I once went over to a distant relative’s house and they had a wall beautifully decorated with photos of their family. She called it her ‘family portrait wall’ and they changed out the photos every year to represent all the family they had spent time with- both close relatives and distant ones. It was a beautiful sentiment and it was done so well that I decided I, too, must have a family portrait wall.
In my previous house, I purchase several matching and similar frames, decided on several photos, had the photos printed in black and white, and laid the frames out on a wall. Overall, it was nice, but it did not have the impact I had originally hoped for.
New house, new attempt. And I had some big plans.
See, I had this huge blank wall to deal with:
I decided to reuse the frames I already had but I purchased some green ribbon to hang them with. I found this incredible wall decal on sale on amazon, ordered it in chocolate brown, and then this happened:
My family portrait wall is now, literally, my family tree.
For anyone who hasn’t worked with wall decals, I highly recommend them. They do take some work, either by squeegeeing the decal onto the backing paper or onto the wall, not to mention positioning the decal correctly, but they are so much easier (and nicer, since I lack artistic skill) than any other option I know of. This particular decal is larger than any I’ve worked with before and I was glad to have had past experience with decals. In the end, though, the results were fantastic and I absolutely love my family portrait wall.
If parents felt insufficient before, the internet has only made the problem worse. Everything from shadow boxes to hold hospital mementos, to photos of their children holding other photos of their children, to weekly scrapbooks, etc, etc, it’s enough to make anyone fell like they’re missing out on their child’s childhood simply in an effort to capture it all.
So, here is yet another one of those projects to consider.
I liked a lot of the weekly/ monthly photo progressions I’d seen on places like pinterest and ultimately decided to do this weekly photo project with the llama I crocheted for my son. The idea is simple: take a photo each week to capture your child’s growth. I chose to repeat the same two shots every week since I’m just not creative enough to come up with different shots/angles/viewpoints every week. But I liked how this allowed a direct comparison of how my son grew each week and, as an added bonus, I liked that the crochet llama used for comparison was almost the same size as my son when he was born.
I ended up doing some photoshop work to equalize the colors between pages, and to make a more consistent background, but I think it was totally worth the effort:
Although, for privacy, I have included hearts over my son’s face, these types of photos not only allowed me to capture milestones like sitting up, supported standing, and crawling, but also facial expressions like smiling and sticking his tongue out.
And now, although I finished this project as a “Baby’s First Year” scrapbook, I have decided to keep taking photos on each of my son’s birthdays and will do another “Llama” book when he turns 18. I can’t wait for the faces he’ll make as a teenager.
I love to do things myself. I love learning how to do things, and I love that doing things yourself usually saves money.
As a result of this DIY lifestyle, I am obsessed with before and after photos. I love seeing several months (or years) of transformation boiled down to a few photographs. The only problem with this concept and how it relates to home improvement is: when do you consider a project finished? No matter how much we do, there is always something more to do. Well, we recently sold our first home and, although we would have continued to ‘improve’ the place if we still lived there, we suddenly found ourselves with a defined ‘after.’
Although I miss our first home and looking at photos of all the hard work we did makes me nostalgic, I decided it was still worthwhile to make a scrapbook of all the ‘improvements’ we made at our old house. And I designed a scrapbook template to show off just that:
And the template is also for sale! The template comes with 2 facing page templates and 16 standard room name titles. Standard corbel text is used if you want to add any additional information to your scrapbook and the template has two colors choices: gray or tan:
Gray Before-and-After Template: $0.99
Tan Before-and-After Template: $0.99
Available for immediate download after purchase.