In a world of first-world problems, there's the matter of travel photos: What is there to do that can adequately celebrate those precious memories that otherwise live (and die) on your phone's tiny screen? How can can make your memories tangible and easily enjoyed in the real world? Consider these nine genius ideas.
1. Make destination books.
The idea of toting around a hardcover book from Tolstoy might seem admirable (and Instagrammable) but when you’re packing for two weeks, you might have to be a tad more selective. Of course when you get back, there's no weight restriction — so turn your photos into proper volumes, as in this DIY project. Much like a binder or a photo album, this keeps your images all in one place, and perfect for easy finding to impress an assembled crowd.
2. Make drink coasters.
Kill two birds with one DIY project you can do in an afternoon while sipping your favorite bottle of vino from your travels: Keep your furniture tidy and display your vacation photos at the same time with this how-to uses photos to create coasters. The key here is to make sure you seal the images with Mod Podge so your iced coffee doesn’t leak into that sweet photo you took in India last year.
3. Make holiday ornaments.
If you celebrate Christmas and want personalized ornaments for your tree, consider making one each year to record the trips you set sail on over the past 365 days. Don’t forget to add the year, so when you look back 20 years from now, you can pinpoint exactly when you took that selfie at Machu Picchu.
4. Make rustic frames with found objects.
If you're a stickler for rules of border control and customs, you’re typically supposed to leave those seashells or those rocks in the country they came from. But hey, if you’re in Portugal and get to walk on the gravel that’s the most Southern tip of Europe? It might be (more than a little) tempting to grab a rock to remember the place your feet have been planted. If you happen to pick up a little something every place you go, use rocks as a way to display your favorite photo from your journeys. Set atop a bookshelf for an instant conversation starter.
5. Fill in a map as you go.
In this map project, you'll create a decor piece that builds your excitement — and gets ever more colorful — as you fill in images of new places you've visited.
6. Pin photos onto a cork board map.
For this cork board project, just cut out pieces to build a world and pin your favorite image from every country you’ve visited. Though it might get a bit messy in Europe (there’s only so much space, after all), it’s a cool idea for your office — you know, when you’re struggling to meet an EOD deadline and wishing you were sipping a rum punch in Belize instead?
7. Incorporate leftover currency.
Add this to the ideas for various uses for your leftover currency: create magnets! You can print out your most prized image from the trip and use the leftover coin to pin it to your refrigerator. Not only will the magnets not break if your dog (or kid) knocks them off, but they’re way less cheesy than the cheesy frame available in every tourism gift shop, everywhere.
8. Create monochrome art.
One way to create a cohesive, chic look is to print your images in black and white. Instant art!
9. Mat with a map.
Save money on custom framing and take on the technical work yourself for a prized vacation photo. Get creative with two things you probably already have: an old frame and the map you used to navigate the city you visited. Especially sweet for say, a honeymoon or anniversary trip, having the actual tattered (and wine stained) map serve as the mat of your framed photo is a cool memory rendered IRL.
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