Friday, July 12, 2013

Make: Photo Memoir Box

Raise your hand if you've ever participated in a photo-a-day Instagram project. Now lower your hand if you've ever done anything with the photos after the project concluded. Like me, you probably haven't.

Until this week, the only Instagram photos that I'd printed or compiled into a physical project were those from Alt Summit SLC. It was a simple project, 20 photographs with no captions. This week's project, a photo memoir box combines photos and captions to tell a story.

Photo Memoir Box


What do you do with the photos from your smartphone?

My inspiration for my photo memoir box came from MJ of Pars Caeli as part of the Endless Summer Projects series. I especially liked how on one side the project was a banner for Summer while the other recounted specific memories the family had shared.

My photo memoir box tells my story as a first-time mother. (It's one of two projects I completed for Lesson Four: What is Your Storytelling Style of the Find Your Voice Workshop. The second storytelling style that I used for this lesson was collage. I created a 3-D shadow box with a mix of photographs, text, and items from the same period as the photos I selected for the memoir box. I'll be sharing the 3-D shadow box in a future post.)

For the box, I selected photographs from my pregnancy through to recent #nowherethis and #momstaysinthephoto moments. To take my storytelling to a deeper level, that is make it more purposeful and intentional, I added commentary through captions (not shown). I recorded the date and the location of each photo and added an "I am: ____" phrase that shared how I was feeling, proud, overwhelmed, happy, and so on.

Supplies for a Photo Memoir Box



To make your own memoir box, you'll need the following supplies:

  • Decorated papier-mache box
  • Even number of photographs
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Washi tape
  • Elmer's Craft Bond Extra Strength Jumbo Glue Stick (not pictured)

How to Create a Photo Memoir Box



  1. Arrange all photos in chronologic order with the sky up.
  2. Optional. If you want all of your photos facing the same direction, and your box is not symmetric, flip all even photos so that the ground is (or person's feet are) up.
  3. Place the bottom of your decorated papier-mache box on top of each photo and mark where you need to trim the photograph to. Repeat until you have marked all of the photos.
  4. Cut out each photo. Be sure each photo fits easily into your decorated papier-mache box.
  5. Tape each photo together, placing the washi tape across the backs of adjacent photos.
  6. Glue the first photo into the top of the decorated papier-mache box.
  7. Before gluing the last photo into the bottom of the decorated papier-mache box, check to make sure the garland won't be twisted once you attach the photo.
  8. Optional. If the garland will be twisted, cut out a piece of paper in the shape of the box and attach to the garland with washi tape, and then glue the paper into the box.
  9. Optional. Add a brief caption that ties the photo together with the others into a story.

Join us This Summer for a Free Storytelling Workshop

If you want a creative outlet this summer or are looking to start intentionally sharing your story online, I highly recommend the 2015 Find Your Voice Workshop, starting Wednesday July 1st 2015.

Curious what the 2013 workshop was like? For me, the 2013 workshop was about stepping away from the computer and disconnecting from outside influences to reconnect with me. I loved getting a lesson that covers one aspect of storytelling each week, especially the creative call-to-action designed to explore the discussed element. When storytelling is your day job, you can easily forget to think about why you do what you do. The element by element focus allowed in-depth exploration and growth.

Check out some of the projects I completed (all posts have been updated to link to details about the 2015 workshop):


genuinely eden

Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.