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

Your Pedigree – A Long Line Of Love

January 30

Particularly well suited for Valentines cards and decorations, the concept behind these projects are taking the initials from your pedigree, and carving the initials in a tree and interpreting them into Valentines Art.

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

 

Tiny alphabet stamps

I started by purchasing a set of alphabet stamps that were suitably small enough to stamp the wooden hearts.

Stamping the symbols on the wooden hearts

I stamped the “&” symbol first on each heart

Finished hearts

They don’t have to be perfect, but even if you have not painted the hearts you still have 2 chances to get the perfect look . . . if you don’t like it turn it over and try again.

Embellish your stamped hearts

Either before or after stamping you can color and or embellish the hearts any way you please. Or trace over the stamped initials in alternative colors.

Position your hearts

Hot glue your hearts onto the chocolate box or Valentine . . . .

Connect your hearts with bits of twigs.

Snip some pieces of twigs to go between your hearts and hot glue in place. If you don’t like their color you can paint them either before or after glueing in place.

Photo of Valentines Card

This same style of “Carved Initials” Pedigree makes a great Valentines Card

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Scrapbooking the Love Stories of Your Family

January 25

Everybody has their own style of scrapbooking, and it is easy to translate that style into decorating the top of boxes of chocolates making them suitable for anything from Valentines decorations to holding trinkets and memorabilia.

Does your family have a love story?

The most romantic story in our family is that of my Uncle Everett and Aunt Velda’s 50th wedding anniversary. Their children sent them to Hawaii, since they had never went on a honeymoon. Mid-flight, my uncle talked to the stewardess and she let him have the microphone where, at 32,000 feet, on a plane full of people, he beautifully sang, “Let Me Call You Sweet Heart” to his blushing bride . . .

Photo of box of chocholates.

Here I used tissue paper and doodles, with a rosette made from cupcake liners to embellish this small box of chocolates that I picked up at Walmart for $1.

 

Vintage Crazy Quilt Box Of Chocolates

I featured my grandmother, Anne Bethel Hoyt, on a Crazy-Quilt-styled piece of scrapbook art on the cover of a box of chocolates. I used a variety of textured papers, as well as lace and pearl embellishments, to create this chocolate box with a vintage touch.

 

Photo of Digital Scrapbooking on top of a box of chocholates

After the love of my mother’s life (my dad) she loved anything Glittery, Gold, Red, Hearts, Roses and Elvis Presley. This box top is a wonderful combination of all of those in a digital scrapbooking style, without any additional embellishments.

Base Art for Chocholate Box Lid

Here is the art which I used as the base layer to create my moms “Box of Chocolates”.

Notes for the Digital Scrapbooked Heart…

  • I used Photoshop to assemble this digital scrapbook image.
  • I started by putting my box of chocolates in the scanner to get the precise size and shape of the top of the box.
  • I added interest by having the photos going in different directions.
  • I got “texture” photos by searching the internet for Gold and Red Fabric (for personal use only)
  • I put a copy of her marriage certificate as a top layer, at 70% opacity. Erased wherever there was a body/faces or other important images.
  • I used a bevel and drop shadow on the marriage license newspaper clipping and the rose and crochet hearts.
  • To add variety to the photos, I used “photo filter” to shift the tone of several of the black and white photos, some warm, some cool, and hand-colored one of the black and white photos.
  • I was able to put 2 completed hearts on an 8×10″ file (that I then had a high quality commercial print of) so I could keep one box and give my sister the other.
  • Between New Years and Valentines day, I found small boxes of chocolates at Walmart costing as little as $1-$3. That is less than an empty heart-shaped box from a craft store.

 

 

 

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Displaying Genealogy Crafts Year Round

December 20

Merry Everything and a Happy Always

Photo of genealogy crafts hanging on the left side of kitchen archeway

20 years later the decorations are still hanging. Some old some new.

One for Christmas I decorated the archway into my kitchen. I used 2 simple expandable curtain rods (the kind with a spring you just squeeze and put in place) I wrapped one string of 50 tiny red lights that are so cheap at Christmas and a string of 50 multi-color lights around the rod and plugged them in behind the refrigerator.

First I wrapped clear and white beaded garland around the rods. I hung up some non specific ornaments, including little pictures like ones I have tutorials on Genealogy-Gencrafts.com. found Here and Here Then I tucked white garland loosely around the curtain rod, and then red garland was added. . . super festive . . and yes, dare I say, Christmasy.

After Christmas I left everything up except a couple definite Christmas items, and replaced them with Hearts. Not even fancy hearts, just red and pink paper hearts. And I unplugged the multi Color lights, but left them in place.

Shortly after Valentines day I took down the hearts and red garland (note –  I put the white garland up first so removing the red garland was easy.) I unplugged the red lights and plugged the multi-colored lights back in. It was almost like I had a plan. I made and hung some family egg panoramas across the rod. (family egg panoramas are found on the blog here) note – I did not remove the other items on the rod.

After Easter I was at a partial loss. .  .Next Holiday was 4th of July . . . even the white garland was a bit much so I took it down along with the Easter Egg panoramas.

Ironically I had gotten use to the lights framing the kitchen door arch .. . I could navigate upstairs without turning on any lights.

That was over 20 years ago . . .I never have taken down the rods . . .and the lights stay on. Sometimes I unplug them in the summer but most years I don’t. . . .

I had one 4th of July item that I can’t really call an ornament, added to the menagerie and it still hangs there.

Hope everyone has a Merry.

 

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly

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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
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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.

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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

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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 !

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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.

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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.

 

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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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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.

susannah-whedbee

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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Creating a Family Word Cloud Pumpkin

October 28

Creating a Family Word Cloud Pumpkin

Our own version of a word cloud celebrating family.

I went to my sisters house with a plan. I brought 2 pumpkins that I had already painted to choose from and a word cloud I created in photoshop as a starting point. But like many plans some just take on a life of their own, and this cloud changed in the wind.

Word Clouds change in the wind.

Susan had a large selection of letter stickers to choose from and we decided we wanted every name to be different. While that sounds great, it is more challenging than you would think. Even if you choose to make all the fonts the same style I would recommend using different colors alternately over the pumpkin to make each name stand out. For our pumpkin we tried to have a half and half mix of all one color fonts and mixed color fonts.

Bob

Right off the bat (yes Halloween pun) it was determined if we wanted my sisters first and maiden name and her husbands full name to be the largest words on the pumpkin, that if we were going to even attempt to start the word cloud like I had designed in photoshop, that we would have to shorten Robert to Bob . . . and besides I liked the way “BOB” looked in those stickers.

Work out from the first word.

After getting the first name on the pumpkin you have a starting point to work out from. For the second name (Susan) we started with the “N” and worked backwards so we would not have to figure out letter spacing.

Use a guide to keep your names level.

For longer names it helps to use something as a guideline to keep the names straight. Here we set a ruler on the table and turned the pumpkin as the name wrapped around the pumpkin.

Sizing the words

Once the word cloud that I had designed was thrown out the window we worked from the largest names down in order of importance (or perceived importance).

Convienience

We positioned each name on a pencil or ruler so we could move it around on the pumpkin to decide where we wanted it to go. And have the letters convenient as we placed them on the pumpkin.

Fill in the spaces with the smaller names

After placing all the larger names we started filling in the spaces with the smaller names. It helps to use a poker or spatula to place the smaller stickers.

Choose flexible stickers

You need to only choose letter stickers that are flexible enough to stick to the contours of the pumpkin.

We added 2016 to commemorate the date.

We added 2016 to commemorate the date.

 

Add embelishments

After putting all the names on the list there was some room left so we added a couple more peoples names ( Including mine ! ) and still had 2 blank holes which we filled with some Halloween stickers. I especially liked the wiggly eyes.

Jackie's name on the pumpkin

My name ( Jackie ) being one of the last names added to the pumpkin had to be in a letter sticker rejected because the style was already used for Whedbee.  The letters were black which made it harder to see at the bottom of the pumpkin, so we were going to have to do something to spice it up and make it fit my personality, like we attempted to do with all of the other names.

Magic Puff Pens

This is how we finished my name with Magic Puff Pens –

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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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Family Monograms for Upscale DIY Halloween Pumpkins

October 19

If you need help with the design concept for your own monogram go to my post on monogram resources HERE

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Upscale Family Monogram Pumpkin

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Supply list: Pumpkin (I used recycled foam pumpkin from last year), Monogram, Acrylic Paint, Graphite Pencil, Paint Brushes Scissors Painters Masking Tape, Ball Point Pen. Optional: Foil Glue, Gold Leaf, Silver Foil

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Clean the pumpkin with a steel wool scrubby to both clean it and rough up the surface to prepare for painting and then gave it a prime coat of one of the colors you are going to paint the pumpkin with and let it dry thoroughly.

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Once dry continue painting the pumpkin until you are satisfied with the results. Let this coat dry over night.

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Have a monogram sized to fit the pumpkin. Pryor to taping the monogram to the pumpkin use a graphite pencil and THOROUGHLY coat the back of the paper with graphite using a graphite pencil.

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Tape the monogram to the pumpkin with painters masking tape so that the fresh paint will not pull up when removed.

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After positioning the monogram on the pumpkin using the painters tape to make sure it will not move, use a ball point pen and firmly go over the lines that need to be transferred to the pumpkin.

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Make sure all of the lines have been FIRMLY traced.

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After you have traced all of the lines, remain patient.  Only pull up one side of the paper to make sure that you can see the lines well.

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If you will not be able to paint within the lines, tape it back down and go over it again a little harder.

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To be honest, I could see the lines ok, but they did not photograph well so I went over them with a fine tipped black marker.

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At this point you can paint your monogram any way, in any color, that makes you happy.

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It may take 2 coats of acrylic paint to make solid lines solid.

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I wanted to use gold leaf to fill in the outline lettering to make it really shiny but I did not have the gold leaf adhesive so I figured the Deco Foil Adhesive should work.

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Instructions said to hold the bottle at a 45% angle.

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The Deco Foil Adhesive went on REAL THICK so I had to let it dry/set up over night to get to the dry but still sticky point that you can put the gold foil on it.

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I placed a sheet of the gold leaf over the sticky area I wanted foiled and used a soft dry paint brush to both press the gold leaf into the adhesive and brush away the leaf were it was not suppose to be.

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The thick adhesive made for lumpy gold. If it were anything besides a Halloween pumpkin I would have been starting over. But on a Halloween pumpkin it looked pretty cool.

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I did not want the silver foil eyes to be as lumpy as the gold so I tried something different. I used rubber cement and carefully put a thin coat where I wanted the silver foil and let it dry completely. The important issue is to use a glue that when it is totally dry is still tacky.

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Foil works different than leaf. It is as thin as leaf but it is on a substrate that keeps it from tearing and floating away, so once the rubber cement is completely dry you place the foil over the area and rub it firmly.

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Once you are sure you have rubbed every area you gently pull back the substrait and leaving the foil where it sticks to the glue or adhisive. The rubber cement worked as well as I had hoped.

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Once I had finished putting the gold leaf and silver foil onto the pumpkin I went back with the fine paintbrush and cleaned it up a bit with the black acrylic paint.

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Finished pumpkin !

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Pumpkin on display


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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.

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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.

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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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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
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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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The Family Tree, Christmas Tree

June 23

The-Christmas-Family-Tree

A fabulous use for family photos is to make simple cubes to put on your Christmas tree or even dangle from your rear view mirror.

With the smart phones in hand filed with selfies that seem to get deleted when your phone gets filled or uploaded to social media. A great tradition would be to create a photo cube Christmas Ornament for each family member, each year, with the date on it . . . Printed on heavy photo paper or at any discount printer. They could even be mailed flat and assembled by the recipient.

Depending on the number of vintage photos in your collection you can put all of one person on one cube or all of one family on a cube.

You can use one of the panels to put the names, dates or information regarding the photos on the cube on one of the panels that will hang to the back or bottom.

Either left as the simple folded box tucked among the branches as shown here on this small coffee table tree or embellished to suit each person your imagination is your only limitation.

For Complete Tutorial on making your own photo Cube Boxes . . .Click here for precise instructions

Jackie and Larry Cube

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Panorama Easter Eggs as a way to Display Family Photos

June 22

 

 

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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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