DIY How do I upcycle a photo ornament?

DIY How do I upcycle a photo ornament?

Sometimes I go to the thrift store and wonder why would someone donate this? Such was the case when I picked up a bag of Christmas Ornaments and found Shutterfly photo ornaments in it. I bought the bag because it had some Shiny Brites in it and I wanted to add them to the shop this season but then I was stuck with everything else in the bag, including the photo ornaments. How do I upcycle a photo ornament?

So many questions ran through my mind when I pulled the two ornaments from the grab bag. Who was the kid in the images (I won’t show them here because they are not mine to share)? Why did this person decide they didn’t like this kid anymore or need this very personal ornament? Scenarios played out in my mind and none of them were good.

Let’s Upcycle a photo ornament

The best course of action in any situation where I find myself with something unwanted is for me to see if I can make it useful. In this situation, I’ve paid for it so I’m hoping to make some money from it. The bag of ornaments cost me $5, and the Shiny Brite ornaments will make that back for me plus a profit. But is there a way to make an even bigger profit?

My only option is to make the ornament neutral and desirable to the masses. Wow, even I feel like that was a bit flowery. Anyway…

Upcycle and old photo ornament
These two photo ornaments are getting a new life

The photos came off with a little effort. Unfortunately, there was no way for me to photograph that without exposing the photo of the child. One had a rubber coating. That one peeled off nicely and left a little adhesive residue. The other had a metal disc held on with a double-sided adhesive that was a bit more of a challenge.

That’s an understatement. The adhesive would not give up the ghost. It required prying, un-du adhesive remover (my favorite), and lacquer thinner. Un-du got the disc off but the residue required the lacquer thinner.

Big Blank Space

Removing the photos created big blank circles full of possibilities. What we have now is only limited by our imagination. My imagination is limited to what will sell.

When I was making some vintage-inspired banners for the shop, I picked up some bird images from an Etsy seller. I didn’t end up using them on the banner but these were perfect for these ornaments. Especially the images with a single bird on them.

Trace the circle

I used the metal circle I pried off my ornaments as my template for the size I would need to cut my image. I traced around the circle and cut the image out.

If you have a circle punch that is the same size you could use that instead of hand-cutting the image but I don’t have one. Also, I would recommend using a pencil to trace the circle. I used a pen just so the tracing would be visible in the photos.

Cut out the image

I used Mod Podge to glue the image to the flat part of the ornament. While doing so some micro fine glitter I’d been using on another project got on this project and I LOVED it! More glitter was going to make an appearance in this project. That I knew for sure.

Mod Podge the upcycled photo christmas ornament

I let the image dry completely before using Mod Podge to top coat the image and protect it. This would help ensure the edges didn’t come up at a later point.

Using Hard coat

Again, I let the Mod Podge dry completely. Then I brought out a new to me Mod Podge called hard coat. It’s meant for furniture but I thought if anything needed to be protected with a hard coat it was these little ornaments.

I brushed the hard coat over the surface and got a little on the raised edge. This is where the extra glitter came into play. I had glitter on my work surface so I placed the ornament face down in the glitter and swirled it so the raised edge was coated in the glitter.

I love it!

The final upcycled photo ornament

I’m so happy with how these two turned out. I’m going to sell the one and keep the other (the one with the bluebird).

Upcycled Shutterfly Photo Ornament

I used an image I purchased on Etsy for this project but you could use an old Christmas card image, scrapbook paper image, or you could even replace their family photo with one of your family.

I hope you love this project. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends. Use the image below to share on Pinterest and while you’re there be sure to follow me!

Upcycle a photo ornament