In a world where most of us walk around with a camera right at hand, it’s easier than ever to take photos, but even easier to let those pictures languish unseen. If you have a smartphone filled with forgotten photographs, or a computer loaded with files of photos that no one ever sees but you, you’re not alone. Those great snapshots of your family, friends, pets or interesting scenery don’t have to stay hidden. Take advantage of your computer’s photograph software to size your pictures up or down, add color or turn them to grayscale, or add fun borders and details. Then print them out on vellum or photo paper. Now you’re ready to turn those pictures into low-cost, high-interest décor around the house.
Frame them: Size your photos large enough to work as wall art, then frame them individually or in groups. Visitors are guaranteed to stop and peruse a gallery of photos mounted in a hallway, stairwell or clustered over the couch.
Make a collage: Instead of framing your photos separately, buy a large, glass-fronted frame, and create a collage of photos. Stick with a similar theme so your result is cohesive, not a jumble of images.
Photo clock: Take an inexpensive wall clock, pry off the plastic cover, then remove the clock’s hands. Glue one large photo over the clock’s face, then replace the hands and the cover.
Lampshade: Use your photos to jazz up a boring white lampshade. Attach photos to the lampshade surface with decoupage medium, then cover with an additional layer of medium for a smooth surface.
Wallpaper: Make a focal-point wall with photos. Blow your pictures up to at least 8 x 10, then print on sturdy paper. Use the photos to wallpaper a small wall in the bathroom, behind your bed, in the dining area or over the fireplace mantel.
Garland: Hang a pretty ribbon across the front of your fireplace mantel, over the front edge of a hutch shelf or along a bookshelf. Paint clothespins in your favorite color scheme, then use the clothespins to clip photos to the ribbon.
Mobile: Crop your favorite photos into circles, perhaps adding different colored filters or effects. Print the pictures, then glue them onto circles of heavy cardstock. Use a decoupage medium like Mod Podge to adhere the photos, then cover them with several coats of adhesive for protection. Punch a small hole into the top of each circle, and tie a length of fishing wire through each hole. Create your mobile frame from wire clothes hangers, twigs or dowels. Hang the photos to the mobile frame, then mount the mobile where it’s easy to see.