5 Ways to Bring New Life to Old Photos


We’ve all done it.

Snapped hundreds of pictures on vacation, vowed to upload them to Facebook, print them, whatever… and then it never actually happens. Those precious memories are out of sight and out of mind, often on memory cards that get lost or damaged. Such a travesty.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are so many ways to bring new life to old photos. Here are a few of my favorites options:

Phone Case

I love street art. When I studied abroad in Barcelona, I started a mini blog to document all the amazing pieces I found. It’s not hard to find a a great place to put street art. Honestly, it would work perfectly in any of these custom photo product categories. But because I love street art so much, I like it to be with me always, which is how it made it’s way onto my phone.

5 Ways to Bring New Life to Old Photos

Custom phone cases don’t have to mean sacrificing protection. The most recent custom phone case I made was from Vistaprint, I opted for rubberized protection.

Coffee Mug

If you drink coffee or tea at work, you ought to have a reusable coffee mug. Not only does it help save the environment, one cup of coffee at a time… it also let’s you show off a little of your personality.

I’m on the look out for what I would consider to be the perfect coffee mug – one where the image wrap takes up the entire space with no white spots.

bring new life to old photos

In the meantime, I’ve ordered coffee mugs (and many other photo products) from PrinterPix. But don’t pay retail, they frequently have great Groupon deals.


I recently ordered these coasters from PrinterPix after a trip to Peru:

5 Ways to Bring New Life to Old Photos

Whether or not you respect your coffee table, coasters make great accents. Regardless of if you choose to use┬átrip pictures, pictures of friends, or old-fashioned pictures of family members (I know someone doing this as a gift this year…), you can’t go wrong. Good-quality coasters with a personal touch make a great addition to a coffee table.

Printed Canvas

My parents got me started on custom canvases. For every trip they’ve been on, they get a custom canvas printed and hang it in the foyer. They even installed spotlights to make the pictures really pop. They have an eye for beauty (especially because at least one of the pictures hanging is my own ;)), and I love taking in the whole room when I’m at their house.

I started this tradition with my boyfriend, getting custom canvases printed after our first trip together, which resulted in so many beautiful pictures. We got our first one made by little print in Melbourne when we were there. It reminds us everyday of how lucky Australians are.

Picture it on Canvas is a great resource for different sizes, frame thickness, and other treatments. I like the square options – they make it easy to fit in multiple canvas pictures in a small space. Groupon frequently runs deals, so check there first before paying full price (and note that you’ll still be responsible for shipping). If you’re not super picky about options, Walgreens also frequently does deals when you sign up for their email newsletter.

Photo Book

I like photo books to commemorate occasions or long periods of time.

To give you an example, my mom made one for a trip we took after I graduated to Spain and France.

She made me another one when I graduated college.

bring new life to old photos 2

They’re small and easy to store. And it’s fun to look back at a snapshot of time – especially when you know someone else put an effort into putting it together for you.

So whether you’re giving gifts, or making custom photo projects for yourself, there are so many great options to bring new life to old photos!

Have you taken advantage of any of the aforementioned opportunities? Or maybe did something else? Share your custom photo project ideas in the comments!

By Maddy Osman

Maddy is the founder of Chicago Cheap Ass. She loves to read, travel, cook, and play with her adorable dog Leonidas.

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