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!

Use family photos as beautiful and functional entry decor.

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

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. )

Family photos into gifts and luminaries.

Learn how to transfer photos onto packing tape and make your own candle holders as gifts and decor!


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

Family photo wreaths.

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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.

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

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

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!

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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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