By Cammie Jones

Do you feel guilty when you snap photos of your family vacation or as of lately, your staycation, and can’t quite get around to organizing them into a photo book? Not a scrapbooker by nature? You are not alone, and you are forgiven. There are plenty of simple ways to remember your family times without having to lay out your photos in order, making sure to include all the kids with an equal number of images per page. Thank the dear Lord!

Playing Cards
Many photo-related websites can turn any photo or series of photos into playing cards. We recently had a few decks of cards made for the grandparents from a family vacation we took before COVID set in. It is so much fun to conjure up fun memories as you compete to outplay each other in a game of Gin Rummy.

A calendar is a great way to see family photos from the past year. Most sites make uploading photos easy and will assemble them by auto-filling the pages. If you want to change or swap any, you can go back and do that afterward. If you are pleased with the layout, just hit the order button and a 12-month photo montage will arrive at your door soon.

Family Vacation Wall
Order a bunch of prints in various sizes and frame them to hang on a wall, or if you want to do something easier, tack a string or ribbon to the wall and attach photos with cute mini clothespins. When you head to another destination or have a photo-friendly weekend, switch out the photos for newer ones or hang another ribbon above or below to start a new row of memories.

Blanket or Throw
You can also collect photos for a keepsake blanket. Many companies have online offers, and your design can be one big photograph or a collage of favorites to make a lasting memory that will keep you warm all winter.

Yes, you can have your favorite photo made into a postage stamp. These would be great to use for holiday cards or birthday party invitations!

Note Cards
Why not make note cards? Even though we are in the age of electronic communication, sometimes a quick note means the world. You can make it personal with a family photo on the front. You may find more of an excuse to lay that pen to a piece of paper if it is personalized. 

Doing puzzles certainly passed the extra time at home during the pandemic. Why not make your favorite family photo a puzzle?  You can even choose the count—starting at 25 pieces. For the more adventurous, a 1000-piece puzzle may be the way to go. How fun to see those little pieces come slowly together displaying a vacation photo of your loved ones!

A Photo Bowl or Box
Place a bunch of prints in a large bowl on the coffee table for people to look through at their leisure. Another idea is to get a decorative box (or hand decorate it using glue and clipped photos) and put the prints in it. Label according to year and/or month. It’s a great way to walk down memory lane and it’s fun for visitors, too.

If you need some artwork to cover bare walls, have a canvas made to hang using your staycation photos. These canvases come in various sizes and price points, so start with a few and go from there.

Clothing & Accessories
It’s not just T-shirts anymore. You can have leggings, hats or a pair of socks made with your favorite pictures. There’s nothing like thinking back to a fabulous vacation memory while putting on your socks!

Honestly, there is no excuse for not taking plenty of photos on your next excursion. Throw that scrapbooking guilt aside and start looking online or at local stores near you for easy ways to keep those memories up close and personal every day of the year. Are you up for hitting the road? My camera is aimed and ready!

Photo by Larry Crayton on Unsplash