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Getting Crafty With Vacation Photos

I don’t know about you, but in the day of the digital camera, I’m a prolific and perfectly undisciplined photographer on my vacations, snapping random pictures of every flower, tree, rock, and seascape that catches my eye. Funny-looking bird? I take a picture. Pink sunset clouds? Shutter-click. Friends laughing at some inane joke we’ll never remember later while posing in front of a very serious statue? Smile for the camera.

When I return from my trips, I always look forward to downloading my camera’s memory card and seeing the pictures in their full pixellated glory. At most, I might then download these photos from my computer onto a public gallery site, to share with my friends and family, but I admit that beyond that, I haven’t made an actual physical photo album in years.

But, there are a few ways to parlay pictures into practical day-to-day items. Here are a few crafty, non-album ways to put your favorite vacation photos to use:

1. Make a Calendar: The New Year is coming, and what better way to turn the page to January than to have a calendar filled with spectacular landscapes that you took on the previous year’s vacations. Every year, I make a calendar for my family, compiled all from our combined vacation photos. I do this using the calendar application on KodakGallery, and I’m sure other sites like Snapfish have this feature as well. If you follow the instructions step by step, it’s really easy to put together, and something my family looks forward to receiving each and every year.

2. Make Personalized Greeting Cards: With sites like making selling your crafts easy, you can take some of your favorite photos, come up with some witty captions, and set up your own greeting card business in no time. Even if you decide not to sell your cards, your loved ones will appreciate getting cards that have some extra personalized meaning to them (instead of some drippy Hallmark poem).

3. Make a Jewelry or Memory Box: Print out your favorite photos and make them into a college on a decorative box (rubber cement or shellacking works well for this). You can keep anything you want inside, from your jewelry to your vacation keepsakes and souvenirs.

What about you? Got any fun and/or crafty ideas about what to do with your vacation photos?


My name: Rachel Berg.

Favorite way to get around: By Venetian gondola during starlit high tide, gliding past decaying and slightly spooky palaces, with perhaps a bottle of prosecco placed between the gondola seat cushions.

View that took my breath away: Unable to sleep in the mystical city of Sfat in Israel, I wandered outdoors predawn and was treated to a purple-on-purple sunrise below the mountaintop that seemed to emerge feet-first through ground-level clouds.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Sunny weather isn't everything. Some of my best travel memories involve go-karting through a deluge turned mud-fest in Mexico, drinking tea in the cold Denali tundra, and watching electric thunderstorms roll through national parks out West.

Most challenging travel moment: Getting leveled by altitude sickness in Cuzco and realizing that my body was forcing me to slow down and rest despite the fact that there was so much to do and see.

Travel ambition: To see the northern lights.


Chuckles McGee

I like to make T-shirt out of them. An inkjet printer and some iron-on transfers. Nothing better than showing up to a party wearing a picture of the birthday boy or girl.

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