Genealogy-Gencrafts Getting your genealogy assets out of the file cabinets and onto your walls
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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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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

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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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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.

Finished-bracelt-on-wrist

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 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.

Cube Template.jpg

  • 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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