The Lunchbox Season’s Family Advent Calendar Kick-Off: Make Favourite Photo Ornaments


It’s the first Sunday of Advent! And, to kick things off, we’re going back to our roots and making our classic Favourite Photo Ornaments. 

Each year, we choose our favourite photo of each of the kids, manipulate it on into a black and white image, add the year in a fancy font, print it out, place it in a small clear plastic frame or laminating sleeve, and hang it from a silver ribbon. This year, we’ll have 26 photos of the kids up on the tree. Here are this year’s Favourite Photos, all ready for framing and hanging! 
t-favourite-photo-ornament-2016 b-favourite-photo-ornament-2016

Look how far we’ve come since our original post in 2011

Heck, why not see how far we’ve come since we first hung a photo in 2003? 

Here’s a DIY in the form of a recipe card…

Favourite Photo Ornaments

Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • Clear Plastic Frames we use 6cm x 9cm OR Self-Laminating Business Card Holders
  • Ribbon
  • Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue Sticks OR a Hole Punch
  • Photo Paper plain will do in a pinch
  • Computer & Printer


  • Let ‘er rip!: Our frames came packaged as “magnetic” photo frames, so our first step is to rip the magnet off of the back of each of the frames. It’s easier than removing a bandaid, and there’s no one screaming back. *Alternatively, open a self-laminating business card sleeve!
  • Cut and paste: Next, we cut a 10in [25cm strip of ribbon], and hot glue both loose ends of the ribbon to the back of the frame so as to form a hanger or loop for the ornament. *Alternatively, punch a hole in the top of the self-laminating sleeve and be ready to knot a ribbon in a loop through the hole after adding your photo.
  • Workshop: After we browse our photo files for our favourite shots [btw, we tend to limit ourselves to portrait shots, as opposed to landscape], we use our favourite free online photo editing software [ipiccy or picmonkey] to turn the pictures into black and white shots, to round the corners of each photo [or no, according to taste] and to add text [the year the photo was taken] below or towards the bottom of the photo. This year, using picmonkey, we added a little pizzazz by using a funky font for the year and by printing it in rose-gold rather than our traditional black…
  • Size & Print: Using photo editing software [resize or crop to approximately 600×900] or simply by inserting a photograph into a document in MSWord, we resize the photo with added text to fit into our 6cm x 9cm frame. And we print the photos on glossy photo paper. [One could just as easily print an all black and white photo on plain paper. It woud be hard to tell the difference.] Add the photos to the prepared frames! *Alternatively, add the photos to the sticky business card sleeves, stick them shut, and run a ribbon through the hole!
  • Display: Since we have so many of these ornaments now, we hang them at the end of our tree trimming party. [Call them the photographic equivalent of tinsel?]. I try to get the kids to hang the photos from the top to the bottom of the tree so that the baby photos are near the tippy top and the later photos are further down.


*If you can’t find plastic frames, use self-laminating business card holders, and instead of hot glue, use a hole punch to attach your ribbon!

It’s never too late to go back through your own photos and to fill your tree with your own FPOs! Oh and by the way, we tend to add these last on the tree, kind of like tinsel…only wayyyy better. 

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