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Make a Unique Family Portrait with a Photo Collage

Do you have somebody special you want to remember? A special vacation or family gathering? Building a photo collage of special events is a wonderful way to preserve those memories. And it's easy to do!

Gather together the photographs you want to use. You might want to group together photos of a certain person, or use one large photo as your centerpiece, then arrange the others around the center. For instance, for the birth of a new child - place a photograph of the infant and parents in the center. Then around the edges, place pictures of the rest of the family enjoying the newborn. You could even photocopy the birth certificate or use a torn birth announcement in a corner.

Once you've decided on your photos, select your collage size, backing and frame. Lay a piece of cardboard backing (sized to fit in your frame) on a flat surface. If your pictures won't overlap enough to completely cover the backing, you'll want to use a white or colored backing.

Gently tear the edges of the photographs so that the main subjects are centered. Leave the frayed edges. These will overlap with the other photos. Place all the pictures so you can see the total effect before you start securing them to the backing. Then attach them to the backing with a small amount of rubber cement or a glue stick. If you change your mind, you can still move the pictures around, but be careful not to use too much glue. You don't need to cover the edges with glue - you'll frame your collage with a glass cover so the edges won't peel up.

Once all the pictures are secured, allow your collage to dry overnight. Place in a frame with a sheet of glass.

My father made collages like these for virtually every big family event and they've become treasured heirlooms, photo memories hanging on our walls instead of tucked away in photo albums.

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