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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

collages.

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

Commons).

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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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Using your old photos creatively.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great ideas Michelle! HP gives me all the reason I need to keep my old photographs. I can't have too many pictures.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      This is a great idea, I have so many old photos and to be honest with you I prefer the old camera sort of photos, those taken with our phones then printed off don't seem to be the same to me, wonderful hub michelle! voted up and shared, nell

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great hub. Oddly enough, i was looking through my desk drawers just yesterday at those hundreds of old photos and trying to decide what to do with them. You have given me some great idea, and i will make a fun project out of it.

      Thank you so much for this article. Very helpful indeed.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Great Hub with many good ideas. I value my old family albums chock full of wonderful photos.

      Voted up and will share.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I am one who still keep printed copies of my favorite photos despite the digital world we now live in. :)

      Great hub, very creative as usual. I enjoyed your visuals as well.

      Up, pinning and sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I sure need to do something like this! It would be fantastic. That could be a New Years resolution. I have got photos everywhere! Thanks for the great ideas! ^

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These are great ideas to reuse old photographs. I have plenty of them and I love all of them.

      Thanks for sharing the tips! Voted up!

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 3 years ago from GA

      This was interesting. Will be sure to share this with my girlfriend she will love this!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Finding uses for old photographs is such a creative idea and old photos have the best memories.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      You found so many great ideas for using old photographs. Thanks for sharing these creative and useful tips.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      What a lovely picture of Cloudy at the top of this hub, Michelle!

      I never heard of Fotor and it seems quite interesting! I have a mountain of pictures to sort out and with the digital era now, I have even more pictures. My husband and I want to organize our pictures to make kind of books with some writing to remember where and when those pictures were taken. It will replace our albums with pictures. And I also want to go back in old albums with pictures and scan them to create albums for my children. May be I should take a sabbatical year just for that ;-) I wish!

      I will explore Fotor! I think you just gave me the tool to go ahead with one project!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome! Thank you!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Great hub and I love your tips. Now, I'll explore more with my olds photographs. Thanks for sharing with us. Up :-)

      Prasetio

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Awesome! I have tons of old photos that I need to do something with. Thanks, taking note of these. Shared and pinned!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You have a great range of projects here!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill! These will hopefully prep up the season!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Nell! Yes, they aren't...impersonal!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks so much!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you very much, Mary!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Cristina,we should value the old photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Random Creative.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rebecca!!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you so much,presetio30!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Your welcome, Joelle! A great pleasure!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Jackie, that would be awesome!!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janet!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes indeed, they do, DDE.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Michelle, great hub, very useful ideas. I have boxes of old photos, unfortunately they are still languishing in my mum's house in the Grenadines. I need to go sort them out but I find it hard to go back since my mum died over 10 years ago. Thank you for this.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Great ideas! I have a huge garbage bag of my Dad's old photos. Life before digital!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Chitrangada,glad you like it! thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks,Jordan!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      YOu have some great ideas here and it is good seeing you on Bubblews

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      These are some good ideas Michelle. I have boxes of old photos and they just sit around taking up space. Might be nice to make some different memories with them. Thanks!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I love doing projects with photos, so this is right up my alley. Thankyou for providing us with so many ideas!

      I adore the photos of your dog.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Michelle you had complied great ideas in this hub. If I may add one more to your list an idea that I used last year, to be shared here. We did a video of my son using photos when he was a baby up to now, as part of the wedding event. We did a similar compilation for my sister's anniversary and you can do the same for birthdays, graduation etc.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Very creative post. Old photos are a treasure.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Great ideas! I have a lot of old photos for these ideas to make. It would be a wonderful gift to give for a celebration. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and awesome.

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      I love pictures and am always trying to find new, creative ways to make use of them. Great ideas here and I never tried Fotor so I'll have to look into that. I've seen someone use photos to put in the Christmas tree and thought it was a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing this!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Jo! We don't want to throw them, but find new uses for them Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      And now to make them digital, Sheri!!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Carol, glad to see you there too!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Kathryn!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Lovely idea, great stuff....I love the idea of a flowing montage!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Thelma!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 3 years ago

      Very useful Michelle and you look very cute. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas. :-)

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

      Wonderful ideas one of the reason's I love hubbing. Thanks for the ideas for photos :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I LOVE this hub! I love photographs and am always joked about because I take so many pictures. I have lots in frames around the house but eventually space is an issue.

      I can't wait to use your ideas! I especially like the Christmas garland idea. What a wonderful way to remember old Christmas photos of children opening gifts or adults being silly at Christmas time.

      Did you know there are several companies that will turn your photos into actual ceramic tiles?

      This is a subject near and dear to me and in addition to voting up, useful, awesome, and interesting I am pinning and sharing too!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Apart from albums full of old photos, we also have boxes full of them. I desperately need to do something with some of them. Great ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Meldz!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Mary, We can always have a lot of fun with old photos!

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