Glass Christmas Photo Bulbs
To save and give memories is definitely a holiday tradition the world around and these "stained glass" like bulbs will be treasured for many years. The beauty of the transparent picture that almost seems to glow in holiday lights floating in the glass bubble of the bulb catches our eyes and our imaginations as we enjoy our loved ones pictures on the tree. Glass picture bulbs similar to the ones shown above were given to me as a Christmas gift with pictures of my grandchildren inside and I absolutely cherish them. I love the idea so much that I gave them as gifts to my friends and family the following year and everyone loved the idea and was crazy about their bulbs. I have even used them for a Relay For Life Fundraiser. My photos are not the best as the glass bulbs and the transparent photos inside are hard to photograph but on the Christmas Tree with twinkling lights or hanging on an ornament display hanger- They are truly lovely and a gift you will be proud to give! My favorite presentation of these bulbs is to make about half a dozen with bright curly ribbons to accent the colors in the photo and fill a jeweled wire basket or open weave basket with them and then decorate the handle of the basket with matching ribbon and a big curly bow.
Instructions for Glass Christmas Photo Bulbs
*Use as place markers-
Set the tables and create a nest on each plate with the napkin to rest their own bulb in.
Fill a large glass bowl with the bright ornaments or use a multi level candle taper holder to hold the bulbs
*Nest the bulbs in a holiday arrangement with Christmas lights or candles to reflect the light and make the bulbs glow-
*Tie the ornament to a holiday wreath for gift giving-
*Hang in a window
Tie a varying lengths of ribbon to each bulb and stagger their height in a picture window.
Present the hostess with a beautiful ornament or two
*Baby Shower Gifts-
Take the picture from the baby announcement and use it to create a "baby's first ornament". Better make one for each of the Grandma's too so their won't be any fighting over it.
Make one for the Bride and Groom for their "First" Christmas ornament and a lifelong keepsake.
Save bundles of money by giving each guest a bulb with the bride and grooms picture in it as a keepsake!
Take a picture of the class and present the ornament to the teacher/s to remember the class by. Important to include the year.
A wedding picture or recent picture with "Happy 50th" and the year will be a cherished heirloom for the family. Why not make enough for the whole family.
Supplies- *Multi-Purpose Transparency Film/Paper Sold in
office supply stores
*67mm Glass Craft Bulbs sold in craft stores
*Decorative ribbons and trims
Tools- *Tweezers, craft scissors and a pencil
*Computer with printer and photo program
- Step one- Using your computer photo program trim and shape the photos you would like to use to approx. 2 1/2" in diameter circles. My program will allow me to print six to eight different pictures on the same sheet which saves time and money. If you do not have a computer program/printer available, take your photos to a photo store like Kinkos and they can help you out. Don't crop the photo too closely as you may wish to trim it slightly later. Add names and dates if you like to the photos. Print according to your computers instructions with the textured side of the film receiving the ink.
- Step two- Clean the glass bulbs well on the outside and wipe out inside of the bulb with a cotton swab if there is any debris or dust. To remove the top crown of the bulb simply pull gently on the wire loop and the top will slip off. Save the top as you will use it later.
- Step three- Do a test sample with a piece of paper cut into approx. 2 1/2" round circle. Gently roll the circle into a tube small enough to slip down into the opening in the glass bulb. (As you are doing this, check the opening of the bulb for rough edges that might damage the picture. If you find any, file them or cover them with masking tape that you will remove later.) Using the tweezers to help you, move the piece of paper around in the bulb ensuring that it is not so loose that it will fall over and not to tight where the picture will buckle and not stand up straight for you. Adjust the size of the paper until you are satisfied with the fit and use that piece as a pattern. Hint: You might need the tweezers to dig out the paper pattern. I was luck enough to find a drinking glass with the bottom exactly the size that I need. You might check your glasses as well as you might be as lucky.
- Step four- Using your paper pattern or exact size drinking glass, trace around the pattern and then cut out your picture. Very Gently with the top of the picture at the top of the roll, roll the picture into a tube with the ink side of the film to the inside of the roll. Hold it tightly without crimping it as it is very springy. Be very careful as the edges of the film can scratch off the ink of your picture so tuck your edge well and try not to let it move too much. You may be more comfortable rolling the film around a pencil. In you need to, practice on some of the scrap film. Then slip the picture tube into the opening of the ornament. The picture film will instantly flip open. Use the tweezers and pencil to position the film so that it is upright.
- Step five- Pinch the wires slightly together on the metal bulb crown and slip the wires back into the bulb opening. I try to slip a wire on either side of the picture so that it holds the picture upright.
- Step six- Tie Curly ribbons, mini Christmas bows or the holiday decoration of your choice around the top of the bulb and give the gift of a memory.