Printing Locket-Sized Photos at Home

I recently sat down with Photoshop, my printer, and a pack of 4×6 photo paper to muddle my way through printing family photos for the locket bracelet I’ll be wearing at the wedding.

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Personal photos/screencaps

The bracelet I chose has five locket charms, three of which are teardrop shaped and two of which are ovals. I decided to use the three teardrops for photos of my grandma, cousin, and uncle from my mom’s side of the family, and the two ovals for my uncle and grandfather on my dad’s side.

I’m going to need Dad Dragon’s help to track down photos from his side of the family, but I already had everything I needed for the three charms representing Mom Dragon’s family. I started by opening up the pictures in Photoshop.

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Uncle Dickie, Gramma Dragon as a young Highland dancing lass, and Cousin Ryan

I cropped the photos down so they were focused in on just the faces, then took a rough measurement of the teardrop lockets with a soft measuring tape (the kind that comes in a sewing kit). Keeping in mind that the faces should stay in the bottom section of the photo thanks to the teardrop shape, I cropped each photo down once again and printed out a test image on regular printer paper just to see if my measurements were accurate enough to work.

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I eyeballed it and figured it was close enough, but I wanted to get a good fit for final photos, so I traced out the full locket shape on a spare index card, then shaved off a bit all around in hopes it would make a decent template.

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Then, I created a 4×6 canvas in Photoshop, dragged each cropped photo onto it, and turned them all black and white.

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Printed out on the 4×6 paper, the photos looked tiny!

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I flipped over the print and held it up to a window to let the light shine through, then positioned the template over one photo at a time, tracing it on the back with a regular ballpoint pen.

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The next step was to carefully cut out each photo. If you have little tiny scissors, now is a good time to use them! I don’t, and my photos turned out a bit jagged (not enough that I mind, though!).

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These were still a tad too big for the lockets, so I trimmed away at them, trying to keep the shape as best as I could. I held them up to the charm every time I cut a bit from the edges, until they were the right size. Then, I stuck a tiny bit of double-sided tape into each locket and pressed my photos down. To really get them to stick, I used a toothpick and lightly went around the edges—if you press too hard you’ll take the ink right off the photo, though, so be careful!

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Here’s how it turned out. Not perfect, but OK. Now I’ll have three-fifths of the best poker table around with me on my wedding day, which can only mean good luck. With my Uncle Stan and Poppa added in, once I have the photos, I’ll have an extra bit of grace and goodwill to walk me down the aisle (and, I hope, an increase in dancing skills).

For the oval lockets, when I get the photos, I plan to do the same thing, though I suspect it’ll be a bit easier without that weird teardrop shape.

Are you wearing any sentimental jewelery or other accessories for your wedding? How did you choose it?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Dragon

Location:
Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012

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  1. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:56 am

    That’s so cute.

  2. Member
    beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 11:59 am

    what a special and meaningful bracelet! It looks great!!

  3. Member
    couawilou 7598 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 12:08 pm

    That is such a cute idea. So special.

  4. Member
    luckyduckinlove 220 posts, Helper bee @ 12:32 pm

    this is a fabulous idea!!! I have to admit you’ve just saved me a whole lotta trouble! I wanted to do bouquet charms (it’s what I’ve always made as a wedding gift for brides I really know who have lost someone), but in my case I would need to make 5, for whatever reason making a locket bracelet never occurred to me (stupid stupid stupid me – as I make jewelry this should of been obvious!)!

    So thank you (thank you thank you) for the wonderful idea which I will now promptly steal (and add to my ever increasing list of DIY to dos!

  5. Member
    ButtercupBo 163 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial! I have photo lockets that I want to hang on my wedding bouquet and was pondering how i was going to shrink the photos to fit. Now I know!

  6. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:40 pm

    What a great and sentimental idea!

  7. Member
    Bias 98 posts, Worker bee @ 12:51 pm

    Cool, that’s a really sweet project and idea. I asked my dad if there was any jewellery from my grandmother floating around the family and, luckily, he found a bracelet that she once owned that is supposedly about 100 years old! So, I am happy to say that will be my “something old” for the wedding. I guess it’s “something borrowed,” too, though I’m not sure you’re supposed to double up the “somethings.”

  8. Member
    FutureMrsSpencer 526 posts, Busy bee @ 1:01 pm

    I like this. I was just speaking to my cousin about finding a picture of our nana so I could pin it to my bouquet.

  9. Member
    clumsylawyer 1351 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:04 pm

    I love that photo of your Grandma – she was very beautiful. What a lovely idea.

  10. Member
    39bride 271 posts, Helper bee @ 1:09 pm

    What a lovely idea! Where did you get the bracelet?

  11. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:18 pm

    Your bracelet is lovely, I love that you will be able to carry so many loved ones with you on your wedding day!

  12. Member
    Missido 813 posts, Busy bee @ 1:18 pm

    Such a great idea Ms. Dragon. Very special. Sniff, sniff. I also lost a young cousin (Bryan) a few years ago, so seeing your post kinda pinched at the heart.

  13. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 1:25 pm

    I hope the tutorial works for anyone else who uses it! It’s a bit of trial and error between guesstimating the size and cutting the photos out, but it worked for me.
    @luckyduckinlove: I also thought about bouquet charms, but yeah, too many people (and even with the lockets I’m leaving a few out).
    @Bias: I’m being pretty liberal with my somethings — I think you can double up! :D
    @clumsylawyer: I thought about using a more recent photo but I love that picture of her as a Highland dancer!

  14. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 1:27 pm

    @Missido: Yeah, it’s always sad losing someone young (and in an unexpected way at that). Seems to get a bit easier with time, but I’m sending out warm thoughts to you and yours!
    @39bride: I grabbed it on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/bbrijohns — if you search for locket bracelets anywhere on the site there are a ton! :)

  15. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:51 pm

    So sweet! The bracelet is really pretty.

  16. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:03 am

    You are one dedicated girl! I would’ve started screaming at the pictures after Round Two of them not being the right shape. I think this is a great way to keep your loved ones close – and will SO fit with your dress/setting! :)

  17. Member
    lovebuttercup 50 posts, Worker bee @ 12:12 pm

    This is such a nice way to carry all those special someones with you on your wedding day! I’m considering doing this too since I have so many loved ones who are no longer with me.

  18. Member
    penguin_girl_0413 116 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:19 pm

    You definitley have some great patience!! I would not be able to get this to work! Kudos to you!!! You did awesome!!!

  19. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 6:42 am

    @StephK527 & @penguin_girl_0413: They did start to annoy me after awhile but it was worth the effort! :)

  20. Member
    coyote 1544 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:10 am

    What a wonderful idea! That is such a beautiful bracelet and I love that you will have your loved ones close to you in those little lockets!

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