Friday, June 13, 2014

Turn Your Nostalgic Photos Into 3D Art - A Father's Day DIY

For most of us in our retirement years we've become more nostalgic and sentimental about our childhood and growing up.  We are forever strolling down memory lane and remembering the times when Dad always seemed to have all the answers.  You can read about my last years' tribute to him here.

My sister Sandra and I thought our Dad was ahead of his time.  He was always looking toward the future. Before I was born, my father owned a grocery store that had gas pumps on the outside.  Perhaps he owned the original 7/11 where you could get groceries and gas up at the same place.  He had to feed a family of seven children and a wife, and was always thinking of a better way to make a living.  So, shortly before I was born, when he was in his early fifties, he decided to rent out his grocery store and build a new home for us across the street that included his new adventure in the real estate business - an office on the lower level.  His mother told him he was too old to start over.

I recently saw an episode of Home & Family on the Hallmark channel, where Mark Steines showed  how to add new dimension to photos by creating a 3D effect using black foam board.  I thought this would be a perfect project to do for Father's Day using a picture I have of our family home almost completed with my Dad's old Packard parked in front.  It's hard to believe he built this home, brick by brick, inspired by a house he would travel pass in southern Maryland. Back then we lived in a rural area of Northeast, DC.  . . . with dirt roads and all.

This is how the house looked shortly before I sold it several years ago. It was converted into rental property after my Dad died.

Here's how to make  3D Photo Art

Photograph (copy)
Post-it picture paper or paper adhesive/glue                   
Black foam board
X-acto knife

  • Divide your copied photo into at least three elements (layers) for dimension and cut out  the foreground, middle ground and background.

  • First, place the foreground on the bottom edge of the foam, removing the backing and press on or glue on.
  • Using an x-acto knife, carefully cut out the layer through the foam board, following the outline of the elements, objects/picture, keeping the foam board intact.  Put first cut-out aside.
  • Next, place your second layer, middle ground, (backing removed or glued) over the cutout portion of remaining foam board, lining up the edges and cut out, also keeping the foam board intact. Align this middle ground with the foreground making sure the cut-outs match.

  • Do the same for the background, placing it on the foam board, lining up the edges of the middle ground, backing removed or glued and cut out.

                   At this point all three layers, the foreground, middle
ground, and background should line up perfectly together.
  • Glue on small square pieces of foam board to the back to raise the middle ground and foreground layers.
       Position the assembled layers to the back of your shadowbox and glue on.
I chose to keep the frame unfinished which blended in with the original brick colors of yellow and red.

Placement is up to you.  I like more of the thickness of the black foam showing.

The car and tree really jump out! 

Have fun converting your photos into 3D Art!

Happy Father's Day!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!


  1. Well how cool is that! Your Dad sounds like he was a true entrepreneur!

  2. This is such a great idea Gail. I love the 3D effect!

  3. Gail, this is so cool! Thanks for sharing how to - I will need to try it out ( thinking of a couple of photos it might work with).

  4. That's a big house!!! My father is also the go to man for answers. He also worked very hard to support a whole lot of people, not just his children and wife, but his in-laws and all my mom's young brothers and sisters, and his brother's children also. I can't imagine having such financial responsibility now that I am so much more educated than my dad ever was. I can barely support myself financially. He never complaint, never showed worries or stress. Now I realize it must be very stressful for him but he took it all and let us have a worry free life. I love my daddy.

  5. Great idea - we have a family reunion of Chucks' mother's family coming up in September to share old photographs. His cousin has offered to take them and scan them into an archive. I hope to find his grandparents house to share and this would be a wonderful gift idea for several of the family members. Thanks, Gail!

  6. What a great project. I love it.

  7. Cool idea! I think this would be great for wedding pictures as well. Thanks for sharing-- I'll be pinning this idea!

  8. Oh beautiful it's kind of like cheater toil, which I love but do not have the patience for.

  9. I am a huge fan of this look, I will definitely try this. I have a pretty big collection of old family photos.

    I also went back and read last year's tribute to your father - I really enjoyed it.

  10. I love the idea of doing this, Gail, but me with an Exacto knife...probably not a very good idea! :-) This is really unique and beautiful. I'm trying to remember what it reminds me of. A movie or a song...I can't remember. Maybe it was a music video! At any rate, I love it!!!

  11. wow this is cool! I remember doing something similar but using a silicon gel to make the 3-d affect like a zillion years ago and totally forgot. This is something I cam going to do for a Christmas present!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...