Archives » diy

  • crafty advent calendar


    Modern Cottage made this cool advent calendar using an old type drawer and photos of numbers for each day. Very clever. I love the idea of using a type drawer as a frame for photos!

    Wednesday 5th December 2007 - 3:24:57 PM | Comments (3)

  • moo stickers


    Stickers from your photos… Via How about orange

    Tuesday 24th July 2007 - 1:43:51 PM | Comment

  • martha stewart crafts


    Martha just launched her new line of craft supplies. Haven’t had a chance to check it all out, but I love the cutout mats of these photo frames in the Photo Frame Kit.

    Tuesday 8th May 2007 - 1:28:14 PM | Comments (3)

  • panorama lampshade


    Here’s one of three projects I wrote up for the latest JPG Magazine, issue 9. Check it out – subscribe online or buy it at a bookstore. These projects take a digital photo from the dim glow of your computer monitor to a lovely light to amp up the atmosphere at your next party, brighten up a dark nook in your home or give as a cool photo gift. Love panoramas? Like lamps? Then this project is for you. Here’s how to make a very simple lampshade from a panorama photo – you can use it for an existing lamp base or use a hanging bulb kit to make the shade into a hanging pendant.

    What you need:

    • A lampshade (drum or cylinder shape is the easiest to deal with) in white or very pale color.
    • Panorama photo cropped to fit the circumference and height of the shade and printed on translucent paper (ink jet vellum paper works nicely) Note: instead of a panorama, you can also put together more than one photo or use pieces of a photo.
    • Double-sided tape or glue dots

    Print the photo out onto the translucent paper; it’s fine to print it on more than one piece of paper. Measure your shade and cut the photo to fit around the shade. Attach to the inside of the shade using double stick tape or glue dots. The image will appear when you turn on the light and disappear when the light is off. For a more intense effect, you can instead put your photo on the outside of the shade so it is visible at all times.

    Thursday 8th March 2007 - 4:22:49 PM | Comments (4)

  • turn your prints into journals


    Five and a half makes great journals using reclaimed and recycled paper, including these made with photos for covers, sold through their etsy store two twelve. They also have put together this great little tutorial so you can turn your own prints into journals. I can’t wait to try this for myself.

    Tuesday 20th February 2007 - 2:44:54 PM | Comment

  • aunt sarah dolls


    I was looking for fun kids projects this weekend and came across this tutorial for making a doll using a photo for the face. What a great idea for kids who don’t get to see their relatives all that often. Also, the tutorial contains some useful info on products to use for printing photos on fabric.

    Monday 19th February 2007 - 3:05:42 PM | Comment

  • photo calendars


    Happy New Year! Looking for a calendar for the new year? Martha Stewart and Kodak have some nice simple calendar designs you can use to make your own photo calendars.

    Tuesday 2nd January 2007 - 2:46:06 PM | Comment (1)

  • special on ornament/magnet kit


    Special offer now on the ornamento kit – buy one get two free (that’s two for $20). Just follow the link and enter promo code XMAS2006. The kit includes everything you need to make three glass ornaments or magnets from you photos. Or get 25% off on any of the other kits.

    Thursday 14th December 2006 - 3:30:38 PM | Comments (3)

  • diy gift guide


    A little list of DIY photo goodness to give for the holidays.

    1. Sunprint kit – Perfect for the photographer who misses printing her own pics in the darkroom. This kit includes everything you need to make your own sunprints – just convert your pictures to black and white transparencies and create prints in the sun.
    2. Personalized paint by number – Know someone more into painting than snapping pics? Give them a personalized paint by number kit created from one of your fabulous photos.
    3. Hole-on ex paper camera kit – You can never have too many cameras and one that you make yourself is even better. Kit to make your own pinhole camera.
    4. Photo album needlepoint kit – For the crafty folk in your clan, a needlepoint kit to make a photo album with some very cool designs (monograms, too!).
    5. DIY photo block kit – Here’s a great gift for those who aren’t so in to framing their photos – a kit to make puzzle like blocks from their pictures.
    6. Photocraft: Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love – For the super crafty photographer, this book has a wealth of information on things to make and do with your photos. The resource listings for diy photo supplies are fantastic.

    Monday 11th December 2006 - 3:57:06 PM | Comment

  • diy photo coasters

    Coasters are not just for us semi-‘Type A’ folk – they really are useful. Really! And when designed with your favorite photos, they are a great way to liven up your next drink with friends. Plus they’re a fun and easy gift to make for the holidays.

    1. Buy some plain cork coasters (available at craft stores – I used the Duga coasters from IKEA) or cut your own coaster-sized cork pieces from a cork roll or cork tile. Four by four inches is a nice size if you’re cuttin’ your own.
    2. For super water-proofness, cut out some peel-and-stick laminate sheets to fit over images you want to use and stick them on.
    3. Using the cork coaster as a template, cut out your laminated images.
    4. Glue image back to the coaster and let dry under the weight of a book or two. (I used Zip Dry paper glue.)
    5. Wrap ‘em up with the recipient’s libation of choice.

    [This is a piece I wrote up for the latest JPG magazine. Interested to see more? Subscribe here and get a discount while you're at it.]

    Tuesday 21st November 2006 - 2:54:01 PM | Comments (2)

  • diy book frame


    Ivan from ATYPYK sent over a picture (above) of a cool DIY book frame. (Thanks Ivan!) I made one myself and it was a lot of fun. Here’s how:

    1. Find an old book with a cool cover – check out the dollar/free bins of books at used bookstores. You want to find an old book with a sturdy cover that will look good with a frame cut out of it.
    2. On the inside of the front cover, trace around the photo you want to frame.
    3. Use a strong knife (I used a box-cutter) to carefully cut along the lines down to the book cloth, but not through it.
    4. Peel away the bookboard, leaving the book cloth still attached to the book. Cut a smaller opening in the book cloth, leaving a one-inch border of book cloth around the frame opening. Cut the cloth diagonally in each corner and fold the book cloth over the edge and tape or glue to the inside cover. (This gives the frame opening a cleaner look).
    5. For a white border like the frame above, cut out a smaller opening from the first page in the book and tape your photo to the back of this page.

    That’s it. You can skip step four and five and instead cut straight through the cover and cloth for the frame, if you don’t want to bother with the whole wrapping the book cloth around the edges part.

    Here’s the one I made. Be the first person to correctly identify the state where the picture in the frame was taken and you’ll win this book frame and a pack of fotoclips! Please enter your guesses in the comments.

    Update: Joshua was the first to guess the correct state – it’s Kansas! Thanks to everyone who guessed and have a happy weekend.


    Thursday 16th November 2006 - 3:19:02 AM | Comments (24)

  • blurb books


    I first read about Blurb, a company that does custom photo books, on exposure and was really impressed with the look of the product on their site. NOTCOT posted some firsthand impressions after seeing them at Digital Life. If you’re looking for a way to self-publish a photo book or photo portfolio, I’d definitely check them out. PLUS they have a very cool blog-to-book tool. Their books start at just $30, and you can design the whole book yourself or use some of their templates (which are also quite nicely designed). These would make excellent gifts – I can’t wait to try it out myself. Anyone out there have any Blurb reviews they’d like to share?


    Wednesday 25th October 2006 - 3:20:41 PM | Comments (6)

  • atelier v


    Apartment therapy just posted on this very cool DIY design site. Shown here is a simple way to make a photo holder from a tealight. Check out the rest of the site, too. It’s in German, but the creative photography communicates all you need to know to make these yourself.

    Tuesday 24th October 2006 - 2:20:12 PM | Comment (1)

  • inkjet linen bookcloth


    Paper source has the coolest new product – inkjet printable linen bookcloth. Five 8 1/2 x 11 sheets are $7.50.

    Truly amazing… we don’t know how the French do it, but this bookcloth actually does successfully go through an inkjet printer. Holy Cow, think what you can do with this: albums with your favorite photo as the cover, checkbook covers with cheeky messages about not spending money, travel journals with a photo of the destination as the cover.

    Tuesday 17th October 2006 - 2:28:04 PM | Comments (2)

  • readymade ideas


    Just finished reading through the latest ReadyMade magazine. Get your hands on a copy to see how to make these cool framed corkboards to hang your pics and art.

    And check out these instructions for a DIY ring flash using a plain old circular fluorescent bulb. Brilliant!

    Tuesday 10th October 2006 - 3:30:19 PM | Comments (2)

  • photo album bookbinding kit


    As the days start to get shorter and cooler, I start making a mental list of all the indoor art/craft projects I’ve always wanted to do. Well, that list is getting a little out of control, but I think I’m going to have to add this album bookbinding kit ($33) because, well, I love to fold paper. This kit supplies all the materials to make your own photo album, except the glue, bone folder and x-acto knife. I’m hoping once I try making an album from a kit, I would then be able to make one from scratch.

    Friday 29th September 2006 - 1:32:16 PM | Comments (2)

  • fotoclip fun


    I love my fotoclips and am currently putting together some ideas for using them to post on fototiller. In the meantime, I started a fotoclips flickr group, clip it good, to see how y’all are using your fotoclips (you do have some, right?). And here’s an idea I saw over on urban outfitters; cut out your photos with the lomo circle cutter and clip together to make cool circle curtains and room dividers.

    BTW, I’m on vacation (hiking in the Rockies) this week and the beginning of next, so posting will be light – I may even take a few days off. Hope you are all having a great week!

    Thursday 7th September 2006 - 4:02:38 AM | Comment (1)

  • woodgrain magnet frames


    I love these woodgrain photo magnétique frames! From the designers at Presse Citron, these magnet frames are hard to find in the US. But I think these would be a fun diy project using woodgrain contact paper and magnet sheets (inspired by the inventive projects with contact paper over at It’s Knot Wood). Pick your favorite woodgrain paper and stick on the magnet sheets, then cut out frame shapes with openings for you photos. Put ‘em on the fridge, or get a magnetic bulletin board in a fun color and hang anywhere you want (fridgedoor has a good selection of magnetic boards).

    Wednesday 30th August 2006 - 1:43:56 PM | Comments (2)

  • the collection


    The Collection has been making the blog rounds and with good reason – they have some stunning wall coverings. There’s also this set of flocked vinyl frames to stick up on the wall for your photos.

    Wednesday 16th August 2006 - 7:19:18 PM | Comment

  • photobooth invite


    These photobooth wedding invites (as seen in the ReadyMade love issue) are the super cool idea of designer Cindy Ferguson of Invite Delight. You can have your very own invites custom made at Invite Delight. You can also DIY them by following these instructions on the ReadyMade blog. Or use the suggestion of ReadyMade readers Margaret Cox and Aaron Swingler and buy some Envelopments, cut out a viewing square and insert a card with your two photos. They made a cute save-the-date card by taking pictures of themselves holding signs (see the latest ReadyMade).

    Tuesday 15th August 2006 - 7:33:57 PM | Comments (4)

  • diy photo magnets


    I wrote about these really cool dry-erase quote magnets over on the photojojo blog, but I haven’t been able to find somewhere to buy them online in the US. So I decided to make some of my own – they are super easy and super fun!

    Here’s how:

    1. Download one of the template files I made below (you may need to right-clicking the link to save the file)
    2. Print template on regular white paper
    3. Stick the back of the printed paper on an adhesive magnet sheet (buy at office supply store or online here)
    4. Cover design with a peel-and-stick laminating sheet. I used SelfSeal Repositionable laminate pouches. Remove the non-adhesive plastic (use it for something else). Take the adhesive laminate sheet, peel off the backing and stick to the printed design already on your magnet sheet. Tip: I cut out just enough of the laminate to cover the design; this minimizes waste of the laminate.
    5. Cut out the magnet with very sharp scissors.
    6. Stick it up and write away!

    Template Downloads:

    Magnet quotes with text -magnetquotes_text.pdf
    Magnet quotes without text – magnetquotes.pdf
    Note: I first tried this using ink-jet printable magnet sheets. These are just not strong enough to hold up photos.

    Other ideas to try…

    Create your own text bubbles by overlaying text on the template.
    Use photos with a lot of white space to make magnetic dry erase boards. Just print the picture in the size you want and stick on the magnetic sheet. Then cover with a large enough piece of peel-and-stick laminate.

    Friday 4th August 2006 - 6:13:45 PM | Comments (6)

  • diy plexi-glass photo display


    DIY plexi-glass photo display (a great idea for a kitchen backsplash, too).

    Friday 28th July 2006 - 2:15:49 PM | Comment (1)

  • mouse trap clip


    I love serendipitous ipod moments…

    Like just now when I discover the Japan-based site Little by Little and the shuffle spits out The Vapor’s Turning Japanese. I have never been fully convinced that my ipod does not have a mind of its own.

    Anyway, found these very cool mouse trap clips. What a great idea for holding photos – imagine a whole wall with randomly placed mousetraps holding photos and artwork. Very, very cool.

    Wednesday 26th July 2006 - 2:18:34 PM | Comment

  • 55 max


    I’m so excited about UK-based 55 Max – I can’t believe I didn’t find them until now! 55 MAx offers affordable prints from contemporary photographers (check out the cool prints for kids) and they have an amazing bespoke interiors service with so many options, I don’t know where to start. They can put your image onto window roller blinds, ceramic wall and floor tiles, wallpaper, curtains or upholstery. And they’ll do the typical print onto canvas – and the not so typical print on aluminum (how cool!) and acrylic. Or for a really unique gift to commemorate a special event, use their photomontage service to create a collage that can then be printed onto the above options or on an awesome magnetic memoboard.

    [Note: Site is a little annoying to navigate - but they do take international orders and some prices are listed in US dollars. Continue reading for some of my favorites.]


    Tuesday 25th July 2006 - 3:45:22 PM | Comments (3)

  • diy photo charms


    Instructions for making your own glass and soldered photo charms.

    Monday 24th July 2006 - 2:33:10 PM | Comments (2)

  • D.I.Y. photo enlargement projects


    Just saw that the D.I.Y. photo enlargement projects and instructions featured in the last issue of Blueprint are also online (via BB-Blog, a super fab blog).

    Monday 24th July 2006 - 2:07:23 PM | Comment (1)

  • photoweight kits

    To me, paperweights have always seemed to be of questionable utility and always ended up being just another junky item cluttering up my desk. But as I’m sitting here trying to stave off the mugginess with a super-power fan blasting me, I’m guessing I could use one of them right about now. I found these kits for making paperweights from your photos and the selection of shapes and materials is the best I’ve seen anywhere (and not too pricey, either). The weights come in glass, crystal and acrylic and some of the acrylic styles can also be used to make coasters. The site also has step-by-step instructions for making the paper weights.


    Wednesday 12th July 2006 - 1:54:23 PM | Comment (1)

  • do frame at unica home


    I know I’ve posted on the Do frame before, but I had a lot of trouble tracking down a place to buy it. Well, it’s now available at Unica ($13). Designed by marti guixe for do create by droog design, the do frame is a roll of tape with a frame pattern on it. It can be used to hold everything from photos to poster -perfect for putting up an instant photo gallery on your wall.

    Tuesday 11th July 2006 - 8:53:05 PM | Comment

  • photo postcards


    Kevin posted on these cool DIY US Postal Service photo postcards over at the ReadyMade Blog. You can upload your own photos and designs to make your personal postcards (and even keep an online gallery of your photos) or use their designs (see above). Then enter your message and the service will mail them out for you. Great for baby announcements, save the date, moving announcements etc.

    Monday 10th July 2006 - 1:35:53 PM | Comment

  • photo frame lanterns


    From the latest issue of MS Living… Instructions for these photo centerpieces are also on the MS website.

    Thursday 6th July 2006 - 7:44:46 PM | Comment

  • atelier deco


    A few people have written in asking where they can buy the acte-deco vinyl wall stickers. I emailed Stéphanie of Atelier Deco in France and they can ship small items like the wall stickers to the US. Send an email to to find out about shipping costs.

    Wednesday 28th June 2006 - 2:03:19 PM | Comment

  • custom, custom, custom


    Everyday, there seems to be more and more custom digital printing on every surface you can think of. From customised digital ceramic tiles, wallpaper and flooring at digitile (via Chris Glass) to dinnerware sets customized with your digital photo at imagewares (via poppytalk). It’s all still pretty expensive, but gets those DIY sparks a flyin’ in my little brain. I especially love Dominic Crinson’s designs for digitile (picture above and below).


    Monday 26th June 2006 - 7:02:49 PM | Comment

  • coloring pages from your photos – 3 easy photoshop steps


    Another entry in the school’s out for summer series…

    Here’s a quick three-step photoshop tutorial to make coloring pages for your kids from any digital photo. Kids will love coloring pictures of themselves and their family (what could be more fun than giving grandpa spiky purple hair and a green beard). Other ideas – help your kid take photos of their favorite toys, friends and places in your town or neighborhood (school, library, ice cream shop) and turn them into coloring pages. They make great diversions when you’re on the road or waiting in a restaurant.

    Don’t have photoshop? If you use Corel Paint Shop Pro, you can try this .pdf tutorial for making coloring pages.

    Continue reading to make your own coloring book…


    Monday 26th June 2006 - 5:50:12 PM | Comments (103)

  • school’s out for summer


    Introducing a brand spankin’ new summer series of photo projects for kids. Check back every Monday for new, fun projects for kids to do with their photos – all under the “school’s out” category. All summer long – or until I run out of ideas.

    Tattoo You

    Kids are tough – they don’t need tattoos to prove it. But what kid wouldn’t like to sport a snazzy tattoo of their choosing (temporary, of course). Here’s a fun little project to make your own photos into the coolest temporary tattoos using your handy little ink-jet printer.

    Continue reading for all the how-to fun:


    Monday 12th June 2006 - 3:27:04 AM | Comments (5)

  • frames wallpaper

    frames wallpaper.jpg

    Joy finds fabulous frames wallpaper – check it out here. Use to put up a whole wall of photos!

    Friday 9th June 2006 - 5:37:56 PM | Comment (1)

  • camera bag


    Fototiller reader Jessica wrote in about this cool little camera bag featured on the making time blog. Made from pattern in Stitch idees – Cafe Sister 2006 Vol 3, (ISBN4529042383). Does anyone know where to get the Stitch Idees series?

    Friday 9th June 2006 - 3:37:42 PM | Comments (2)

  • vintage photo tags

    vintage photo tags.jpg

    I read about inspire company on the decor8 blog and was inspired by these cute vintage photo tag cards ($6). I might have to try something like this using found photos or some old family photos.

    Friday 9th June 2006 - 12:51:12 PM | Comments (2)

  • acte-deco


    More fun vinyl decal wall frame stickers, this time from French company acte-deco. You can choose from many different colors and several styles – stick ‘em on the wall and hang a photo in the center.

    Still waiting to hear back from them to see if they ship to the US. (Check out their other cool wall decals, too!)


    Wednesday 31st May 2006 - 3:01:03 PM | Comments (4)

  • vinyl decal frames

    vinyl frames.jpg

    I love all the great finds at the Toronto-based Up to You. New to the store is an online shop and these self-adhesive vinyl wall decal frames (look for wall decals #3 in the online store). Create your own wall museum of photos with these frames from designer Inga Sempe. (Great for those of you who can’t put nails in your wall – frames can be removed from your wall so you don’t have to worry about wall damage, but can’t be reapplied.)

    Tuesday 30th May 2006 - 1:47:37 PM | Comment (1)

  • ornament/magnet photo kit


    This glass ornament/magnet kit ($22 at wrapables) supplies all the materials you need to make three personalized venetian glass magnets or ornaments with your favorite photos, using a laser photocopy of your image to transfer onto each piece of glass. Kit includes Tilano Photo Paper; Foam Brush; Tilano Medium; Tilano Antiquing Paint; Three 2″ x 2″ Glass Ornaments; Tilano Wire; Three Magnets; and all the instructions you need.

    Tuesday 30th May 2006 - 1:08:38 PM | Comments (3)

  • pinhole camera download


    More pinhole fun. You can download this pinhole camera template from linatree and then watch the animated guide to assemble. (via PhotographyBLOG)

    Monday 22nd May 2006 - 4:08:04 PM | Comments (2)

  • pinhole cameras

    Feeling a little tired of megapixels, memory cards and battery chargers? Sometimes it’s nice to kick it old school and get back to the basics. Way back. Pinhole cameras are making a comeback with new, modern designs that you can make from kits out of cardstock. These cameras are a lot of fun to experiment with (and also great for introducing kids to photography). There is no lens in a pinhole camera, just a tiny pinhole through which light passes to expose regular 35mm film. Here are two pinhole cameras that are fun and have a great design. With the hole-on ex camera kit, you can make a modern pinhole camera (above) from the printed cardstock parts and metal pinhole aperture (assembly requires glue, ruler and pencil) for only $20. Also, check out the new p-sharan pinhole camera now available at ICP (below). This one is made of tough cardstock that assembles with no cutting or glue ($30). Of course, you can go really old school and make your own.


    Wednesday 17th May 2006 - 1:38:57 PM | Comment (1)

  • AMHdesign


    For all you crafty folks, take a look at these needlepoint photo album kits from AMHdesign’s etsy shop. The kits come in three very modern, simple designs (rio and rome, above and marrakech, below) and have everything you need to make your own photo album. The rio kit can be customized with an initial of your choosing.


    Tuesday 16th May 2006 - 6:46:54 PM | Comment

  • lightbox project


    This lightbox is a project I’ve been wanting to try since I saw a similar idea in readymade a while back. The one thing I was trying to figure out was how the heck to print a large transparency that wouldn’t fade with constant exposure to light. This project on apartment therapy shows how to do it using a duratrans print (still won’t last forever, but hopefully long enough to make it worth your while).

    (photo from apartment therapy)

    Monday 15th May 2006 - 9:43:46 AM | Comment

  • do frame


    This ‘brilliantly simple’ frame from marti guixe is made from adhesive tape with golden frame pattern, enabling you to rapidly set up a personal museum. This was originally presented in the exhibit do + droog design = do. Doesn’t seem to be available any more online, but I am still checking on where to buy.

    Tuesday 9th May 2006 - 9:14:25 AM | Comments (2)

  • photojojo’s last-minute mother’s day gifts


    Check out photojojo’s 5 great photo gifts for mom, written by Priya from love made visible. Some fun finds. And stay tuned to fototiller for more mother’s day gift madness today.

    Friday 5th May 2006 - 9:15:55 AM | Comment

  • wallter (photo frames)


    The wallter wall applications have been around for a while now, but it took me this long to figure out that the rectangular ones double as picture frames. These are a great idea for displaying photos – exchange the pictures whenever you want, they just pop right out, no glass to deal with. Got a hot date and don’t want aunt millie looking over your shoulder? Take your pictures out and you’re left with a mod wall decoration. Wallter can be painted any color and arranged in any design. Not so great for all you apartment dwellers, though, the frames stick to the wall with adhesive and may damage the surface if removed. Available at wallter and 2modern.


    Monday 1st May 2006 - 12:10:45 PM | Comment (1)

  • stencil me in

    stencil fun.jpg

    Here’s a fun diy tutorial I found via poppytalk; create a single layer stencil from any color photo using photoshop.

    stencil fun1_2.jpg

    Easy to follow instructions – the above stencil took me about 20 minutes to create and clean up from the color photo (taken by my husband) on the left. I’m probably breaking some serious stencil rules. To avoid doing that, read the instructions on how to actually make the basic stencil cut and how to deal with ‘floating islands’ of white. Feeling super ambitious? Try making some multi-layered stencils.

    Friday 28th April 2006 - 1:22:22 PM | Comments (2)