Introduction: Restored Family Photo Cards

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Make restored family photos into Family Greeting Cards


Warning: Instructable includes the horrifyingly true "Cautionary tale for the Maker Seamstress" on Step 2.

I like to restore old photographs. Sometimes I do a complete restoration, and other times I'll just fix the color, levels and fix the worst spots of damage. I even colorized one.

I've made several of my restored photos into greeting cards that can be sent to my family.

I used the restored photo for the front of the greeting card. I put a scan of the original unretouched photo on the back, along with a transcription of any text that is written on the back of the photo. If the back of the photo is interesting also, I'll include a scan of that.

Both Images have their tops facing the middle fold. That way, when the Card is folded, both images are right side up.

I print them on heavy Photo Paper.

There is photo paper that is glossy on both sides; and some that is glossy on one side and matte on the other. It may be easier to write on the matte surface if you use that for the inside of the card.

My paper was glossy on both sides. I just wrote my notes with a fine nib sharpie and it didn't smear.

I hope you like it.

If you want to read a funny story about the colorized photo with the Pink Satin and Lace Dress, read Step 2. It's a Maker story also, about my Maker Grandma. The story illustrates some complications that may arise when you make a dress for looks, and not comfort.

Step 1: About That Pink Dress

Cautionary tale for the Maker Seamstress

This photo is of my Grandparents ready to go out on New Years Eve 1958.

The gorgeous pink satin and lace dress was handmade by my Grandmother.

Grandma was an amazing seamstress and I've luckily inherited those genes (Maker genes), although I haven't developed my sewing skills nearly as far as she did. Note the matching purse by her left hand. She Really was a Maker.

She wanted to be a knock out, so she actually built a Merry Widow corset INTO the dress.

A Merry Widow is a "boned" corset. It means there are many long, tube like, vertical channels spaced evenly all the way around the corset. These channels hold long strips of stiff material called "Stays" to hold the shape of the corset flat.

The stays originally were made of Whale Bone. They still sell them in various materials: nylon, plastic, metal, even memory metal that flexes easily but goes back to it's normal shape as soon as pressure is released. This lets the wearer sit comfortably without bending a stay out of shape, or it jabbing her, but it will still straighten back out when the wearer stands up. There are even people who collect antique bone stays. Sometimes the stays were made by whalers and had scrimshaw on them.

You can see it is a gorgeous dress. The only problem was, the corset made it almost impossible for my Grandma to comfortably bend at the waist. While they were driving over to the night club, Grandma laid across the back seat of the car.

When they got to the club, it was too uncomfortable for Grandma to sit at a table, so she perched on a bar stool. This got Grandpa very frustrated. He was that kind of guy. Not mean, but crotchety, even when he was in his 40's.

Finally he got fed up and decided they needed to go home. On the way home, Grandma couldn't sit up straight in the seat and that got Grandpa even more frustrated.

My Grandpa had a bladder the size of a pea. He needed to step out of the car to "release the tension" during the trip home.

They lived in Pocatello Idaho, so it was very cold and it was almost blizzard conditions.

Grandma was so pissed at his attitude, that she locked the doors when he got out of the car. Then she thought "Oh, now he is going to be really furious". So she drove home!

She got back to the house, changed out of her dress, and went to bed.

Grandpa walked home in the blizzard.

When Grandpa got home they got in a huge argument. My Mom was 18 and her bedroom door was about 10 feet from Grandma and Grandpa's door. So she was listening to them arguing.

Grandpa was the kind of man who couldn't sleep without his wife in the bed with him. But Grandma was so pissed off at him, she refused to sleep with him, and insisted she was going to sleep on the couch. Grandpa wouldn't hear of it, and was trying to get her to come to bed. My Mom peeked out her bedroom door and they were standing in their bedroom doorway. Grandpa (who was over 6' tall) was trying to get Grandma (who was about 5'1") into the bedroom, and she was just hanging on to the door frame saying "I"m not going to sleep with you!"

Mom closed the door and just held her breath, hoping it wouldn't get worse. She eventually fell asleep, and then woke up with a start. The house was silent, and she thought "Oh no they must have killed each other." So she peeked out. Everything was quiet, but Grandma wasn't on the couch. So she opened their bedroom door quietly and peeked in.

They were sleeping together, but Grandma had her pillow at the foot of the bed, and her feet up by Grandpa's pillow.

That's the story of the Hot Pink New Years Eve Dress.

Beware all you Maker Sewers. Make your garments to the measurements on the tape measure, not the measurements you wish were on the tape measure, or you risk a horrible evening such as befell my poor Maker Grandma. If you choose to ignore this warning and just look smoking hot, all you will have is a great family story and a cool photo of you looking gorgeous in a hot pink satin and lace dress. It's up to you.

About the colorizing:
I wasn't even born yet, but I know what color the dress was because when I was a little kid, Grandma had hot pink satin rags that she used for cleaning.

You may say "That bird cage doesn't look like metal at all". It isn't supposed to. My Grandpa had a penchant for Metal colored spray paints. He would buy a case of spray paint, and paint everything in the house. For a while everything was pewter colored, then he bought a case of gold so it was all repainted gold. By the time I was old enough to notice, everything had been painted copper. Grandpa had an odd Maker gene. hahaha