Photo of oval frame.

I used hot glue to suspend the oval frame over the shadow box hole.

Photo showing the placement of the oval frame.

Center the oval frame in the space where the photo usually goes.

 

Photo showing the oval frame in place.

Oval frame in place.

 

Photo of my great grandfather

I glued a photograph of my great grandfather onto a piece of scrap cardboard I painted black to give it a stiff support to suspend behind the oval frame. I wanted a 1/4 setback between the photo and the oval frame but it would have been simple to just hot glue or tape the photograph behind the oval frame.

 

Photo showing gluing beads on the back of the photo.

I glued 4 beads onto the back of the photo to space the photo away from the back wall of the the shadow box, but keeping it 1/4″ from the oval frame.

 

Photo of portrait placement in the shadow box.

I was happy with the placement of the photo, but I did not glue the shadow box to the back of the frame yet.

 

Photo of decorated frame.

I used my assorted notions to decorate the frame.

 

Photo of close up of skull candle holder.

I used a small plastic cross and glued a skull to the cross to make a candle holder. Then I melted a one inch section from the top of a gold birthday candle, using a bit of hot glue.

 

Photo of decorative tape used as Papel Picado.

I had originally thought I would make tiny cut tissue paper Papel Picado for the shutters, but I found and used decorative tape to make the shutters look like Papel Picado. This was much easier and far more intricate than I would have ended up with had I followed my original plan.

 

Photo of Ofrenda

I made miniature Papel Picado banners to hang across the open Ofrenda.

 

Photo of side view

Side view

 

 

Photo of finished Ofrenda

I had intended on tucking paper marigolds in the shadowbox behind the picture but I decided the black was much more dramatic and so I left it flat black and glued the shadow box with the photo behind the frame.

I hope my tutorial has inspired you to create one of your own. Please leave any comments or questions below. I would love to hear about your genealogy crafts. If you need any of the supplies from Amazon, please click through using the Genalogy-GenCraft affiliate links below.

 

 


If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

Supplies for this Project

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Other “Day of the Dead” themed items you may be interested in…

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Pedigree Chart Art – Make it your own

June 23

NOTE: I am not Tlinget. This art project is to demonstrate making a pedigree chart based on family tradition and/or art created by one of your ancestors. I am just lucky enough to have offered to help a friend with her genealogy and do a pedigree chart for her, only to find that she possessed the most fabulous tunic created by her mother.



A similar project could just as easily be done using the fabric of your mother or grandmothers apron or favorite dress and bits and scraps out of their jewelry box or junk drawer.



I sat down with my friend Julia, and started asking her all the standard questions to fill out a pedigree chart to the best of her abilities, as far as she knew so I could continue and confirm the information.

Then I asked her if she had any photographs of her parents, grandparents, etc and she produced this incredible portrait of her parents.

Photograph of Rachel "Dixie" Johnson and Peter Charles Johnson Sr.

Rachel “Dixie” Johnson and Peter Charles Johnson Sr.

I commented how cool it would have been if the photo were in color and she said she owned the tunic that her mother was wearing in the picture.

Photo of Front of Julia's mother's tunic

Front of Julia’s mother’s tunic

Photo of Back of Julia's mother's tunic

Back of Julia’s mother’s tunic

I set to work taking lots of photographs with my iphone of all the detailing as well as a large solid area of felt on the back. Here are only a few of them.

Photo of Bead work on tunic

Bead work on tunic

 

Photo of Bead work and fringe on tunic

Bead work and fringe on tunic

Photograph of Large solid area of felt on back of tunic © 2017 Genealogy-Gencrafts.com

Large solid area of felt on back of tunic

Photograph of Button boarder on sides of tunic

Button boarder on sides of tunic



Color swatches from the photos of Julia's mother's tunic

First I made color swatches from the photos of Julia’s mother’s tunic

Photo of One of the first things I did was replicate sections of the bead work and make Julia some scrapbooking paper using the colors and textures found in the tunic

One of the first things I did was replicate sections of the bead work and make Julia some scrapbooking paper using the colors and textures found in the tunic

 

Photograph of digital scrapbooking papers based on the bead work and colors found on the tunic made by Julia's mother

Using Photoshop filters I made more abstract digital scrapbooking papers based on the bead work and colors found on the tunic made by Julia’s mother.

Photo of Using a traditional Tlinget Button Blanket shape, I copied buttons and beads off of the tunic to make a simple Pedigree Chart for Julia using the digital scrapbook papers I made in Photoshop using the colors and textures from her mothers tunic.

Using a traditional Tlinget Button Blanket shape, I copied buttons and beads off of the tunic to make a simple Pedigree Chart for Julia using the digital scrapbook papers I made in Photoshop using the colors and textures from her mothers tunic.



But the project that exploded in my mind when I first saw the tunic was this chart, using more of the elements from the tunic. The felt from the tunic, the fringe on the bottom with the button borders, the beaded flowers, and the beaded eagle head.

Every element on this artwork, turned pedigree chart, was created by Julia’s mother, Rachel “Dixie” Johnson, I just rearranged it and included the portrait that led me down the path to this finished product.

I did the entire project using digital images in Photoshop. There was no fabric, bead work or eagles, damaged to create this artwork.

Photo of Final artwork designed using elements of fabric and bead work from Julia's mother's tunic.

Final artwork designed using elements of fabric and bead work from Julia’s mother’s tunic.



I hope this inspires you to create a pedigree chart that jumps out of the frame instead of the same old, same old, chart they have been photocopying down the ages.

Get Inspired !

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly


The bead work designs above were created by Peter Charles Johnson Sr and executed by Rachel “Dixie” Johnson. I received permission to put the photographs on this post, and to do the pedigree charts. Please respect their creative copywrite and mine and do not reproduce without written permission. © 2017 Genealogy-Gencrafts.com

 

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Simple Cookie Cutter Photo Ornaments

December 19
A photograph of a Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photo of David Anthony Whedbee

Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photo of David Anthony Whedbee

A Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photograph of Paul Benton Hoyt

A Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photograph of Paul Benton Hoyt

Christmas Ornament featuring Audrey Hoyt and John Whedbee in 1947

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of Audrey Hoyt and John Whedbee 1947

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Photo of Tools and Supplies for this project. Listed below.

Tools and Supplies needed for this project; Dremel tool or other drill; Cookie Cutter; Photo to fit; 1/4″ adhesive squares; Silver 3 dimensional paint; Glitter or fine glass beads; Embellishments of your choice.

Photograph of drill going through the cookie cutter

First thing to do is drill a hole in the top center of the cookie cutter. If you don’t have access to a drill you could place it on a board and use a nail and hammer to make the hole.

Photo pointing to the front edge of the cookie cutter.

The edge of the cookie cutter with the rolled edge should be established as the front of the Christmas Ornament.

Tracing around the photograph.

If the cookie cutter has fairly straight edges you can just place the cookie cutter on top of your photograph and trace around it. Using this method you will cut to the inside of the line to make it fit the best.

Making a template from the cookie cutter.

A different method is to place the rolled edge on a piece of paper, trace around it and use that piece of paper as a template after you make sure it fits into the cookie cutter well.

Cutting out the template

Cut out your template and make sure it fits well.

Making sure the template fits.

Once you make sure your template fits well it is easy to lay it over the photo, trace around it and cut out the photo. Like a carpenter who measures twice and cuts once, it is easier to cut a new template than have to get a new print if you have ruined your photograph.

Photo showing 2 - 1/4" squares of foam adhisive squares.

You are going to place the 1/4″ adhesive foam squares, 2 deep on the back edge of the cookie cutter

Photo of row of 1/4" adhisive squares.

Place the first row of 1/4″ adhesive squares flush to the back edge of the cookie cutter. There is no exact measure between the squares but make sure there is one at every corner or sharp turn to make an even platform to place the photo.

Showing placing the second row of adhisive squares.

Then go back and put another row of the 1/4″ foam squares around the cookie cutter. If the cookie cutter does not have many details you could use 1/2″ adhesive squares and skip the second row.

Photo of the photograph placed inside of the cookie cutter on top of the foam squares.

Make sure the photo fits properly.

Putting the glue on the top edge of the 1/4" adhesive squares.

You can use any clear glue you want and dab a little on the top edge of each adhesive square, or do as I am here and using silver 3 dimensional paint since that is what I am going to use to finish the front edge.

Place the photo on top of the adhesive squares.

Place the photo on top of the adhesive squares.

If the photo does not lay flat put something light enough to press it flat but not so heavy that it bows down. I used the bottle of 3 dimensional paint. Let it dry thoroughly.

If the photo does not lay flat put something light enough to press it flat but not so heavy that it bows down. I used the bottle of 3 dimensional paint. Let it dry thoroughly.

Run a thin but even line of silver 3 dimensional paint around the picture. It will be a close color to the cookie cutter.

Run a thin but even line of silver 3 dimensional paint around the picture. It will be a close color to the cookie cutter. If your cookie cutter is not tin, pick a paint that matches the color of the cookie cutter.

You could consider it finished at this point.

You could consider it finished at this point and put the hanger on it along with any embellishments you prefer.

I sprinkled clear iridescent glass beads on the front while the paint was still wet and rolled the cookie cutter around to distribute them evenly.

I sprinkled clear iridescent glass beads on the front while the paint was still wet and rolled the cookie cutter around to distribute them evenly.

You could also use any kind of glitter that suits your fancy.

You could also use any kind of glitter that suits your fancy.

Descide how you are going to hang the ornament.

I am starting with a ornament hanger from the craft store and need to straighten the end before sliding it through the top of the ornament. You could simply run a ribbon through the hole if it were large enough.

Push the wire or ribbon through the top of the ornament and either bend a loop on the inside or tie a knot.

Push the wire or ribbon through the top of the ornament and either bend a loop on the inside or tie a knot.

Putting information regarding the picture on the front of the ornament on the back

Print information about the person on the front of the ornament and cut it out to fit the back of the ornament using the same template that you used to cut out the photograph. Use a little glue on the back side of the foam squares and finish the back of the ornament.

Photo of back of ornament with the personal information on it.

You can finish the back edge and fill in any gaps with your silver 3 dimensional paint

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Put any embellishments you desire on the ornament and hang on the tree : )

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Using Coffee Cups for Photo Albums

December 13

When you are lucky enough to have photographs of multiple generations you need to show them off in ways that get the most mileage.

And Coffee Cups often fit the bill.

Unlike whipping out your smart phone to show your latest selfies to people who don’t care, having your family photos on your coffee cups inspire people interested in genealogy to perk up and ask questions. Or not.

This cup shows photos of my sisters grand children, her daughter, her, our mother, our mothers mother, and her mother . . . and her mother . . . . .

Some layouts are handy because at a certain point you can swap out the younger generations and use the same design for sisters and cousins like I did here.

coffee-cups

Susan’s Mothers Day, Coffee Cup

coffee-cups-1

Noma’s Mothers Day Coffee Cup

The first layout being my sister’s cup and the second cup being for a cousin. I had to change out their moms, them and their children and grandchildren, but the grandmothers, great grandmothers and great great grandmothers remained the same.

Mothers Day Coffee Cup to show off Genealogy Crafts

Mothers, Mothers, Mother

Since I had one printed and mailed and the other cup was printed locally I had to change the dimensions. This is something you have to be careful about. Even between cups from the same company the dimensions are different for 11 oz cups vs 15 oz cups etc.

 

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Transferring Photographs to Tin Ornaments

November 28
img_8239

Tin Ornament with the photograph of John L Whedbee Sr and his grandson Charles in approximately 1930, in Arkansas.

Creating Beautiful Vintage Looking Ornaments

Supplies for transfering photo to tin

Supplies Needed:

  • Tin Ornament
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Photo Printed on LASER PRINTER
  • Desired Embellishments
Coat Tin with a generous layer of Matte Mod Podge

Coat Tin with a generous layer of Matte Mod Podge

Place photo toner side down onto the tin.

Carefully place photo or art, toner side down onto the tin.

Ornament

Starting at the center, gently press the paper against the tin, working out wrinkles and excess Mod Podge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ornament

Press out from the center until it is as smooth as possible.

Set ornament aside to dry

Once you have pressed out the wrinkles to the best of your abilities, set the ornament aside for 3 to 4 hours or overnight to dry. The longer the better.

Put ornament in water.

After the ornament is completely dry submerge in water for about 30 seconds.

Tin Ornament

After 30 seconds gently rub the paper, if it starts rolling off, continue gently rubbing, if it does not dip back in water for a few seconds at a time until it does start rolling off.

img_8506

Rub the paper away.

Tin Ornament

Dip back in the water.

Tin Ornament

Continue Rubbing the paper away.

Tin Ornament

You are going to want to get all of the paper to rub away, just keep dipping and rubbing, this takes patience.

Tin Ornament

When you have rubbed all of the paper away let it dry. if you see any paper fibers left you can use wet fingers to get the last of the fibers to roll away.

 

 

 

Hand color the photo

I decided to slightly color the photograph with pearlescent watercolors.

Hand colored photo on tin.

I painted a little peach on the skin, blue on the shirt and green in the trees.

Tin Ornament

After I was happy with the color I dabbed another layer of Mod Podge over the entire ornament, dabbing instead of brushing so I did not move the watercolor paint around. Then I sprinkled on some gold Mica Chips and glitter to sparkle it up a bit.

Tin Ornament with the photograph of John L Whedbee Sr and his grandson Charles in aproximately 1934, Arkansas

I tied a piece of ribbon around the top of the ornament and it was ready for the tree.

Other Examples

14063783_10154446365411060_4299547362221220339_n

Paul Benton Hoyt and his first wife Amelia Long

Albert Mattingly, husband of Louise Catherine Ryan

Albert Mattingly, husband of Louise Catherine Ryan

.

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Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

November 21

cc_4746

Make the most of grandmothers cookie cutters or make new family treasures from thrift store finds !

cc_4165

 

Tools and Supplies

Tools and Supplies

Tools:

  • Drill to put a hole in the top of the cookie cutter. You could use a nail and hammer.
  • Block of wood to drill into
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Supplies

  • Cookie Cutters
  • Photo Prints
  • Pen and Paper
  • Glue squares
  • Jump Ring and Ribbon to hang the ornament, options below.
  • 3 dimentional paint, I used a glitter color on this ornament, works as both glue and grout to cover any mistakes. Tin cookie cutters I use a pewter color that looks good with the silver cookie cutter.
  • Whatever Embellishments you desire
Sizing your photographs.

Trace around your cookie Cutters and then scan the page so you can use it for sizing your photographs to make them the perfect size. If that is to complicated, get 4 x 6 prints of your photos and pick a cookie cutter to fit the picture instead of the other way around.

 

Final print to make 9 cookie cutter ornaments.

I used the scan of the cookie cutters as the bottom layer in Photoshop and made sure the pictures I wanted for the cookie cutter ornaments fit. Then I sent one 8×10 print to have a matte print made. Glossy printes end up with fingerprints on them. The final print I was able to make 9 cookie cutter ornaments.

 

Measure Twice, Print Once.

Make sure your photos fit the cookie cutters by making a print at home before sending to get a photo quality print.

Drilling the hole to put the ribbon through

Drilled a small hole in the top of the cookie cutter to put a ribbon through. You could also epoxy a loop of some sort to hang from or tie a ribbon to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Placement

Hold the cookie cutter behind the photo to get perfect placement.

cc_4508

Trace around the cookie cutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out your picture.

Since the sides of this cookie cutter are tapered, i drew a second line 1/8 of an inch smaller than the outside so the picture would be perfectly positioned.

Make sure your photo fits perfectly.

Make sure your photo fits perfectly.

This was a very shallow cookie cutter so I only used the 1/4" x 14" mounting squares.

This was a very shallow cookie cutter so I only used the 1/4″ x 14″ mounting squares.

 

Placing mounting squares

Place the mounting squares all the way around the cookie cutter.

 

cc_4621

Once you get the mounting squares in, but before you put the picture it you must install the ribbon hanger. I tied the ribbon securely to a jump ring.

Install the ribbon

I put the ribbon down through the hole I drilled at the top of the tree and then hot glued the ribbon to the back of the cookie cutter.

Place the photo in the cookie cutter

Place the photo in the cookie cutter where it sets nicely on the mounting squares.

Make sure it fits perfectly.

Make sure it fits perfectly.

Put a small amount of glue on the mounting squares to adhere to the picture.

Put a tiny amount of glitter glue or 3 dimensional paint on the edges of the mounting squares to adhere the photo to. You could also use any simple paper glue.

Secure photo with glitter glue.

Put your photo in position and run another line of glitter glue around the edge of the cookie cutter and embellish as you please.

The tiny Christmas lite strand make this tree even more festive !

The tiny Christmas lite strand make this tree even more festive !

 

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Pass Down The Family Recipes On Useful And Decorative Pot Holders

November 16

aunt-louiss-hot-pad


A grand way to pass down the family recipes are to turn them into practical kitchen artifacts.

When I was a child, I thought “salad dressing” was this recipe. The recipe was on a 3 x 5 card in my moms recipe box, it said “Lois’s French Dressing” at the top of the card. I was a teenager before I learned there were other kinds.  And not being a fan of salad in general, I did not think much about it over the years unless I was in a situation that I had a plate of lettuce put in front of me. When my mother passed away one of my disappointments was that this recipe was no longer in the recipe box.

When I decided to do a post about handing down recipe’s I was reminded of this tangy memory of my aunt Lois and I called my sister and asked her if she could go through moms recipe boxes and look again for me, to no avail. I even contacted Lois’s daughter.

You were almost reading a post about the worlds best pecan pie, made out of walnuts, but that is a long story in itself.

You have to consider the fact that I have moved several times over the years since mom passed away, and to my knowledge I have never had a copy of the recipe. About 2 weeks ago I moved a box in my dining room and a piece of paper fell out. While I do believe in miracles I doubt that they get wasted on salad dressing recipe’s, but there it was. A very old xerox copy . . . Aunt Lois’s French Dressing . .

Pecan Pie will be on a dish towel. . .


Step OneDesign your Pot Holder in your choice of layout programs and print the design on some cotton fabric with a laser printer or write out the recipe directly onto fabric with a waterproof pen.

 

loises-hot-pad-front

8″ x 8″ is a practical size.

I made a salad and poured on the dressing, and took a photo and printed it, to put on the back side of the pot holder. You could do similar or use any cotton fabric of your choice. Maybe even use some fabric from a heavy cotton item belonging to the recipe owner?

loiss-hot-pad-back

Step 2 – Assemble your pot holder. You will need some padding. I used 2 layers of an older towel but you could purchase some fusible fleece for padding. I have not sewn in years so I sprayed the back sides of the front and back fabric with some spray basting. A shot to both pieces of towel and stacked them appropriately. Then used some 3/8″ heat bond to iron on the hem tape. In the top left corner I added a loop to hang the pot holder.

loiss-pot-holder-assembly

Step 3 – Embellish. Depending on how durable you want your pot holder to be you should either use a sewing machine to secure the pot holder together or do as I did and use a blanket stitch to go around the edges.

aunt-louiss-hot-pad

The perfect gift for children moving away from home !

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Use Ancestor’s Cemetery Headstone Information To Create A Unique Necklace

November 2

 

Simple Headston Necklace

Whether you choose to make this simple and inexpensive version of my creative Headstone Necklace . . . . with typed data. . .

More involved neclace made from reduced headstone rubbings.

Or this version, with actual headstone rubbings reduced down to a fraction of their original size, with extra embellishments and photos. . . . Either one is made more special by the information being from your own ancestors !

Supplies you are going to need for the headstones are:

  • Paper and or towel to protect your work surface
  • Small wooden tags (half again more than the number of headstones you need)
  • Pens and Acrylic Paint to color headstone
  • Print of the information you want of the headstones
  • Mod Podge
  • 2 chains – plastic or metal
  • connectors or jump rings and extra links of chain

Tools you will use.

  • Soft Paint Brush
  • Bowl of water
  • Jewelers pliers.

Making Your Headstones –

Start with wooden blanks for your headstones.

You need to pick small wooden tags available in most craft and many department stores with the hole already drilled, or find tiny headstone shaped wood blanks (available during Halloween craft season) that you will need to drill later on. The small wooden tags come in a reasonable variety of shapes. I would recommend doing several extra in case you are not happy with the results of a given headstone you can do it over.

Step One

For the Mod Podge to work properly you need to have at least a basic layer of paint or primer on the wood. . . What I did was start by saturating the wood with water on a soft bristle paint brush.

Color to suit your pleasure.

You can paint your headstones any way that suits you. . . I outlined each headstone with a Gelly Roll pen which is water-soluble and has a ink which was a lot faster than a layer of paint since I did not just want plain white or grey headstones.

Paint all your headstones the same.

However you choose to paint your headstones, do all of them the same way, here I put red on top left, purple bottom left, blue top right and green bottom right. . . some a little more, some a little less, but primarily the same.

Ink up each headstone.

The ink on each little headstone bled from the water, and I exaggerated this action by adding more water and swirling the brush around immediately after I inked up each one.

Dry the water off your headstones.

I wiped each piece with a piece of tissue. . . rubbing the center a little extra to stop the bleeding of color, and let them dry.

Swirl watered down acrylic in the center of the headstone.

To lighten the center a little more I swirled a watered down brush with just a little antique white acrylic paint on each headstone to lighten up the center. The color bled up through the wet acrylic paint.

Colorful Headstones

Color added some fun to my headstones, but I believe grey would look more spooky for Halloween. . . . The more unique your color scheme, the more extra headstone you should paint.

Print your headstone information in reverse

Type the information you want on your headstones to fit and then flip your print when you print the information.

Cut to fit your headstones

Cut to fit your headstones

Put a nice layer of Mod Podge on your print.

Put a nice layer of Mod Podge on your print.

Center your prints on each headstone.

Center your prints on each headstone.

Smooth bubbles out from under prints.

Use an outdated credit card to smooth any air bubbles under the paper. Don’t get any Mod Podge on top of the paper if you can help it.

Soak little headstones about 2 minutes each.

Toss 2 headstones in a bowl of water. As you pull one of the headstones out of the water put another one in so they get a head start wetting the paper good. . . you should be working fast enough that they should not be in the water more than a couple of minutes each.

Rub the paper off of the headstone.

As you pick each headstone out of the water soak, rub it with your thumb, and the paper will roll right off. . . rub in all directions.

Get all the paper off the headstones.

Get all the paper off but don’t rub so hard the type comes up.

See your words apear.

This is where you start mumbling about needing to have painted more blanks.

You can re-wet the paper to remove remaining paper.

Even after the headstone dries you can re-wet and rub off remaining paper.

After all the paper is up dry with a soft cloth.

After all the paper is up dry with a soft cloth.

Here are the headstones of Susanna Fields Whedbee, William T. Whedbee and all of their children.

Here are the headstones of Susanna Fields Whedbee, William T. Whedbee and all of their children.

Drill your headstones.

After the headstones have dried, you can put a 1/8″ hole in each one with a drill, if the wooden blank does not already have a hole in it. . . I don’t drill the headstones before this because the paint goes on easier, the Mod Podge does not build up in the hole and until now you don’t even know that you are going to be happy with each individual headstone.

Assembling the Necklace –

This low budget version I used plastic chains and connectors.

For this low budget version I used 2 packages of plastic chains and 1 package of connectors (total $3).

Cut off 2 or more inches of one chain.

Cut off 2 or more inches of one of the 2 chains so your headstones have plenty of room to hang.

Connect 1 end of both chains together.

Connect one end of both chains together.

Connect the other ends.

Connect the other ends.

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If you want to add a center photo to the simple necklace you can do it using the same method that you used to put the words on the headstones. Here I put a photo of Susanna on a wooden tag that I had prepared with the same colors as the headstones. I then doodled around her picture with gold and silver metallic markers and black fine line Sharpie.

The plastic connectors do not require any tools to connect to the plastic chains.

The plastic connectors do not require any tools to connect to the plastic chains.

Improved dangling.

I found the little headstones hung from the chains much better if there was an extra link and jump ring connector between the chain and the headstone.

Improved dangling.

Hints –

You are going to want to lay out the necklace chains and figure out where you want your little headstones before you put them on the chains, but don’t be surprised if you have to adjust them once you try it on.

Add extra embellishments to make your “cemetery” more interesting

Finished Simple Headstone Necklace –

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Advanced Headstone Necklace –

Three comments and I will do a tutorial on making this necklace.

Three comments and I will do a tutorial on making this necklace.

Hope You have a creatively blessed day !

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly

 

 

 

 

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DIY Halloween Jewelry featuring your ancestors !

October 27

Halloween is upon us !

The thoughts of cemeteries and photos of dead relatives are at hands reach for most genealogist so why not take advantage of our genealogy files to create fun and classy Halloween Jewelry that we can identify with!

This is a project that can be done in one afternoon if you have a craft store that carries Tim Holtz scrapbooking accessories near by, or with Amazon Prime you can get ready for next year early.

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SUPPLIES –

Supplies

Here are the supplies you need: A) Photo B) Chain, either bulk or one ready made chain that will go over your head and a second 4 inches longer C) Glue that is photo safe but strong enough to hold embellishments D) Photo frame, here I am using a round frame that the picture is 1 1/8′ with the frame wide enough to hold spiders E) 4 very small red rhinestones F) Jim Holtz spider embellishments G) Eye Pin long enough to hold the word you are going to spell.

TOOLS –

Tools needed for this project

Here are the tools you might use: A) Small scissors B) Jewelry Pliers C) Tweezers D) Tooth pick E) Pen F) End Cutters.

PRINT –

I recommend White Metallic Cardstock.

If you are going to print your photo instead of using a commercially processed print, I would recommend White Metallic Cardstock. It gives the print an unusual sparkle that makes old photos look great.

ASSEMBLY OF PENDANT –

Measure image

Measure the area that the picture needs to fit or use the template that comes with many frames.

Trace around template

Trace around template

Cut out the photo

Cut out the photo

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Put a small amount of adhesive in frame

Put a small amount of adhesive in frame and spread it out very thin.

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Place photo in frame

Carefully place photo in frame

Different Finishes for Photo

If your frame came with a plastic or glass bevel you can put it on now or you may desire to use Ice Resin or another three dimensional sealer if you want your pendant to have a more finished appearance. BEWARE you need to do a test on a scrap piece of the picture before you use any type of paper sealer, decoupage or crackle finish to make sure it will not blur or pull up the finish of the picture. This comes from experience. Not all finishes work on all photo paper !

Use a tooth pick and put a dot of glue where you want your first gem to go

Use a tooth pick and put a dot of glue where you want your first gem to go.

Place the gem.

Place the gem.

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Continue embellishing the frame with your gems.

Continue embellishing the frame with your gems.

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Prepare to embellish pendant.

Prepare to embellish pendant.

Your going to have to remove the ring from the spider.

Your going to have to remove the ring from the spider.

The end cutters are good to remove the ring from the spider.

The end cutters are good to remove the ring from the spider.

If the end cutters do not leave a clean cut, the jewelry pliers can be used to nibble off any bits remaining.

If the end cutters do not leave a clean cut, the jewelry pliers can be used to nibble off any bits remaining.

Look Ma . . . clean bottom : )

Look Ma . . . clean bottom : )

Put a dab of glue on the frame for your spider

Put a dab of glue on the frame for your spider.

Put spider in position.

Put spider in position.

The second spider will look best if it is symmetrical in placement as possible.

The second spider will look best if it is symmetrical in placement as possible.

At this point you have multiple options. Follow my directions or use the finished pendant any way you can imagine.

At this point you have multiple options. Follow my directions or use the finished pendant any way you can imagine.

ATTACHING PENDENT TO CHAIN –

Cut chain to appropriate length

If you are cutting the chain yourself and don’t want to use a clasp measure one chain that will go over your head. Cut another chain 4″ longer than the first if you have not purchased 2 ready made chains (one 4 inches longer that the first),

Spread the link from one end of the longest chain and slide it into loop on the frame.

Spread the link from one end of the longest chain and slide it into loop on the frame.

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Repeat for the other end of the long chain.

Repeat for the other end of the long chain.

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ASSEMBLING THE NAME CHAIN –

Connect an eye pin that is long enough hold the name you want to spell onto one end of the shorter chain.

Connect an eye pin that is long enough hold the name you want to spell onto one end of the shorter chain.

Crimp the eye pin to the chain.

Crimp the eye pin to the chain.

Slide the letter beads onto the eye pin.

Slide the letter beads onto the eye pin.

Cut the eye pin, 1/4" longer than the name and make a loop that you can connect to the other end of the short chain.

Cut the eye pin, 1/4″ longer than the name and make a loop that you can connect to the other end of the short chain.

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Embelish your chain with spiders

I counted 6 links out from both ends of the name and placed a spider embellishment to the chain using a spare link left over when I cut my chains to length. Alternately a jump ring of the same color as the chain could be used. Then I counted another 8 links out in both directions and connected another pair of spiders. Depending on the size of the links on your chain

Name chain with 4 spider embellishment.

Name chain with 4 spider embellishment.

Completed Necklace featuring my Great Grandfather as a young man. Just in time for Halloween !

I opened the center back link of the pendant chain and connected it to the name chain so they would always remain centered together. Here is the completed necklace featuring my Great Grandfather as a young man. Just in time for Halloween !

Hope you have a Happy Halloween

Jackie Mattingly

 

 

 

 

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DIY Light weight Photo Cube Decorations

September 14

Aunt Mary turned 90 and had a birthday party in August.

I made her 6 of the 6 sided photo cubes which were lightweight enough to hang from the wire armatures of a balloon weight.

Each cube was different so we were able to display 36 photos on what became a table centerpiece at the party.

The instructions for making the 6 sided cubes are at my previous post “How to make 6 sided photo cube” Click HERE

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How To Make A Cherished Family Heritage Bracelet – Easier Than You can Imagine

August 23

Finished-bracelet---Audrey-Anne-Elizabeth

 

This may be one of my favorite, quick, go-to gift projects of all time. I keep a half dozen of the photo bracelet kits in the craft drawer in the event I need a quick gift, especially when a relative shows up unexpected during the holidays. I can excuse myself and go resize a half dozen pictures, print them and have the project done before anybody knows I am gone. The bracelets make great presents for grandmothers when you include all of the grandchildren. The photo selection is only limited by your imagination.

There are a number of photo frame kits available with different numbers of frames including square, round, and charm frames.

There are Amazon.com links at the bottom of this post to go directly to several choices. There are numerous styles but they all assemble about the same.

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The intent of this post is to show you the simplest version possible with no additional embellishments or bling. If you are a creative person there are endless ways to embellish the bracelets

The first step is to choose and size your photographs. The photo bracelet kits come with templates and dimensions so you can size the photos properly.

A Template

You lay this template over the photo and if it fits a particular whole you know how much you have to reduce that photo. Or you can just size it to fit the 100% hole.

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I chose a simple 6 frame bracelet that already has several beads between each frame, to include photos of myself, my mother, her mother (my grandmother), her mother (my great grandmother) her mother (my 2x great grandmother), her mother (my 3x great grandmother) and her mother (my 4 times great grandmother). I feel very fortunate to have portraits of 6 generations including myself of my matriarchal line.

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The first step after having your photos sized to fit the template and either printing them on high quality photo paper or having prints made at your favorite photo developer is to take the paper clip or tooth pick and gently press the back of the sample photos and press them and the plastic photo protector out of the frame.

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Cut out your chosen photographs.

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You can see here that my photos were a tiny bit to large. Use the little plastic cover to size your photos and trim off any additional image necessary.

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Slide in the bottom of the photo.

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Bend the photo enough to get the top of the photo to slip into the top of the frame.

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Then put the plastic cover over the photos in the same manor.

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Repeat these procedures until all of the frames have photographs.

If you need additional frames you may need to buy an extra bracelet and take your bracelets apart and restring them with the required number of frames.

Finished-bracelet

I have taken the above style of bracelet apart and put more colorful glass beads between the frames and I have taken the bracelet apart, added another frame and left the beads out so that the bracelet was still the correct size.

Finished-Bracelet-Elizabeth-Ann-Mary

This project is moderately simple to complete once you get your photos sized and printed.

You can change the photos as often as you choose, whether you are finding additional photos of your ancestors or the grandchildren are growing up.

Please remember that clicking on the link below does not cost you any extra but does help me pay the expenses of this blog. If you decide to go back later to purchase please come and click through from the log. It also helps me know if people are enjoying and doing the projects.

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How to Make Panorama Eggs with Ancestors and Family Photos

August 3

 

Panorama Egg Display featuring eggs with photographs of Ancestors and Family

Panorama Egg Display featuring eggs with photographs of Ancestors and Family

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Eggs have been traditional decorations of spring, Easter in particular, for centuries  but don’t let that limit your imagination.  The egg shape is an elegant design, and these panorama eggs can be displayed as a single ornament, included in flower arrangements or even hung as Christmas tree ornaments.

Consider the pictures when you decide how to embellish the eggs. This tree includes my parents and ancestors, so I went with lacy trim and delicate silk and plastic flowers. But it would be easy to make a more modern set of eggs with a more Dr Suess feel, or Funky or maybe use sea shells instead of flowers and have it commemorate a family trip to the ocean and make a driftwood pile to glue them to.

So grab a beverage and contemplate how you would modify these little gems to represent your life and family…

The supply list is at the bottom of the post.

 

A small shot glass makes it easy to imagine the exact positioning you want the opening to be to be. A compass can be used also. Draw around the glass with a marker.

A small shot glass makes it easy to imagine the exact positioning you want the opening to be to be. A compass can be used also.
Draw around the glass with a marker.

 

Carefully cut out the opening of the egg

Carefully cut out the opening of the egg

 

To hang the eggs I have used a 6mm Jump Ring and an Eyepin. There are multiple other ways you could use to hang the eggs, but this method looks very nice

To hang the eggs I have used a 6mm Jump Ring and an Eye pin.
There are multiple other ways you could use to hang the eggs, but this method looks very nice

 

Cut the eye pin to about an inch. Use a sharp tool to put a hole in the top of the egg

Cut the eye pin to about an inch.
Use a sharp tool to put a hole in the top of the egg

 

Push the eye pin through the plastic eggs

Push the eye pin through the plastic eggs

 

After pushing the eye pin through the egg use a small needle nose pliers to bend a knot so it will not pull out

After pushing the eye pin through the egg use a small needle nose pliers to bend a knot so it will not pull out

 

Carefully cut around your photograph

Carefully cut around your photograph

 

you are going to need to take a CLEAN steal wool and rough up the inside of the egg so that the hot glue will stick

You are going to need to take a CLEAN steal wool and rough up the inside of the egg so that the hot glue will stick

 

The small flowers in the egg are multi-purpose. First, They should look nice and be appropriate colors to go with your pictures. Additionally the flowers are used to help position the photos.

The small flowers in the egg are multi-purpose.
First, They should look nice and be appropriate colors to go with your pictures.
Additionally the flowers are used to help position the photos.

 

After making sure the photograph fits in the egg to your satisfaction run some hot glue around the bottom and place in the egg. Using your pokey tool (I know that is a technical description) position the photo where it is standing up straight and hold till the glue gets cold.

After making sure the photograph fits in the egg to your satisfaction run some hot glue around the bottom and place in the egg.
Using your pokey tool (I know that is a technical description) position the photo where it is standing up straight and hold till the glue gets cold.

 

Additional instructions for Panarama Egg

Once the photo is in place you may decide you need additional flowers behind the pictures, now is the time to make sure you are happy.
After you decide what a nice small item to put in front of the photo is (Does not necessarily have to be a flower) put a bit of hot glue in front of the picture

 

Place another flower in front of the photo

Press a small flower or flowers into the hot glue in front of the picture. this serves to cover the bottom edge of the photo as well as adding another element.

 

Using a hot glue gun start putting the trim around the outside of the opening. It usually (but not always) looks better to have the trim extend beyond the egg just a little bit. Slowly go around the egg placing the trim. Do not use any more hot glue than you absolutely have to.

Using a hot glue gun start putting the trim around the outside of the opening.
It usually (but not always) looks better to have the trim extend beyond the egg just a little bit.
Slowly go around the egg placing the trim. Do not use any more hot glue than you absolutely have to.

 

As you are coming around the egg with the trim consider stretching the trim or giving it some ease so that the trim meets in a pleasing way. If you started at exactly the center and end at exactly the center and the trim does not frey it should not matter. If it does not work out quite right you can either consider where you are going to display/hang it. Does it really matter? Or for those picky among us . . .consider a flower or other embellishment.

As you are coming around the egg with the trim consider stretching the trim or giving it some ease so that the trim meets in a pleasing way.
If you started at exactly the center and end at exactly the center and the trim does not frey it should not matter.
If it does not work out quite right you can either consider where you are going to display/hang it. Does it really matter? Or for those picky among us . . .consider a flower or other embellishment.

 

It looks real nice, but is not necessary to put a complimentary bit of lace around the egg also. Make sure the trim around the back tucks under the trim in the front.

It looks real nice, but is not necessary to put a complimentary bit of lace around the egg also.
Make sure the trim around the back tucks under the trim in the front.

 

Finished panorama Egg

Finished Egg featuring the wedding photo of Jackie Whedbee and Larry Mattingly

 

Finished Panorama Egg Tree

Finished Panorama Egg Tree featuring photographs of the family and Ancestors of Jackie Whhedbee-Mattingly

 

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Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-Mary-Applegate

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Your supplies will include:

  • Eggs, here I used the soft plastic eggs that are just soft enough to cut with an craft knife.
  • A Pen, for drawing the opening of the egg.
  • Shot glass or compass to make circle for opening on egg.
  • Craft knife for cutting hole in front of egg.
  • Pokey thing . . ok . . It is actually called a “weeder” by Circut (see why I call it the pokey tool) or a multi purpose pick.
  • Eye Pin and Jump Ring to hang the egg from. Ribbon or other hanger may be used.
  • A pair of manicure or embroidery scissors suitable of cutting tiny details of photograph.
  • Small need nose craft pliers.
  • Hot Glue gun and glue sticks.
  • Selection of tiny silk flowers or other small flowers, items of bling, The smaller the better.
  • Trim. It is possible to buy selections of small color coordinated trim at craft stores. you will need less than 6″ per egg.
  • An Ornament Hanger to display the finished egg.

 

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Make a Mother’s Day Coffee Cup for Any Day With Your Genealogy Information and Vintage Photos

July 27
Genealogy-Gencracts-Simple-Mothers-Day-Cup

Mother’s Day Coffee Cup displaying pedigree and pictures of all the women ancestors


There are so many places that will print your favorite photo jpeg onto a cup there is no excuse not to display your genealogy and admire your photo collection.

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One Mothers Day I made a pedigree chart with my sister and I at the bottom. And included one photo each of ourselves, our mother, our grandmothers on both sides, as well as a picture of my mothers grandmother and great grandmother.

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I had 3 cups made . . . one for myself, one for my sister and one for myself, for Mother’s Day. They are a fabulous reminder of the women in our family tree.

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How to make 6 sided photo cubes using free printable template

July 26

 

Jackie and Larry's Photo Cube

DIY Paper Photo Cube Ornament

Paper photo cubes are easy to do and are so light weight you can hang them almost anywhere !


In todays world of selfies and digital files being thrown away to make room for more it is a great way to prolong the memories of the good times. . . . and or enjoy photos scanned from the photo albums currently collecting dust in the closet.

They are great to use for everything from adding to floral arrangements at family reunions to hanging from the coffee cup holder in the kitchen.

Not to mention the beginning of a family tradition of each person picking their 6 favorite pictures of themselves for the family Christmas tree ornament collection.

Whether you are using vintage family photos or the latest selfies out of your cell phones the hardest part is picking your favorite 6 pictures. After that you do need a photo editing program to use the following directions.

I recommend reading all the directions before diving in.

  • Open and Print Tips for Laying Out/Designing Your Photo Cube.

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  • Click image for full sized PDF
  • Select 6 pictures that will crop well and fit the theme of your cube.
  • For each picture you will rotate the photo 45% if possible.
  • Crop it to 2.3″ @ 300 dpi
  • Open New and Improved Template
Genealogy-Gencrafts Cube Template

Click on Image of New and Improved Genealogy-Gencrafts Cube Template for Free Printable Template

  • With the “Tips for Laying Out/Designing Your Photo Cube close” at hand, depending on whether you are using photoshop or a different photo editing software, place the photos in the direction shown on the Tip Sheet.
  • The Cube looks best when the majority of photos have been rotated 45 degrees before cropping to 2.3″. However sometimes the subjects in the photo makes this impossible. Try different placements, refer to Tip Sheet for direction to place pictures and print your cube on standard paper before you commit to expensive paper or sending file to a photo processor.

Larry-&-Jackie

  • Once you get the cube art done to your satisfaction and printed it on standard paper, cut it out and fold it to make sure everything falls where you wanted and or expected it to. At this point you can print it on a heavy weight satin photo paper or have it printed to an 8×10 at your favorite photo processor. A Satin or Luster finish works much better than gloss because finger prints will show less.
  • Then you need to figure out how to hang your cube. For this example I simple ran a ribbon through a button and tied a knot so it would not pull out if somebody pulled on it.

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  • Cut out around your cube art

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  • If you have a 1/8 in paper punch you can punch a small hole where the ribbon comes out through the cube.

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  • Fold all the panels and tabs.
  • If you are going to use rubber cement as I am here you have to put some rubber cement on the back side of the paper where you will be pressing the flaps that have glue on the front side of the paper. As well as gluing the front of the flaps. Let the rubber cement/contact cement dry until it is tacky.
  • Hot glue applied sparingly works the best to assemble the cubes.

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  • Before you start assembling your cube put the ribbon/button in the corner it belongs. Refer to tip sheet. Glue tab 1 first. Tab 2 next. Followed by tab 3.

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  • Glue Tabs 5, 6 and 7 all at the same time.
  • Gluing in this order is the most efficient.

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Enjoy !

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Panorama Easter Eggs as a way to Display Family Photos

June 22

 

 

Family-Tree-Easter-Egg-Tree

Panorama Easter Eggs Family Tree

 

The Egg is such a perfect shape. Optically it is heavier on the bottom. Has room to decorate inside and out and whether you plan on using real eggs or plastic are readily available. They are light weight and can be stored easily in a commercial egg carton.

 

For complete directions on making your own family tree panorama eggs, click here.

 

Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-Ann-John   Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-Bob-Sue Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-John-Stella Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-John-Audrey Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-George-Bethel Genealogy-gencraft-Panorama-Egg-Tree-Mary-Applegate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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