There are lots of tips on Capturing Magic for taking great photos on your Disney vacation. There are also numerous ideas on this site for preserving those photo memories in photobooks and scrapbook pages. Why not go a step further and use your favorite Disney photos to create magical artwork and practical pieces for your home and/or office? I have three examples to show you how. They are easy because they mainly require clicks of the mouse on your computer. Great ways to bring some Disney magic into your home!
I am a sucker for the special promotions offered by sites like Shutterfly for free or discounted products. Shutterfly fairly regularly offers ten free notecards (shipping not included – that is the drawback) with no other purchase required, so from time to time I take the offer. I like having personalized stationery on hand that really expresses me and my family. Photo cards definitely do the trick. For the set of cards shown below, I used this photo I took with my iPhone 5 on our first visit to Disneyland last October (2013).
After the trip, we downloaded all of our photos to my computer. I selected the same castle photo and ran it through some filters in Picasa. That is where I added a distressed frame, using the dropper tool to pick a matching pink for the frame color. I saved this final edit to my computer.
I uploaded my edited image to Shutterfly, following the instructions for ordering my ten free 5×7 folded cards. I was even able to add a smaller photo to the back with a caption. The cards themselves were free, and I paid $6.19 for the shipping. I was really happy with how they turned out!
Ordering the mouse pad actually came out of necessity. I recently went back to using a mouse, relying on small books and other flat surfaces when working at the computer. Not a great experience! When I saw another Shutterfly discount – 50% off all mouse pads – I had the idea to use a scenic Disney photo, and ironically it was another shot of Sleeping Beauty Castle from Disneyland in October. This time it was my husband's iPhone 5 photo, which was also downloaded to my computer. The view is of the front of the castle from a side angle, with some roses caught in the lower corner. I really liked this photo as it was one of the few pictures of the castle we have without people and other distractions. (Well, there is one person trying to sneak into the photo, but they were magically removed thanks to a cloning tool!)
In addition to editing out the park guest on the left edge of the picture, I also used the Orton-ish filter in Picasa that would enhance the color and makes the roses pop, while giving a soft, glowy look to the picture. This specific filter applies a photo process known as the Orton Effect. This effect is named after photographer Michael Orton, who took two shots of the same image – one in focus and one not in focus – and layered them together using slide mounts, which resulted in an impressionist-like effect to the image.
After saving my edited photo, I uploaded it to Shutterly and followed the instructions for ordering my mouse pad. After applying the discount, shipping and tax, I paid $11.64 for the mouse pad. I really love how it turned out and I think my mouse is happier, too!
FRAMED WATERCOLOR PRINT
Another project I wanted to try involved the Waterlogue app and the other iconic Disney landmark – Cinderella's Castle. I didn't have many great shots of the castle without people in the way, but I settled on this one from a trip to Walt Disney World in March of 2011, taken with our Nikon D70. I liked it because it had a straight-on front view.
I then performed one of my favorite photo editing tricks – the crop – and got rid of all the people. I also applied a color/saturation edit to strengthen the color of the castle.
Then, I emailed the photo from my computer to my iPhone 5 and saved the image in my camera roll. This allowed me to open the image into the very cool Waterlogue app. I like a lot of the watercolor looks you can get out of the app, but decided on the Rainy filter.
After I saved my final edit on my iPhone, I then downloaded it to my computer. I decided to make a small print at a 4×6 size, but I was curious as to which paper would look best. I printed it on (from left to right in the photo below): plain white cardstock, Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy, and textured white cardstock I had on hand. While I think any of them would work fine, I really liked the whiteness of the cardstock, so that is the version I settled on.
I bought an inexpensive white mat and 5×7 black tabletop frame, and put my new artwork together very easily.
I think projects like these are great ways to pass the long stretch of time between trips. And they make great gifts, too. Here are some other ideas to get your photos off the computer, phone, and albums, and into your everyday life:
- Wendy used lettering from Disney signage in a framed photo collage, which makes for a unique personalization project
- Meghan shows how to use a shadow box to hold and display all of the ephemera and “stuff” from a Disney vacation – including a few photos can make it more personal
Have you created something fun or unique with your vacation photos? We'd love to hear your ideas so be sure to leave us a comment below.
A scrapbooker and collector since childhood and long time fan of Disney parks and media, Beth ventures into the blogging world at Any Happy Little Thoughts where she shares her approach for preserving personal Disney memories, one story at a time.