If you create a photo collage poster as the center piece decoration for your next special occasion, it will be the talk of the party. Here’s 10 easy tips and tricks to make this memory-filled tribute in pictures.
1. Start with a big poster board in your color choice. This will be the background for your collage. Cut the poster board, if necessary, so that it will fit in a large standard size frame. You can check for typical frame dimensions at local stores, to make sure it’s trimmed to a compatible size.
2. Select photos and make COPIES of them. It’s important to preserve the original photographs. This is especially true with older pictures that may be difficult to replace. Ask everyone invited to the party to contribute snapshots of the guest of honor, so you have a good selection.
3. Decide on the collage theme or design and arrange photos. When it finally looks just the way you want it to appear, take a digital photograph of your layout. This way, you can recreate the composition, if anything gets disturbed when gluing.
4. Glue each photo down on the poster board. Glue sticks or rubber cement are good choices.
5. Finish your collage. You might want to use a sealant like Mod Podge. You can add embellishments like stickers, ribbon, feathers, beads, fabric, artificial flowers or anything else that is complimentary. Put in a frame, if desired.
Collage Design Ideas
Of course, you can randomly stick your pictures all over your poster board and it will be a fine tribute to the guest of honor But it’s just as easy to create a truly unique party collage that stands out.
6. Make it a number. If the celebration is for a birthday, arrange your photos in the shape of the guest of honor’s age. For example, for an 80th birthday, you would draw a big 80 on the poster board. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re only using it as a guide. Position your photos evenly over the eight and the zero you wrote on the board. This works for any age and is also great for a 50th anniversary.
7. Create a shape. Draw a big heart on your background, then trim and glue your pictures to fit in the shape. Overlap slightly so you don’t see the pencil marks. This is especially nice for a wedding, anniversary or sweet 16 birthday, but can be adapted to other occasions. You can even dress it up by using poster board or foam core in gold or silver. Any simple shape can be used for this idea.
8. Make it about memories. Enlarge a photo of the guest of honor and trim away the background. Position the picture in one corner of the poster. Draw a big cartoon thought bubble over the celebrant’s head to indicate that these are his thoughts. Fill the cartoon bubble with photographs representing his memories.
9. Focus on his favorite things. Expand the photo concept to feature pictures of his interests and pastimes. What food, sports teams, music, movies, places does he prefer? Is he a hiking, skydiving, skiing guy or is he a couch potato glued to his remote? What is he known for? Find clip art in places like google images, that represent his personality and hobbies and include them in this tribute.
10. Do it as a timeline. You can create one poster with columns that showcase different years or decades. Or, you can do individual posters that focus on a particular era in the person’s life or marriage. For example, if you were making this display for someone turning fifty, you would have one section with photos of him in the 1960s, followed by one devoted to the 1970s, then 1980s and so on. In each category, write captions with dates highlighting milestones for that person in that decade. You might also want to include interesting or important dates in world history to go in the timeline.