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Create Beautiful And Sentimental Home Decor With This Unique Polaroid Idea

What makes a house feel like a home? For some, it could be family heirlooms; for others, the smell of a favorite meal cooking on the stovetop. Few would disagree that prominently displayed family photos personalize a space. Want to avoid mistakes everyone makes when hanging family photos around the house? Then don't hang the photos at all! Instead, set out a bowl full of polaroids for family members and visitors to rifle through. The keys to making this super sweet idea work are getting the right statement bowl, taking pictures you want to look at often, and finding the perfect spot for your makeshift time capsule.

Finding the perfect statement bowl is arguably one of the most stylish ways to add personality to your home with family photos. The problem is, the options are basically endless. If you're unsure where to start, look to your family. An heirloom bowl — say, your great grandmother's ceramic mixing bowl you just can't bear to use for fear of breaking it — would make the perfect memory container. Alternatively, plan a family thrift store trip and get the kids to pick out their favorite bowl. Just make sure you brief them on the assignment first so they know to choose a bowl that's big enough. Another family-friendly option is to craft the bowl yourself — paper mache is easy to do at home, and all you need is any old bowl (as the mold), some craft glue, and a bundle of old magazines.

Get the gear to create your unique photo bowl

Not crafty? Another option is to simply buy a bowl that coordinates with your existing decor. If you're a bit bohemian, look at wares created by local craftspeople, from potters selling at the weekend market to metal smiths on Etsy. That steel mixing bowl you already have but hardly ever use might actually work pretty well in a contemporary style interior. If you're on a budget, shopping at Target, Walmart, or even the Dollar Store for a beautiful colored glass bowl that matches the hue of your couch is perfectly acceptable.

Next, look for an instant camera that makes bigger photos. (They look better in a bowl, in our humble opinion.) Walmart sells the Polaroid Now Generation 2 i-Type instant camera in black for about $120, which will give you photos that are 3.5 by 4.2 inches. That's the size of the Polaroid 600 and i-Type film compatible with this model. If you want a different brand, try Fujifilm's Instax instant cameras. Their Instax Square model takes 2.4 by 2.4 inch square prints. Get a Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 camera in graphite for about $235 from Target. Another option is to mix and match photo sizes, though you'd need two cameras for that. Or, if those prices hurt your wallet and you're willing to go for something a little bit throwaway, Amazon has a WEEFUN digital instant print camera (made for kids) with three rolls of film paper for about $40.

Take the photos and put your display together

Before your camera arrives, decide how you want to take the photos. Will you leave the point-and-shoot around the house so anyone in the family can snap an image when the urge takes them? Or, perhaps a planned family photoshoot is more your vibe, where you go out somewhere you all enjoy (say, a sports game or a pumpkin patch in the fall) and snap pictures. A spontaneous approach will likely yield a more "documentary family photography" aesthetic (yup, that's a whole artistic genre now), whereas planning will guarantee quality shots. Make sure everyone gets a turn at being the photographer, too, so you get photos from different perspectives. Don't forget to write the date on the pics, too!

Photos taken, it's time to put this trip down memory lane together. Place the bowl somewhere your family and guests spend a lot of time, like on a kitchen island, breakfast bar, or the living room coffee table. Make sure it's a spot that curious pets' mouths or toddlers' sticky fingers can't reach. Once your bowl is in place, simply drop the photographs into it. Making it messy, with some images face up and others face down, will encourage rummaging. After some time (say, a few months), have another photo shoot so you can switch out the old photos. Keep the ones you love in a photo album or give your fridge a stunning custom makeover with an easy photo gallery DIY.