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weekend creative : photo type case

Type1

[ project featured in my book Life Artist ]

This project is right up there at the top of my all-time favorite projects list. It has photos + words + re-purposes something old giving it a new life. Lovely.

Here's the really simple how-to:

Type2

1. Find an old type case.

I purchased both of mine from antique stores/tag sales
for between $20 and $40 depending on quality and size. This one above
was $30. Both of the cases I have measure right around 32 inches x 16.5 inches. I would also recommend checking ebay or simply google "type drawers" or "type cases" (while looking up some sources I found that they are actually called cases rather than drawers).

I did a renegade cleaning of mine by spraying it with the hose on a hot summer day to loosen the dirt and grime that had accumulated. I am guessing it was probably not the best way to clean old wood, but it worked. After it dried I was ready to play.

Type3

2. Fill it with stuff.

The case above was filled with photos and embellishments. I measured the squares (this one had even sized squares vs. the empty one above has a variety of different sized rectangles) and they ended up being pretty much 2 inches x 2 inches. I re-sized a bunch of our favorite photos in Photoshop, printed them here at home, and trimmed them down to fit.

To adhere the photos and embellishments onto the wood I went with 3D foam squares. If you are wondering about the sticking power, this entire thing was wrapped + shipped to Utah to be photographed for the book and made it back in one piece and has been hanging on our wall ever since.

For variety and depth, I added more than one foam square behind some of the photos. This means that some of them stick out farther within the squares than others.

Type4

As for additional embellishments I pretty much went through my stash and grabbed elements that had a bit of meaning and were just waiting to be used in something (don't we all have those things that you are just waiting to use on the "perfect" project). I also tended towards circle embellishments for a nice break from all those square photos.

These Scenic Route chipboard circles would work great. As would these Love, Elsie Soft Charms or these stacked layer stickers from K&Company or those classic Making Memories metal charmed quotes.

The compartments are also a nice place to store personal mementos. My Mom has a drawer hanging in the house I grew up in that is filled not with photos but little bits and pieces of things she has collected along her journey. Many of those little things relate to this or that event and are significant to us as a family. It is a treasure.

Type5

3. Display.

Our case hangs on a wall in our dining room. I hung it with picture-hanging wire and screws screwed into the sides of the wood. They would also look great on a bureau or dresser.

Dottedline_2

The prompt for the weekend is this: What can you do to "live with" your photos other than having them inside your computer, in boxes under the bed, hidden away in photo albums, or placed among decorations in your scrapbooks? Maybe a type case or shadow box is in your future...

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132 thoughts

  1. Laura Hawkey says…
    05/30/2008

    HI, loving your last few weeks posts! i love this and was inspired to get one after seeing it in your book, and i am gradually filling it up with photos and bits and bobs, This has definatly reminded me to find more photos this weekend, thanks for the constant inspiration! xxx

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. sue says…
    05/30/2008

    I love this idea and am in the process of looking for another type case. I already use one to store part of my rubber stamp collection. They look great in it. It's on my 'to do' list for summer.
    Sue

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. JLS says…
    05/30/2008

    I just saw two of these at a nearby antique market. I wanted to bring one home....but my fiance required me to give it a specific purpose right then and there (I collect too much, and a line needs to be drawn somewhere). I couldn't come up with anything concrete, so my fiance made me leave it. I am SO forwarding this to him, so we can return to the market and snatch it up! Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Angela says…
    05/30/2008

    Wow. I have the Life Artist book, but guess I missed this. Once we move I'm SO doing this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Lisa R says…
    05/30/2008

    Ali, you have fabulous timing-- I have a type drawer sitting in my studio currently, just waiting to be filled with all kinds of things. seeing this is hopefully the kick in the pants I need for me to start creating!
    thanks for always being a source of inspiration. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Julie Howard says…
    05/30/2008

    What a clever idea, and a beautiful way to display photos! I have one of these drawers that I just haven't done anything with. Now I know what to do with it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Anna Beth says…
    05/30/2008

    This is about the coolest thing I've ever seen. I love it!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. scrapwordsgirl says…
    05/30/2008

    I so loved this in your book. Thanks for sharing more of the how-to. I want to do this. I'm going to keep my eyes pealed!! Thanks for all the inspiration you provided to me every single day.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Sasha J Nygaard says…
    05/30/2008

    Wow! I have been loving the last few posts (not that I don't always love them anyway!). I feel so energized to tackle my stack of albums and get them organized. And the type case is beyond cool - I'd love to make one for over our mantel. I especially like the fact that it will hold an albums worth of photos in a really cool and stylized way. As always -thanks for the great inspirations!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Stacy says…
    05/30/2008

    I'm also storing rubber stamps in my type drawer and some of the little compartments are just too small for stamps. Pictures are a fabulous idea. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. heidi says…
    05/30/2008

    I love this idea - I've had one of these drawers for ages, always meaning to fill it with nature/objects. I like the idea of photos - I think I'll age and distress mine and mix them with things we find on our beach.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Hope says…
    05/30/2008

    I love this and I'm looking for a type case right now. I can't wait to do this project and hang it at work. I'm also thinking about doing them as gifts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Karla says…
    05/30/2008

    ....just so neat! And what a way to show your family how special it is :)
    thanks so much for sharing with all of us honey,
    -Karla

    Reply 1 Reply
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      01/15/2012

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  14. Kendra says…
    05/30/2008

    I'm so excited! My mom had one of these in our dining room growing up and it was filled with this and that. I also remeber seeing it in one of your 365 photos. Thanks for sharing the details of yur process! I'm off to the estate store!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. kristina says…
    05/30/2008

    That is SO beautiful and unique, Ali! Love it! Thank you for the idea! I'll have to be on the lookout for it when Nashville has their flea market again in a few weeks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Krystyn says…
    05/30/2008

    Wow -this is amazing. I would love to put one of these together.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Linn says…
    05/30/2008

    This is one of my favorite projects of yours...I'm so glad I saw it before cleaning out my grandparents' house a few months ago. I rescued an old, dirty, wooden coke bottle crate that I plan to do this with. I'm so thankful you gave me the idea so I can use not only pictures with meaning, but also a crate with meaning.
    Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Lindsay Palamaruk says…
    05/30/2008

    Absolutely beautiful!! I LOVE your blog & your VISION!! You are so inspirational beyond words. I look forward to reading your blog everyday. You so "GET IT"!!
    Thank you so much Ali for sharing all your insights with us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Marie - mariemc says…
    05/30/2008

    Love this idea!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Aimee Wheaton says…
    05/30/2008

    Love this idea!!!! I passed by one of these shadowboxes/typecase just yesterday at an antique store!! I may have to go back and get it now! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Michelle Martinez says…
    05/30/2008

    OMG!! I love that idea. You are so creative. Your site always helps me think outside the box and come up with new ways to use my own limited artistic talent. Thanks!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. mandy b. says…
    05/30/2008

    That is one of THE coolest projects I have ever seen...I'm out to find a type case! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Mary says…
    05/30/2008

    I have one of these in my basement that I haven't used for years...what a great idea!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. mary rogers says…
    05/30/2008

    one of my most favorite things you have ever created ali! love it! : )

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Nikki says…
    05/30/2008

    I love what you said about living with your photos, instead of having them tucked in a box.
    TFS another great idea!

    Reply 0 Replies

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