Throughout the Bible, we see God's followers set up monuments to remember specific moments of His presence and deliverance. In similar fashion, we can collect photographs of our loved ones and favorite memories to serve as reminders of God's past faithfulness and goodness. These photos can help encourage us when we're down or to share our faith and memories with visitors.
September is National Save Your Photos Month, so to celebrate these snapshots of our lives, here are 10 ways to put old photos to use.
1. Greeting Cards
Transform photographs into deeply personal Christmas and birthday cards by matching each recipient to a photograph that evokes a special memory or message. You can also show your love throughout the year through homemade thinking-of-you cards that remind friends and family of happy times.
2. Customized Ornaments
Clear Christmas bulbs offer a unique canvas for creating memory ornaments made with old holiday photographs. These make cute decorations for your apartment here in ViewPointe or wonderful gifts. You can also try your hand at creating decorative ornaments for other holidays like Valentine's Day or the Fourth of July by selecting appropriately themed confetti, glitter or tinsel fillings to surround your pictures.
3. Flowerpots and Vases
Mod Podge a group of flowerpots and create your own windowsill garden. You could match pictures of family members to herbs, flowers and plants according to a significant memory or to the floral meaning associated with the plant. If you don't have a green thumb, go the alternate route and customize a vase that you can use with real or fake flowers to brighten your senior living apartment.
4. Picture Books
Share some of your most treasured memories through a handwritten storybook, and use your favorite photos to illustrate it. This can be a truly special gift for young grandchildren as they get to see and hold the stories of your life in their own hands. It's also a fun way to help loved ones remember the details of a favorite family vacation or a special event like a child's first day of school.
5. Memory Journal
Decorate the cover of a writing journal with your loved one's name, photograph and embellishments. Then, scatter more photographs along with bits of wisdom, stories, funny sayings and reminders of love throughout the bare pages. They will be able to read over your messages and encouragement as they record their own memories and dreams.
Make each of your children or grandchildren a special bookmark featuring a key moment in their life caught on camera along with an inspiring Bible verse, quote or personal message.
7. Holiday Decorations
Decoupage themed photos to wooden or paper mache letters for a nostalgic holiday display. Potential combinations could be photos from past Christmases on words such as "Noel" and "Joy" on family portraits and baby photos on the word "Blessings" for Thanksgiving Day.
8. Photo Wreath
Change up your wall or door decorations with a customized wreath. You can clip photographs onto traditional evergreen and floral wreaths as accents, or try your hand at some arts and crafts by forming small wooden frames into the shape of a wreath and attaching them together.
9. Personalized Clock
Add a personal touch to your timepiece by carefully taping photographs to its face. You could use standard photos to cover the entire clock or miniatures used in place of the hour marks.
10. Time Capsule
Fashion time capsules out of pictures and personal messages. These could be created for your entire family to open together during a reunion or as gifts for specific individuals on landmark birthdays or key events, such as their graduation or marriage.