Great Family Photo Ideas: 19 Unique Ways to Preserve Family Memories

by Matt Annen January 24, 2019

Great Family Photo Ideas: 19 Unique Ways to Preserve Family Memories

Great Family Photo Ideas: 19 Unique Ways to Preserve Family Memories

Displaying photos is a great way to preserve family memories, but you may run out of wall space. Here are 19 other unique family photo ideas to share the love.

Keyword(s): family photo ideas


Are you one of those families that loves to memorialize every special day with oodles of photos? Maybe you're not, but you want to make the most out of your latest family photo session. Either way, there are only so many photos your walls can hold.

That's where creativity comes in. There are plenty of ways to memorialize your treasured photos beyond basic wall hangings. Check out these fun family photo ideas to turn your pictures into decor or even practical items.

Family Photo Ideas: What To Do With Your Photos

You don't have to choose between putting your favorite photos on the wall or leaving them stashed in a closet. Instead, put them to use in ways you'll enjoy on a daily basis.

1. Mini Photo Album

Let's say you love the idea of a classic photo album but you don't have the space for giant binders. Try making it a mini.

A   mini photo album  is an easy craft anyone can do. Using an accordion-style design and a handy storage box, you can create an album that's easy to access and looks great as a design accent as well.

This particular design uses one of the greatest trends in crafting today: decorative tape. It takes the function of an adhesive and turns it into a great cosmetic touch. There are enough patterns and varieties for you to infuse your own style into your project.


If you're a bookworm (or a family of bookworms), why not enjoy your memories every time you pick up a book?

When you're making a bookmark with your photos, the only limit is your creativity. One option is to create the shape of a basic bookmark with decorative paper and attaching your photo to the front of it.

If you want to get a bit more unique, try cutting out the silhouette of your family from the photo and using that as your bookmark. 

3. Phone Cases

You already use your phone to browse through all your favorite pictures. Why not use it to display them, too?

If you're a techie, a   custom phone case  could be right up your alley. You can get a phone case with any photo of your choices printed on it. It's the perfect way to have your memories with you everywhere you go.

4. Collage Letters

There's a growing trend in interior decor of using wooden letters as accent pieces. They're most popular with fraternity and sorority members who want to display their Greek letters with pride. They're getting more popular among families too, who use letters that signify their last names or their kids' names.

You can customize your wooden letters by turning them into photo collages. Making these   custom wooden letters  involves one of the greatest ways to get creative with photos: decoupage.

Decoupage is a craft that uses a unique paste-like material to apply images like photos onto a variety of surfaces. It's an easy craft anyone can learn and it opens up countless doors for getting creative with your family photos.

5. Keepsake Box

What better way to use the photos of your memories than to contain other memories.

Everyone needs a keepsake box where they can store ticket stubs and other memorabilia from special events. By customizing it with your favorite family photo, though, you can turn the box itself into a keepsake too.

This   DIY memory box  uses our good old friend decoupage. One of the beauties of decoupage is that you can apply your photo to a wide variety of materials. Whether your keepsake box is made of wood, cardboard, porcelain, or many other options, you can commemorate your photo.

6. Keychain

Remember those crafts that used to be popular in which you'd draw on a special plastic paper and put it in the oven to shrink it? Now you can do the same thing with your favorite photos.

To   make your keychain, you can print your photo on specialized shrinking paper. No need for a trip to a print shop, though, because the paper works with most regular home printers.

After printing your photo on the unique paper and cutting it to the shape you want, all you need to do is pop it in the oven. As it bakes, it will shrink and harden into a beautiful memento for your keys.

7. Blankets

You know that warm and cozy feeling you get when you see a picture that reminds you of a fun time? A   photo blanket  lets you enjoy that along with a physical coziness too.

As much as you might enjoy crafts, a photo blanket is something that's better left to the professionals. Any high-quality photo can be blown up into the perfect size to fit a blanket you'll love. You can even customize it more with text like names and dates.

8. DIY Puzzle

What do you do if your family loves putting together puzzles and also look at photos? You combine the two into a photo puzzle, of course.

At its core,   making a photo puzzle  is just a matter of attaching your photo to some cardboard and cutting it into pieces. In execution, though, you can go as high-tech or low-tech as you want.

If you have a specialized cutting machine, it's easy to get a precise and clean cut for every piece. If not, your project will just require a bit more hands-on work.

After pasting the photo onto the cardboard, draw any puzzle pattern you want onto the back of the cardboard. Use a utility knife, rotary cutter, or another precision cutter to cut along that pattern. 

9. Wood Slice

Let's say you want to display your treasured photo in your home but you're tired of the same old picture frames and photo albums. If your style has a rustic touch, a wood slice will fit right in.

You'll start with a slice or cross-section of wood. If you can have bark around the entire outside of the slice, it makes for a more finished look.

When you have your wood slice, it's just a matter of using decoupage to apply the photo. This option is even better if your wood slice is a memento itself. For example, maybe it's from a tree you enjoyed when you were growing up.

10. Ornaments

There's an undeniable charm that comes with personalized ornaments for the holidays. With basic crafting skills, you can turn your favorite photos into your favorite ornaments.

A basic way to do this is with   wood photo ornaments. You can proceed the same way you would with a larger wood slice, but you take the extra step of drilling a hole at the top and attaching a ribbon loop.

That's just one option. You can use a similar process with a ceramic material or many other types of ornaments.

11. Tumblers

You already know you need to get in your daily water allotment. Why not enjoy your favorite pictures at the same time?

A   customized tumbler  can show off a single treasured photo or a full collage of memories. You can even personalize it further with names, fun sayings, and more.

As you shop for photo tumblers, make sure you choose an insulated model that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours while you cherish your memories.

12. Photo Luminaries

Another awesome decor idea that puts your family photos to use is a luminary. If you're not familiar, a luminary is an open container that houses a candle. When you light the candle, you get a beautiful warm glow that highlights the decoration on the sides of the luminary.

As with most crafts, there are plenty of ways to do this. One popular crafter went the simple route of   creating photo luminaries  by taking photos to the outside of glass vases. You can also use our trusty friend decoupage.

13. Magnets

For so many families, the refrigerator is the perfect place to display all their kids' artwork, homework victories, and more. You can make the space even more special with   photo magnets.

One fun way to do this is to reuse your old bottle caps. In this simple process, you'll cut out small photos and paste them inside the bottle caps. To make them look more professional and help them last, you'll fill them with a clear resin and let it harden. You'll finish it off with an easy adhesive magnet.

14. Snow Globes

Snow globes are beautiful decorations that many families cherish in the winter. They're common souvenirs, but you can make them even more personal by   making your own snow globe  with your family photos.

To make your own snowglobe, it's as simple as cutting out your family from your favorite photo and attaching it to the inside of a jar lid. You can surround the picture with other items or cut-outs to make it as elaborate as you want.

Before you do this, though, make sure you laminate your cut-out photo. This will protect it from the water and the other particles that can damage it.

When you're ready, fill your jar with a mixture of water, glycerin, and glitter. Screw on the jar lid and you're ready to shake and enjoy!

15. Mugs

We mentioned tumblers above, but another piece of drinkware that lends itself to photo customization is a mug. Whether you're a coffee drinker or a tea drinker, a   photo mug  is a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing cup with your family, even if they aren't around.

Your unique mug can show off your single favorite picture or a curated collage. You can add other designs into the mix as well for a professional touch.

16. Coasters

Speaking of all those delicious drinks, you need something to put them on as well. Why not finish the set with a photo coaster?

Coasters are among the most useful photo display and the easiest to make as well. All you need to do is get your hands on some ceramic tiles. We suggest hitting a clearance section at your local tile store. When you have your tiles, apply your photos to them with decoupage.

To protect your tables from scratches, it's a good idea to add simple felt patches to the bottoms of your coasters too.  

17. Jewelry Pendants

If you want your favorite photos to be near your heart at all times but you aren't a fan of lockets, what about photo pendants?

Making photo pendants  is one of the more complex ways to display your pictures. Still, the work is worth it because these pendants look like true professional jewelry pieces. They'll also add a one-of-a-kind piece to your jewelry collection and you can pass it down as a family heirloom.

18. Beach Towels

Think about how much you enjoy lounging on a beach with nothing to do but relax and refresh. Now think about how much cooler it would be to do that with a   custom photo beach towel.

A great beach towel is something you can enjoy for years to come. It's also the perfect place to display your fun family photo, like a picture of your last trip to the beach. Another common favorite is to put a photo of your family pet on your beach towel.

19. Custom Apparel

You've seen all those t-shirts that say "World's Best Mom" and "#1 Dad." Why not let your parenting expertise speak for itself in the form of your kids' smiling faces?

A photo-printed t-shirt is a fun way to keep your favorite family photos near and dear. You can get creative with the design too, option for a collage or additional design features besides the photo.

As with any cherished memento, a photo t-shirt is even better when you make it yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to   print your custom shirt at home.

Making the Most of Your Family Photos

There's so much that goes into a great family photo. They're often expensive if you use a professional photographer, and it's a challenge to catch everyone with great smiles at the same time.

When you do capture a great photo, make the most of it. The family photo ideas above can help you enjoy your favorite pictures in many ways throughout your home.

To start memorializing your photos,   shop for custom phone cases  and other personalized items today.

Matt Annen
Matt Annen

Matt Annen is the owner of He has been in the customization and personalization industry for over 8 years. Products from Custom Envy have been shipped all over the world.