I hope it’s not too late to share this fun idea for using your personal photos inside ornaments! Maybe you could consider it a REALLY advanced tutorial for next Christmas! LOL!
Although our Cricut machines started out as scrapbook-ing helpers, most Cricuteers are now using their amazing machines to do so many other projects–such as making personalized apparel, unique home dec items and even quilting. And that’s all very good, of course! But I’ve noticed we sometimes forget some of the more basic tools we can use our machines for.
Consider all of the marvelous photos we all are capturing these days. Half the time, once I upload my snaps to Instagram or Facebook, I don’t bother to print them out for frames, collages or other things anymore. And that, my friends, is a shame, because you might regret it later on in life. So–in an effort to preserve our memories–I am presenting a cool way of using your favorite photos in ornaments so you can enjoy them for years to come.
And it’s easy, too!
Perhaps you’ve seen my post about making floating ornaments, which is here: Floating Christmas Bulbs with Cricut It’s the same concept.
We are going to cut out our photos and put them inside our ornaments!
The first step is to gather your favorite digital photos. If they aren’t digitized yet, simply take a photo of the photo! I’ve done this with many of my pre-smart phone photos and they come out wonderfully…plus you have the added benefit of still retaining your original photo, too!
Once you’ve got your favorite photos within reach, open Design Space and create a New Project. Go to Upload Images and upload your picture. Make sure you save the image as Print image. Insert this image in your canvas. Resize it to workable size (like 4″ x 4″) and then add a circle from the Basic Shapes category and resize to about the same as your photo. Here’s a screen shot of what you should see:
Next you are going to put your circle over your photo. Resize either the photo or shape to work well with each other. We are getting ready to use our Slice feature. Keep in mind the size of your ornament. For these examples, I have used plastic disc shaped ornaments that are about 4″ wide and high. Once the circle is stacked on top of the image, select them both and choose Slice.
Once you Slice, you will be left with three layers: the basic circle, the punched out image and what’s left of your image. You can go ahead and delete the leftover image layer, but do keep the circle for later on. Here’s what that looks like:
If you are satisfied with the results, we can now cut out our image. Do make sure your image is set for printing first; you want to see a little printer icon, not a scissors. Click “Make It” and you will see that your image is now surrounded by a box and is set to print before cutting. You will have to have a printer that is connected to your home network to print the image. Hit continue to print it and then put it on your mat to cut.
Note the following screen shots to see these steps.
This is the screen you should see when you go to Make It:
Here’s the next screens, where you send your image to the printer:
And here you are back to the cutting:
Now let’s talk about materials to use, because what you use will effect how your ornament looks. In the above photo I used just plain paper and then I cut out a modified circle (see below) out of the clear plastic sheet that covers any Cricut mat. See how I added a little square to the top of the circle and welded it? That square is to hold your image in place inside the ornament. Cut your modified circle using the Custom feature and selecting Cricut Protective Plastic (yes, it exists).
Now once you have your paper image and your modified circle in plastic, you can affix the photo on to the plastic with glue. On the back you will have a blank area, so you could either use TWO pictures or use the back to further personalize your ornament.
I made these ornaments for my corgi friends that lost their precious babies this past year, so I put the corgi’s name and (in some cases) their nicknames.
Note that you can also use plastic acetate right in your printer to cut out the photos. I’ve tried this method, but it didn’t work for my pictures because the white comes out very transparent and many of my pictures are of corgis that have white ruffs.
However if you have pictures that aren’t predominantly white and want to try the acetate method, you will NOT need the second step described above, but you will need to add the stem on top of your image as in this screen shot:
I would also like to caution you on cutting out acetate, which may need to be cut multiple times. Cutting on Custom and keeping your mat in your machine and hitting “Cut” several times *may* be needed.
I hope you will attempt to make these sweet Photo Ornaments! They were a big hit with my friends and they will make a precious lasting gift!
As always, let me know what you think or show me what you did! Happy Cricut-ing, my friends!