Picture-Perfect Vase

A new way to display your favorite family photos

This photo-collage vase is an easy-to-make gift or centerpiece for occasions such as birthdays, weddings and baby showers. Here, we chose a Mother's Day theme using a photo of a mother and child, a ribbon with diaper pin accent and the word "Mother" stamped on the bottle with alphabet stamps and colored stamping powder. You can use any favorite color or black-and-white photo and change it to a tinted halftone for an added effect, as shown here. Add the recipient's favorite flower, and surprise her on her special day.

You will need:

  • Photographic print or digital photograph
  • Small bottle
  • Ruler
  • Color copier or personal computer, Adobe Photoshop software and color inkjet printer
  • Proportion wheel (if using a color copier)
  • Matte-coated, lightweight (27-pound) color inkjet paper (if using a personal computer)
  • Decorative-edged scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Craft seal
  • Vellum heart and letter stickers (available at craft and scrapbook supply stores)
  • Rubber letter stamps (optional)
  • Colored stamping powder (available at craft and scrapbook supply stores; optional)
  • Transparent ink stamp pad (available at craft and scrapbook supply stores; optional)
  • Small, soft-bristle paintbrush (optional)
  • 1/2-yard, 1/8-inch-wide satin ribbon
  • Diaper pin (available at drugstores)
  • Scissors
  • Fresh flowers

More:

Reprinted with permission from Fun with Family Photos by Jennifer and Leslie Barry. Photography by Caroline Kopp. © 2004, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California.

 

To make: 

  1. Choose a favorite photograph. Measure the photo and the side of the bottle with a ruler to determine how large you want your photo to be.
  2. If using a color copier, determine the reduction or enlargement you need using the proportion wheel. If you want to change the color of your photo, adjust the color settings on the copier to print the image in a single color (blue, pink, green sepia, black-and-white, etc.) and make test prints until you have a color effect you like. Make several final copies of your photo at the correct size.

    If using a personal computer, size and crop your digital photo using Adobe Photoshop software so that it fits on the side of your bottle. If you want to change the color of your photo, convert the image in Photoshop to one color. Experiment with the contrast and brightness of the image for different effects. Make multiple copies of the image on your document page, and make a print of your photos using the color inkjet printer paper.
  3. Trim one of the color photocopies or inkjet prints with decorative-edged scissors. Apply your favorite craft seal and let dry.
  4. Spray the back of the print with spray adhesive.
  5. Position the print on the side of the bottle as desired.
  6. Add vellum heart and letter stickers to spell out words.
  7. Alternatively, you can stamp out words or names using rubber letter stamps, the transparent ink stamping pad, and colored stamping powder.
  8. To stamp a word, stamp the letters in transparent ink on the bottle in the desired position. Using a soft paintbrush, lightly brush away the excess powder and allow the lettering to dry completely before handling.
  9. Finish by tying the ribbon around the neck of the bottle, threading it through the diaper pin and tying the ends in a bow.
  10. Trim the ribbon ends with scissors to the desired length.
  11. Carefully fill the bottle with water and add the recipient's favorite flower.
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