Today is a great day. After one full decade, I am finally going to wise up and outsmart myself by making these All Year Photo Frames. It was bound to happen eventually, I just thought sanity might strike a bit sooner.
For exactly ten years, since the birth of my son, every year at the same time during the holidays I have said to myself “I should put out photos of the kids when they were little at this time (i.e. looking at you old Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas pics).” Except I forget, that somehow the days seems to zoom by at the speed of light during these very busy times of the year. (see example pic below).
In my vision of the holidays, I am decking the halls in heels, while our children are putting the finishing touches on their Gingerbread Houses and giggling together as they take a taste here and there. Frosty the Snowman is on television playing in the background, and each time I walk by, I look up lovingly at those Christmas characters and smile at what A Wonderful Life we have. Only the sound of my husband greeting us at the door with warm pizza, and our pause for a smoldering smooch under the mistletoe, can stir me from this perfect, magical moment.
Sadly I have to interrupt this cozy show with some breaking news… from October through December, we are lucky to have lunches that include at least two of the four food groups, be wearing socks of the same length (or ones that are actually ours), and have enough gas in the car to make it up our hill. It’s okay if we don’t have enough to make it down the hill, coasting will get us the rest of the way. Although in my daydreams our family is dancing on clouds, the truth is that I just don’t have the time to leisurely peruse 1,000s of photographs during the holidays, print out just the right one, and lovingly put it on display. Closer to the truth is that the age of digital pics leads me to a great deal of guilt, either because I have not made it a priority to parse out our favs and discard the rest, or because I am in constant fear that some epic technical disaster will cause both our local computer backup and external backup to disappear, thus erasing all of our family history and memories together.
NOT…THIS…YEAR Friends, not this year. I’m way ahead of the game. My trick is to fill a frame with not just one great picture, but twelve great pics! This way it’s super easy for me to keep rotating through one a month because they are all together.
The idea for All Year Photo Frames came to me a couple of weeks before Mother’s Day, and I decided to start with photos of my Dad and Mom together. Had I gotten it to my Mum in time, it would have made a great gift for Mother’s Day!
All Year Photo Frames
- Picture Frame (8X10 or less, with a little room in the back). I found mine at Rite Aid.
- 10-12 Same-size Photos
- Buffered Archival Tissue Papers (the 8X10 ones from B&H Photo are perfect)
Lay out your photos.
Prepare your archival tissue papers. (I purchased the 8X10 size buffer papers hoping I could use them for smaller frames as well. That worked out perfectly, because it was very easy to use the 5X7 demo photo that came with the frame as a guide to cut 11 archival tissue papers down to 5X7 size).
Place your first photo in the frame face down and top with one of the archival tissue papers. Repeat until you have layered all of your photos, but don’t place a tissue paper on the last one. (Side note… you don’t want to fool yourself in to thinking you can get the same effect without using the tissue paper. I have “been there and done that” before. Over time, your photos will bleed and stick to each other, making it really tough to switch out your pictures every month).
Enjoy your frame for a few days, and on the 1st of every month, take the photo that is showing and the tissue paper behind it and move those to the back of the frame so that the new one is showing.
You’re done! Next up… I’m working on a set of our kids from moments together. If I really can pull it together later on, I would like to make a frame for each child to rotate throughout the year. I thought it might be fun to share some of the sibling pics I’m adding this round:
The problem with DIY is now I want to make an All Year Photo Frame for everyone I know. Such an easy project, and a great way to make use of more than one wonderful memory currently collecting dust on an old USB jump drive. Now my plan is to kick back enjoying the summer and coast until Christmas. Stay tuned for more on how that plan works out for us.
Cheers to photo frames that are stuffed to the max with great memories!