5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos

  • 5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos
    Photo: Reza Estakhrian/Getty Image
  • 5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos
    Photo: Courtesy of Baking for Good
  • 5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos
    Photo: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman/A Beautiful Mess
  • 5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos
    Photo: Courtesy of Moo.com
  • 5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things to Do with Digital Photos
    Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Hackshaw/Lil Blue Boo
  • Décor That Gets the P-A-R-T-Y Started

    Whether you're planning a birthday surprise or a baby shower, a personalized twist on the classic party banner—you know, the one with the cutout letters—is what can really get the guest of honor gushing. Bloggers Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson include this how-to in A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book.

    For the photos, Chapman recommends choosing simple images with a clear subject—think one or two people, not a crowd shot—so the banner doesn't look busy and hard to read. Then, select a few of the banner's cutout letters and trace each one onto a photo. Cut out the images and glue them to the letters. If you plan on keeping the banner long-term, use an acid-free adhesive, Chapman says.

  • Bake Up Sweet Memories

    Those dessert photos you post on Instagram look good enough to eat, and with Baking for Good, you actually can devour them. The online bakery lets people submit up to six photos to be turned into square-shape sugar cookies for $36-$40 per dozen. The sweetest part? At checkout, you can select a cause that will receive 15 percent of the net proceeds from your order.

  • A Not-Sold-in-Stores Smartphone Case

    Yes, you can snag a custom-made cell-phone cover for just a few dollars, Chapman says, and it only requires minimal crafting skills. First, buy a clear plastic case on eBay, Amazon or at a phone-accessories shop—we found iPhone cases listed as low as 57 cents—and trim a photo to fit inside it. Then, cut holes for the camera or any buttons the photo case would cover. Place the photo in the case, followed by your phone itself. It's so easy you could trade out the images as frequently as you change your Facebook profile picture.

  • The "But I'm Bored!" Lifesaver

    Moo.com is known for selling customized business cards that allow you to place a different photo on each one—and they can also be used to create a card-matching memory game for kids. The company's former vice president of marketing, Lisa Rodwell, ordered 50 cards for her niece and nephew and had pairs of family photos printed on one side. The kids shuffle the cards, place them photo-side down and take turns flipping over two at a time, trying to find the matching pairs.

  • A Room Freshener with Real Personality

    If a bowl of potpourri makes you feel a little too grandma-ish, a photo sachet can be a welcome fragrant surprise in your dresser drawer. Ashley Hackshaw offers a full tutorial on her blog, Lil Blue Boo, using photo transfer paper, a filling of your choosing and two small squares of fabric. For a vintage, rustic look, she recommends using white muslin for the front of the bag and beige linen for the back.

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