Sunday, July 28, 2013

Decorating with Vacation Memories

Let's be honest. Getting home from a vacation sort of blows. That first day of work after you spend a week in Disney World? Painful.

But rather than whine and complain (ok, I do that too), I try to focus on turning a vacation memory into something tangible that will remind me of how lucky I am to get to go on super awesome vacations with my husband.

For our honeymoon, Chris and I went to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. So this is what I have on my refrigerator now as an awesome daily reminder of our trip (and our trips to Hawaii and NYC).

See that postcard that says MEXICO, spelled out in pictures? I made that! Here's how:

How to Make Your Own Vacation Postcard
1. Pick out the same number of pictures as the letters in your vacation city or country. I recommend using the shortest word you can so your pictures will be larger. You can also break the word in half, so for example, I could have put MEX on the top of the card and ICO below it.
2. Next, I used my Paint program to create the white space around each picture, forming it into a single letter. Try to pick pictures that go with the letter shape, so you aren't cutting off heads or anything.
3. After you create each letter, same them as a separate file and then create a new file for the next letter.
4. Once you've got all your letters, create a blank page in Paint that's the right dimensions for the postcard and add in each letter, adjusting them to be as big as you can get them in the space you have.
5. Saved the file with all the letters together. Then just upload the jpeg to Vistaprint or some other printing company that has standard postcard templates. I picked an oversized postcard template so my pictures would be bigger and easier to see.

So easy. And I think when I ordered my postcards, Vistaprint was having a sale, so I had 50 postcards printed (that's the minimum quantity) for pretty cheap. And, as a bonus, since we took our trip to Mexico in January, we ended up using these postcards for our Christmas thank you notes, which our family and friends loved.

Hawaii Memories
Our most recent big trip was 10 days in Hawaii back in April. Returning to the mainland was a sad day indeed. But, check out how I turned some of my vacation photos into d├ęcor for our living room.

Note: I had a hard time photographing the photos in the frames because of the huge window directly across from them. Also, I went with cheap frames from Target, which have plastic "glass". So the photos aren't held completely taut in the frames.

Here are the pictures we had printed in 20" x 30" size with They were having a buy 1, get 1 free sale, so we had 4 posters printed for the price of 2!

The fourth poster is of a pink pineapple, but I haven't figured out where to hang that one yet.

I plan to one day upgrade the posters frames with chunkier wood frames (maybe something salvaged and rustic looking?) and real glass with a thick backing. But for now, they definitely do the trick of reminding Chris and I of our vacation.

I also love buying postcards on vacation, so I try to display them around the house as well. Here you can see the Mexico postcard I made and another Hawaii postcard on our wall of frames.

Hope this gives you guys some inspiration on how to keep your vacation memories alive around the house. No crabby readers out there lamenting the end of their vacations! (Ok, you can be a little crabby. It's hard getting back to real life.)