Passport Art on the Cheap

Monday, August 03, 2009

As you know, I have travel on the brain. So I got to thinking how I incorporate some momento of our trips into our home. We're notoriously bad souvenir shoppers so it couldn't be tchotckes. After revisiting this project (from the now defunct but sorely missed Blueprint magazine) sparked an idea.

This is a re-interpretation of that concept but on a much smaller (and more diy friendly) scale using the "art" found inside the pages of a passport. But if travel isn't your bag, you could easily apply the same concept to lots of other scannable pieces like children's artwork, photographs, concert tickets, vintage receipts, cool advertisements, etc..

First off, I purchased some 6x6 wooden panels from an art supply store. These were onsale for a less than $5 each.
PassportArt1
Opened my quart of trusty gold paint and applied to the sides...PassportArt3
Allowed to dry...
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Trolling our passports for worthy stamps, I realized that I didn't have one from Paris!! So not happy about this. I'm told that if I ask for one, I might get lucky so perhaps this is a good excuse for another trip? Either way, I was bummed I couldn't include it in this project.
Moving on, I had just 8 stamps that fit the following requirements: Worthy location, a good trip we took together, semi-legible and attractive. Those got scanned...
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Enlarged the images to suit the size of the panels.
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Cut the prints down to a size slightly larger than needed.
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Coated the reverse side of the paper with spray adhesive.
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Laid the paper on top of the wood and pressed down all over. Let dry.
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Flip the whole thing over. Using the edge of the panel as a guide, cut to size.
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Repeat until you've done the whole lot.
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I added a light spray of clear top coat over all of them. Not sure if that was really necessary but since I had it already, no harm in adding it. The last step was to hang. Spacing them just so took longer than making them!
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If I exclude the materials I had on hand like the paper, and glue, etc - this project costs about $5 each.
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I also like how these pieces are personalized but it doesn't hit you over the head with it either. I know they are my stamps but no one else would know unless they asked.
The only problem is that I need a lot more to get the full effect - I'll just have to work on amassing some more worthy stamps. Oh, the burden I carry.

67 comments:

  1. What a great idea- easy, cheap and custom. I may steal!

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  2. Awesome idea!!! I love it! You are SO creative. I might just have to try something like this with our passport stamps too.

    Those darn European countries never stamp...such a bummer. On a high school whirlwind trip to Europe, we tried to flirt with the Swiss customs agents for a stamp to no avail... But I think a trip back to Paris for a stamp in your case is definitely a worthy effort. :)

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  3. Another great project with great results! Looks wonderful and I love that it is so personal. Please feel free to come to my house and decorate any time!!!

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  4. I LOVE that they are stamps from places you've actually been. So fun!

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  5. Totally cool! Love the extra frame around the whole group too and the added bit of elegance with the gold edges. It always annoyed me that lots of countries don't stamp the passport...why is that? I've been wanting to do some wall art with maps of places we've been, thanks for the awesome idea!

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  6. oh that's just awesome. I also love how you've highlighted your artwork by placing a large frame around it...like you did with your scissors in your office too. chouette!

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  7. Love this idea!! I may try it with some of my kids artwork. Yours looks fantastic!

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  8. Love it! I am totally doing this project next weekend!!

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  9. Wow!! What a wonderful idea!!!

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  10. Great idea! It looks fab and I totally agree more would make an amazing impact so you must tell the hubs that more trips need to be planned!

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  11. What a great idea. I like the large frame around and the interchangeability when new trips pop up.

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  12. That's riDONKulously cool. Love it!

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  13. What a great idea, I love how this project came out- I think I might have to "borrow it" :)

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  14. thanks for the how-to! can't wait to try this with something. pam

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  15. Absolutely Fabulous!!! I have to steal this idea, someday...put it the someday file. Isabella and Max both have passports with interesting stamps from Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia...(yes, we used to travel, I don't know what has happened recently...completely lost the urge). I like how you took the original inspiration and found a way to make it unique! Janell

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  16. Very nice. Have to add it to my to do list!

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  17. love the idea, i cant wait to tell some of my friends who are also very crafty and travel a lot! Ciao

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  18. Great idea...so creative!

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  19. I love this! So creative - I'm going to try something very similar! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  20. i love this idea! although when i've traveled recently i've noticed that sometimes you don't even get stamps anymore... so my passport only has stamps from about 1/2 of the places i've been.

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  21. This was nice, I love this idea. It is personal but not the cheesy pictures that everyone takes. You are coming up with quite some creative stuff.

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  22. I love this idea, you have inspired me to try something similar with our passports!

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  23. You're so talented! I love this idea, I need to come up with something similar.

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  24. So cute! Love the ease factor.

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  26. That is awesome!

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  27. These are great!!

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  28. Very clever! I looooved Blueprint, too. It was my fav!

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  29. how creative! don't you miss blueprint? I do.

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  30. OMG, I love this idea. I think this could be an incredible way to incorporate more trips into a home without a ton of tacky vacation pictures.

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  31. um WOW that is brilliant. i wish my passport wasn't so sparsely stamped.

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  32. You are so smart! What a great idea! Love it.

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  33. Seriously...you execute the best DIY projects! This turned out great!!

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  34. What a brilliant idea !

    I once saw someone frame random pieces of travel maps all over a wall and I thought that was amazing too. Could you incorporate some map clippings too? You know, alter the images in the same blue color scheme? Hmmmm. Might be interesting. Just an idea for more images. I've always wanted to frame some of my maps from my travels from long ago. You've inspired me with the passport images too. And you know I love me some good DIY. Fabulous !

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  35. Love it! What first got me is the fab photo from Blueprint's premiere issue. I've always wanted to 'blow something up' in that way.
    I wish I could copy this, but my passport has maybe one stamp. Wonder why I didn't get stamped on our other trips?!?! Oh well, great idea and it looks perfect in the frame!

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  36. I'm in love! Great Idea!

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  37. Fabulous idea and I love it..!! Somehow I will try to incorporate it in my house.
    Always a daily pleasure visiting your blog. Thank you.

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  38. BRILLIANT! I'm so going to give this a shot (some day!).

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  40. Such a neat-o idea! We love to travel too, but for so many years were undergoing expensive infertility treatments that we couldn't afford vacays - but now we can and so we do! Still collecting my beautiful stampage. I'm like kid going through customs begging for stamps. Anyway, you did such a great job on your project. Love it.

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  41. Leave it to you to make something from a passport!
    One of our dear friends has his Mothers passbook savings book framed and it must be 100 years old - back when money was worth something....
    I wonder if the passport stamp will become a thing of the past and we will all have micro chips and be scanned like the super-market?
    pve

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  42. great project. I may need to go through my husbands passport, his is busting at the seams while mine only has a lovely few, so sad.

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  43. A lovely, simple way to instantly remember all your lovely travels. Thanks for the idea!

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  44. if you ever feel like sharing your burden with a complete stranger I'll grab my passport and come with! lol

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  45. What a creative and cool idea!! I love how you used the large frame around them too.

    Love your blog! It'll now have to be one of my daily reads!

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  46. Can you hear me applauding from Hoboken? 'Cause I am.

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  47. love love love this idea! i'll have to bookmark it for a future project.

    you're so incredibly savvy! love it.

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  48. Oh wow, great idea! I just got back from the Outer Banks in NC where I captured stamps from several of the lighthouses. Those would make a great collection as well.

    Now I have to find me some wooden blocks. =) love it!

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  49. I love this idea! I was so bummed that the first time I went out of the country I didn't get a stamp. Your Paris photos were amazing as well...I can't wait to see what you come up with for the bathroom.

    cozystyle.blogspot.com

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  50. i love love love this idea! easy + clever!

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  51. Love this, so personal!

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  52. This is great. What kind of paper do you suggest?

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  53. I used some extra cream cardstock I had already. You could use anything that won't bleed through (so something heavier than regular office paper).

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  54. i just won all the blueprints...i can wait to see this in there.

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  55. Anonymous1:25 AM

    This is best idea I've ever seen! I'm a serious travel bug and have saved all of my old passports. I'll have to check to see if I have my Kenya & Morocco stamps....

    Thanks so much for taking the time to explain it to all of us! :) Nancy

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  56. I cannot wait to do this. One of the most "personal" projects I have seen in awhile, as I always like to add personal touches in my decor so they are meaningful to me. Can't wait to do this soon!

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  57. Just popped over from Restyled Home's "Take a Bow" and loved your cat bed post so much I had to take a look at some older posts, as well. So glad I did! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. I literally gasped when I saw it! :) I have a passport full of stamps from my globetrotting childhood that would be PERFECT for this. LOVE!!!!

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  58. I am so making these!! I have wanted a way to preserve my stamps forever and this is perfect! I have a Paris stamp too. I can make you a copy if you like? Thanks!!

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  59. What a great idea! We love to travel and DH loves his stamps! He is always counting them :) I might surprise him with something like this. Thank You!

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  60. this might be the absolute BEST art project i have ever seen.....

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  61. OMG How much do I love this! I was so sad to have to get a new passport last year, all those pretty stamps that I won't get to see anymore. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks!

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  62. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Spread the news! You were featured on Apartment Therapy's Re-nest!! http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/diy/diy-idea-create-your-own-passport-artbrooklyn-limestone-137881?image_id=2177105

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  63. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Spread the news! You were featured on Aparment Therapy's Re-Nest!! http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/diy/diy-idea-create-your-own-passport-artbrooklyn-limestone-137881?image_id=2177105

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  64. adorable!! once our passports get a little more exercise- this will be my plan!

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