With Father’s Day on Sunday, I thought I would share a super easy last-minute gift idea that you can do with your own computer and pictures. No need for any special photo paper, just smooth white card stock (no linen lines) to do this. It’s not always easy coming up with the perfect gift for Dad but fun photos of the kids are sure to go over well.
My daughter Bella and I created a framed collage for my husband’s office using action photos that I asked the photographer to do in sequence on our recent trip to Playa Del Carmen:
All you need to do is get four pictures of the kids doing something in action. You can have them dance or run and jump in the air or they can make silly faces for close up face shots. Black and white cropped tight shots of their sweet faces would be fantastic too! Really, there are so many fun and endless possibilities!
It’s easy to do this quick project in Google’s free photo editing program called Picasa that you can download for free here (if you don’t already have it). Picasa is awesome and you can do a lot of great stuff with it doesn’t take long to figure it out. Once you download Picasa, it will automatically import all your photos into the program and then you can edit them and do fun things like create collages. The collage feature is what I used to create these my action collages.
So, once you download the program, it will automatically import copies of your pictures that you have saved on your computer. To get started, just click on your first action shot that you want to use and it will pull up large and then just click on the collage button right below the image (see red arrow) (on my Mac, the collage button is under the create tab at the top):
After you click on “collage”, your screen will look like this:
***Be sure and uncheck the box on the left side that says “Draw Shadows” otherwise you will get a shadow effect.
Next, click on the image in the collage and this little dial thing will pop up:
the dial thing is how you can make an image larger or smaller and to turn it and move it anywhere that you want. You’ll want to make your first image a little smaller and drag it to the side like this:
Next, click on the “library” tab on the left side (don’t worry, your collage will still be there) and go to your second action shot and click on the image to pull it up and then click on the “collage” tab:
Next, you will see your second picture at the very top of the clips on the left hand side and just click on it and drag it to the second position and make it a little smaller (see red arrow):
You do the same thing with all four shots, leaving a white border in between and then you click on “create collage”:
After a few moments, your finished collage will pop up and the next thing to do is to crop the collage and you just click the crop button and crop the collage like this:
crop it narrow like this:
Now you’re ready to print the collage.
You can print right there in Picasa too! I love the look of photos printed on smooth white card stock (no linen lines). The images are just as vibrant as photo paper and it has such a beautiful matte look. When you hit print, be sure and go to printer set up and check the box “best” setting under quality as this will ensure that your photos will print out beautifully:
In order to make sure that your collage is positioned perfectly for printing, select “full page” and “shrink to fit” and then you’re ready to click print:
When it prints out, it should look like this:
I took our pretty printed out collage to Hobby Lobby and had a mat cut to fit (leaving a little white border and put in a 11 x 14 ready-made chrome frame:
I have been using Picasa for years and I just love it. The trick is to just get in there and play with images to see what it can do. There are so many neat features!
I also made cards to send out to the Grandfather’s for Father’s Day as well using my daughter’s picture:
There are so many DIY possibilities with Picasa and again, it takes minutes to learn.
I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!