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7 DIY Family Vacation Photo Projects

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Having a camera on our phones makes it easy to take photos. Without the worry of running out of film we take a lot of photos, especially vacation photos. But then, we have a lot of photos.

Despite my best intention my photos sit on my phone forever, waiting to be printed, artfully displayed around the house or creatively organized in albums.

I really do mean to organize them….one of these days. I want to be able to look at our photos without having to whip out my phone—and I want to make space for more photos.

Well, I got to thinking, there must be ways to display vacation photos that are either so cool or so easy I won’t be able to resist finally getting them off my phone.

So I scouted around and found seven photo craft ideas. They are listed below from easiest to hardest. I hope they inspire you to finally organize, hang or otherwise display your family’s travel photos.

Cool Crafts & Easy Storage For Family Vacation Photos

1. Easiest: Make a photo box

Martha Stewart recommends making keepsake boxes that are simple, easy to organize and attractive enough to keep out on a shelf. I like them because you can store coins, tickets, maps, postcards and knickknacks along with your photos.

Marth Stewart likes boxes for vacation photos.

And let’s face it, it’s way easier to put a pile of photos in a box then to edit them down and arrange them in an album! This is the option I’m mostly likely to make my winter project. (photo courtesy of Meredith Media.)

2. Almost as easy: Make jars

This is a similar concept to the photo boxes except with more style. It gives you the opportunity to display from one to three photos with other related objects in an appealing 3D way.

Put the photos in a jar facing outward. Stack additional photos behind them for storage if you like. And arrange small items from the trip in the jar. Then just tuck it on a shelf!

DIY blogger MJB shows you how. The one change I would make is finding a way to include multiple photos that you can see from different angles.

3. Still pretty easy: Fill a door

This was a friend’s idea and I think it’s super neat. She uses the trim on an interior door as a giant frame within a frame and has filled in the glass with photos.

put your vacation photos on your door.

You can blow up your photos to fit sections or use a collage style with smaller photos. I like it because you can build it over time and create a history of your family vacations rather than focusing on one trip.

Just pick your favorite photos from all those trips, find an adhesive that will fix the photos to the door without damaging them or the glass, and protect them from the back in an attractive way. An art supply store can help.

4. Getting a little harder: Make foreign coin magnets

It’s time to break out the craft supplies and fancy glue. But this is still pretty a pretty simple way to hang vacation pictures on your wall without spending a lot on frames.

Glue round magnets to the back of those foreign coins you brought home from abroad (and some U.S. coins as well). Then use those to affix photos to a magnetic white board or black board.

use coin magnets to post vacation photos

I like this because it gives me something to do with the jar I have of coins no one uses anymore or countries I won’t visit again (drachmas, francs, pesos!).

You can enlarge your photos, arrange them artfully, include as many or as few as you like.

And you can add, take away and rearrange as new vacations happen. You can even have more than one white board on a wall or throughout the house.

5. Getting crafty: Make ornaments

Pinterest offers many ideas for turning your photos into Christmas tree ornaments. I like the idea of taking 1 family photo from every trip and making your Christmas tree a recap of your family travels.

ornaments are a great way to celebrate vacation photos

If you don’t want to wait until the holidays to revisit your vacations, skip the holidy theming and hang these in attractive photo globles around the house, or make a year-round photo “tree.”

6. Challenging but worth it: Photo maps

I think this is a particularly fun idea if you’ve done a road trip or  a big pan-Europe or pan-Asia tour.

It also is a good way to display photos and mark progress on a travel goal you’re working on, such as visiting every major league baseball stadium or national park.

a colorful map can be a background for photos

It can even work if you’ve visiting a single bucket-list destination.

You’ll find lots of ideas for doing this on Pinterest and Etsy. I like the way the crafter at CutCraftCreate cuts her photos out to fit the shape of the state where they were taken. Make sure the underlying map is nice looking if there will be parts with no photos.

For some road trips you you might prefer a regional map to localize your photos even more.

For a single destination consider an iconic transit map or detailed neighborhood map for a city or a theme park map with colorful icons. For New York City you might use a subway map, or a map of Central Park, for example.

I’ve seen the map as a backdrop or matting for a single photo and as a centerpiece with photos around it. Both can look great; it just depends on the size of your frame and how many photos you want to display.

7. Hardest but very cool: Photo coasters

This involves the most crafting skill and equipment, but they just look so cool.

And I like the idea of having these coasters scattered around the house, out where you can see your photos all the time.

turn vacation photos into coasters

They’re also great conversation starters when guests come over.

The creative souls at Dark Room Dearly give pretty clear and manageable instructions for doing it with plain white floor tiles.

They use Polaroids, but I think any photos would work if you trim them the right way.

Good luck! Let us know how your projects go!

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