18 Creative Ways to Turn Photos into Gifts and Decor

When you get creative and turn photos into gifts and decor, it’s like a whole world just opens up! If you have family and friends who are photo lovers, what better ways to surprise them than to transform their family photos into gifts and decor for them?

My husband Jeff grew up in a big loving family, and I have learned from my dear parents-in-law that no matter how many walls are covered with family photos, there is always room for more!

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Yes, there is always room for more family photos!

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

1 . Use family photos as beautiful and functional entry decor.

The first idea is actually from a recent article: 21 Amazing before-after entryway makeovers.

21 amazing DIY before after entryway makeovers! These dramatic transformations will inspire you to create a beautiful, functional and welcoming entryway! - A Piece Of Rainbow

Out of all the gorgeous entryways, this ingenious entry wall from I’m Bat Mom is a reader favorite! The family photo serves two functions: as a focal point on the wall, and as a space organization guide for the three children to hang their backpacks. ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

2 & 3. Family photos into gifts and luminaries.

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Make these charming photo gifts lanterns with translucent vellum paper wrapped around glass, or in small picture frames glued together. ( Source: 2 | 3 )

4 & 5. Family photo wreaths.

Want a super stylish way to turn photos into gifts?

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The first photo frame wreath was made by the super talented Karianne at Thistlewood Farms.

The second family tree wreath by Jenn at Rook No17 has such a vintage charm. Can you believe she made each aged looking frame out of  chipboard sheets ?

Both wreaths can be started from a grapevine wreath like below.

Make beautiful wreaths easily from foraged materials using a simple hack! See how to make a Honeysuckle or Grapevine wreath, plus gorgeous variations. - A Piece Of Rainbow
Make beautiful wreaths easily from foraged materials using a simple hack! See how to make a Honeysuckle or Grapevine wreath, plus gorgeous variations. - A Piece Of Rainbow

You can make your own honeysuckle or grapevine wreaths easily, here’s the tutorial!

6 & 7. From family photos to hearts wall decor.

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All you need are some washi tape or removable double  sided tape, and LED string lights to make your photo heart spectacular. ( Source: 6 | 7 )

8 & 9. The perfect idea to turn photos into gifts: 3D letters!

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Start with paper mache letters. Use black and white or color photos, whatever suits your style! Everyone would love these great photo gifts, and you can fit many photos on each letter! ( Source: 8 | 9 )

10 & 11. Up-cycle old windows into Decorative photo collage frames.

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Two lovely ways to use reclaimed windows to display a group of family photos.

If you want the pictures behind the glass, you can use these clear adhesive dots . I would get the 6mm or 10mm ones and put them on each of the 4 corners of a photo. They are quite sticky, so only use them on reproductions of your most precious photos!

The first one uses self adhesive photo corners like these. The second one can be created easily using painter’s tape on the back. ( Source: 10 | 11 )

12 & 13. DIY photo canvas prints make great gifts and decor.

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Photo canvas prints are easy to DIY, and they make great gifts! The second tutorial teaches you how to create real canvas like texture! ( Source: 12 | 13 )

14 & 15. Photo trees and clocks.

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Playful ways to incorporate family photos as part of a tree or clock. Here is where you can find the Family Tree Photo Frames Wall Decal and the clock words wall decal.

16 & 17. DIY bottle photo frames.

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Use antique style photos for a vintage touch, or add sand and pebbles for a nautical vibe. ( Source : 16 | 17 )

18. Make a Photo garland.

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This happy wall decor / festive photo display only requires two buckets of sand, two poles, some strings and clothespins. I could see a whole wall of family photos set up this way! Source: Project nursery

This reminds me of the brilliant outdoor lighting idea featured here!

Amazing collection of 28 stunning yet easy DIY outdoor lights! Most can be made in 1 hour, with up-cycled or common materials. So creative and beautiful! - A Piece Of Rainbow

You can check out these lighting tutorials here!

Happy creating! =)

15 Comments

  1. On #10: Are the pictures adhered to the front or the back of the window? I have an old window that I’d like to do this with . . want the pictures behind the glass (for dust & smudge purposes) but not sure how to stick them to the back without the adhesive showing??

    • hi Nicole! thanks for the great question, i will add it to the post as well: if you want the pictures behind the glass, you can use these clear adhesive dots ( https://amzn.to/3FovpFi ) I would get the 6mm or 10mm ones and put them on each of the 4 corners of a photo. They are quite sticky, so only use them on reproductions of your most precious photos! 🙂

  2. I have wanted to do the ones with the window/door for a long time and am finally starting it now. I am in process of sanding all the old paint off and getting old caulk off my issue is I wanted to take each pane out to do a deep clean but not having much luck on that its like they are super glued with 100yr old glue!! Any idea’s?now and

    • hi brandi, i would leave the glass in place so there’s no risk of breaking them. clean everything as much as you can, and add fresh paint on the frames if you want!

  3. these are so awesome! we have a TON of old post cards and making some of these would work for displaying them, too!

  4. Those wreaths are amazing. I would love to try and make one. I also love the photos on the letters. So many creative ideas, and I just love using photos on things.

  5. I love all these ideas but my favorite is the entryway! What a cool makeover. I love the black and white photo, it is so characteristic and the whole place is amazing.

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