Friday, December 07, 2007

Memory making - beverage containers.

Memory collage Gifts.

Recently I was asked to pass along directions for making photo cups, the ones easily found in coffee chains (Starbucks had them first), or scrapbooking stores. Instead of creating this directional sheet for a few, it's here for all to see in case you might want to attempt it yourself.

I began to work with these cups a few years back, making one for my hubby one Christmas, using a theme of; "The year in review". It was a fun and easy gift to make, one that would offer “memories” on his desk, and it became a fun conversation piece for all who entered his office for a meeting. (Actually as an aside, he had another conversational piece on his desk too, a fighter fish (Beta fish) in a small container with a pair of chopsticks next to it. He named it Sushi and pretended to offer it to his employees...laugh.)

Each year since, I've simply removed the older photo insert page, and re-gifted him with a new one, filled with more current photos of another year in review. The older version makes a great keepsake as is, so don't throw it out. Use it to scrapbook a year in review, or there are other uses for using it in the future. Be sure to date it on the back with the year the memory was for.

I had so much fun making him this gift; I expanded the idea to include others in our family. After our nephew married, my sister was gifted with one to include all photos highlighting the wedding day. My parents were gifted with cups with photos from their 50th anniversary memories. And so it goes, I’ve managed to make quite a few of these over time, and when it suits the purpose, I’ll continue to “re-gift” with a new insert another year.

In the beginning I used to have photo doubles (extra copies) for use to use for the projects, cutting them out and constructing the feature collage on the pattern page. Over time though, I found once the photos were adhered onto the page, it became either too thick, or too finicky to roll up and insert back into the cup, with edges of the photos folding back or ripping.

So, now I’ve devised my own personal style to complete the process, something I’ll show you below, step by step. You may find this the perfect gift for someone this Christmas, or any time of year actually. Whether someone would use this for a hot beverage or not, most people I know prefer to use it as their water-drinking beverage, attaining their personal daily consumption goals, some inserting a straw in the hole on the lid. If hot is your choice, consider the recycling efforts you can use by refilling this baby day after day! In turn, you’ll get warm memories carved into your mind to make your day brighter each time it's in your hand, offering a much happier and most pleasant day.

This past summer, two of our older children and their spouses were gifted with their very own cups, with photos from the past year. As these are the two projects fresh at hand, the directions below will include photos of them, along with a few completed offerings to show you more. Do not allow this type of procedure to limit your imagination at all, get down right artistic if you dare! Using photographs may not always be possible, so consider using artwork, your personal printer creations of either images or inspirational sayings from the internet or other possibilities from embellishments found at your local scrapbooking store. And if worse comes to worse, check out the STARBUCKS idea web link HERE! They offer free pdf files to download at this website , for use inside the tumblers. :-)

1. Begin by purchasing a tumbler that specifies it is a "photo collage" one, or it won't be any good for this project.

2. Unscrew the bottom and remove the pattern page insert. Helpful tip - trace around the pattern page, so you can reuse it again the following year to create another insert, or to work with a thinner cardstock than the one provided.

3. Either use photos at hand, or (helpful hint again...wink) use the digital media at your fingertips on your computer to print thumbnail images on regular photocopier 20 bond print paper instead (this is more economical to say the least, unless of course you have many double photos not being used anyway, and it is much less frustrating). You can also print off larger versions of the photos by selecting wallet size images before printing, rather than thumbnail images if you prefer something a bit larger for focusing on.

Choose your tools of choice!

4. With scissors or other cutting devices, prepare the photos according to your preference and lay them onto the pattern page to fiddle with. Begin creating the perfect image setting you desire. Adhere all the pieces onto the pattern page, and then trim around the edges if necessary in case your photos overlapped at all. It is necessary not to attempt to increase or decrease the size of the original pattern page.

Here's the big trick of the day for me; I do NOT use this pattern page in my cup! Nope, I actually color copy it so it's a collage sheet without all the little photos getting caught when entering into the tumbler for completing the project. Save the original in case you'd like to use it again some day, or take off the little images and store them for another use in your other crafting.

5. Place the photo collage into the tumbler by rolling it up so it fits in the bottom of the cup. Carefully jimmy it all the way into the cup until the bottom edge is flush with the image lower edging, and ensure the side seams of the photo collage match up to form a nice even line up the side of the tumbler. When you're happy with the way it looks, take the base of the tumbler and screw it back on tightly.

6. Ensure directions for the helpful tips below are inside the cup (usually something comes with the tumbler inside already) and add a thoughtful gift certificate for a coffee stop inside, or perhaps, a few tea bags, a hot chocolate pouch, or a few fancy straws for a fun surprise. Wrap and feel great knowing you shared a memory with someone, something unique and personal not obtainable elsewhere. These to me are the best types of gifts, simple, easy and special.

A few samples to get you enticed about this fun

The first sample used here shows photos cut using various straight line scissor and punch techniques. I also used a round photo in the center by affixing over and under others to collage it and make it appear to belong with the rest. Just fiddle before adhering everything. Go ahead and play, play, play!

A new technique used below was the insert people on the lower right corner by cutting from a few photos and collaging them there around the other squares and rectangles.

This one below has a larger photo in the center and I worked around it to the edges to incorporate it in the collage.

Our daughter made this one for her sister, so fun and whimsical when it's back in the cup to look at! She added embellishments and background paper to create a great collage and cartoonie effect.

Helpful tips….

  • These types of beverage tumblers are neither dishwasher, freezer, or microwave safe. Wash by hand or they will crack.

  • Keep alert to ensuring your tumbler is empty once in a while, leave the lid open and air it out. Better yet, take the lid off to dry upon occasion, or you may find green fuzzy visitors residing inside someday.

  • The beverage container is tall, sometimes too tall for the cup holders in a vehicle. If a hot beverage is the choice for the interior, ensure it will not fall out of the cup holder and spill all about, or burn someone nearby.

  • Check to ensure the lid is sealed securely, or guess what?

  • Do not use this type of beverage container for sodas or carbonated beverages of any kind. Poof!

  • Ensure the bottom is secure, or moisture will leak in and ruin the insert photo page.

Some have reminders and some don't.

Drop me a note if you choose to use the step by step above, I'd love to hear from you.