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Finding uses for old photographs

Updated on December 10, 2013
Cloudy fast asleep.
Cloudy fast asleep. | Source

By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

How to convert photos to digital

A picture paints a thousand words.

Certainly, old photographs tell many stories and bring to mind all things pleasant. The capture the good memories that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

Before throwing that old photograph away, it might be a good idea to spare a thought for the many ways it can be used.

These days, we have taken good old photographs online and turned them into fascinating,well-designed, computer generated collages!

Me, Michelle, at age 6.
Me, Michelle, at age 6. | Source

Why do we like old photographs?

Old photographs strike us in many pleasant ways. They evoke emotions of pure joy and peace of mind seldom experienced otherwise.

Think of grandma sharing her old photographs with us. Those always bring us memories!

Old photographs evoke positive emotions and bring to mind the positive. Looking at them triggers good experiences of the past to be cherished.

Old photographs are good reference points when making conversations. We refer to old photographs when we want to talk about where we have been. It makes places easier to describe.

Describing the beach at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, is definitely much better done with a photograph!

Photographs start good conversation topics. It’s easier to strike up a conversation with someone by asking “Where were you when you took this picture?” It puts the person and ease and he becomes more willing to share his experiences. People are definitely more willing to talk about the good memories behind their photographs than more sensitive topics.

Each photograph tells a story.Although this appears nosy, a person’s likes, dislikes and character can always be inferred from a photograph. They are great sources of history and reveal much about a person’s life and times.

My brother at age 5.
My brother at age 5. | Source

Using old photographs creatively

Old photographs needn’t be left to gather dust in your photo albums. There are many fun and unusual ways to put these older images to use, with a little thinking out of the box.

Create a scrapbook.

Old photos are excellent sources for scrapbooks. You can simply glue them in an empty book with a lovely cover. To create a more professional looking scrapbook, photocopy your old photographs and laminate them. Paste them into an empty scrapbook or bind them and viola!

Hang old photographs on your Christmas tree.

You can hang entire photographs on your tree or wrap them round older ornaments to create new ones. You can decoupage the photos on pieces of wood and hang them on the tree.

Tie them around napkin rings.

Create napkin rings out of your old photographs. All you need is a little help of old ribbon. Glue photos onto thick ribbon with hot glue and tie it round your napkin rings. You can place them bow side down so that image will be face up.

Make a Christmas garland

Gather pictures of your family opening Christmas Gifts throughout the years. Punch holes on the right and left of each photo and run it through them, This makes a cool garland for a Christmas tree, door frame or fireplace. Continue it each year and you’ll soon have yourself a family heirloom.

Decorate your straws.

Cut out the larger images from your photos and make two inch horizontal slits through each image. You can pull a straw through these. They make wonderful party decorations.

Make Ceramic Wall Tiles.

Paste your old photographs onto old ceramic tiles. These can be great as pieces of mounted wall art.

Create Photo lollipops

You can make them to amuse your guests this holiday season. Use old, round plastic covers and tape your photos on them. Tape these on wooden sticks. They will be a great hit with the kids.

Turn them into Christmas Cards.

Write a message on the back of an old photograph, laminate it and send it out as a Christmas Card!

Personalize and line your envelopes.

Cut out your photographs and line the insides of plain envelopes with them. Slot your Christmas card in and its ready to be sent.

Make a photo collage

This is a great family project that can be done with the kids. Find some hardboard and tape your old photographs to it in any sequence you like. Get the kids to decorate the hardboard and you can hang the project on the bedroom wall.

Making a photo collage

How to make a photo collage with Fotor

These days, photo collages have gone digital. Digital photo collages can be easily created with the help of great sites like Fotor.

The site also has options for enhancing photos and making greeting cards out of them.

To begin making your photo collage, follow these simple steps.

1. Go to the Fotor site.

2. Choose the ‘collage” option.

3. Choose from a range of collage templates. Fotor has templates for two to 12 photograph


4. Add photos from your computer, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr or add the URL of images you

discover on the web (make sure these are for legal use, such as those on Creative


5. Choose from a range of border patterns.

6. Colour the background of your photograph just the way you like it.

7. You’re ready to save.

Turn your old photographs into great projects this holiday season and have a little fun!

Original work by Michelle Liew

All rights reserved.


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