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The wedding scrapbook page:

Use "altered art" techniques on vintage images

The colors for Bette and Joel's wedding were a blend of the bold and the subdued. Bette's bridesmaids wore dresses of deep aquamarine. The church was decorated with a multitude of pastel pink flowers with turquoise ribbons. The effect was remarkable: the cool blue of aquamarine was "hot" with intensity, while the warm pink was cooled to a pastel. The perfect marriage of colors for the perfect wedding.

We tried to capture the contrasting hues for Bette and Joel's wedding scrapbook. We spent quite a bit of time looking for vintage wedding images that incorporated those colors - but Victorian weddings tended toward the shades-of-white variety. Then the idea: why not take a black and white image and alter it by hand-tinting it?

The art of photo tinting began in the 1840s, when artists first brushed colored oils on sepia-toned daguerreotypes (an early photographic method) for a touch of realism. Most often, coloring was limited to a little pink on the lips and cheeks. More extensive tinting would include hair, clothing, flowers, and even metallic highlights for buttons or jewelry. Many of these tinting artists were applying skills from the preceding era, when miniature likenesses were hand-painted on ivory. Today, tinting photography is an art rarely practiced by hand, but more often as a digital enhancement technique found in some computer graphics programs.

We chose to tint our vintage image with photo-tinting pens, available in craft and art stores. For a description of four techniques for tinting your images, read our article on photo tinting.

Materials

  • Wedding scrapbook materialsVintage image (Free PDF download).
  • A page of sheet music for Mendelssohn's Wedding March (Free PDF download).
  • Background paper: aquamarine 12" X 12" paper.
  • Backing paper: black.
  • Trim paper: Two rectangular paper doily placemats; white paper.
  • Embellishments: 1" aquamarine satin ribbon, 1/4" pink braided trim ribbon.
  • Journaling pen or word processor.
  • Glue stick or other non-acid paper adhesive.
  • Tacky craft glue.
  • Decorative edge scissors.
  • Scissors.
  • Paper cutter (optional).

Instructions

  1. Print the vintage image on matte photo paper and trim it. Using photo-tinting pens, lightly color the fabric, floral and flesh elements to reflect the hues of the wedding.
  2. Adhere the sheet music page at an angle to the background paper, and trim off the excess (see Tips).
  3. Cut the borders from one paper doily, about 2" wide. Use the pieces to create a 1"-wide border around the vintage image. You can have the seams in the center of each side or cut mitered 45° corners. Center the image and glue it to the border. Let it dry.
  4. Wedding scrapbook ribbon detailTurn the bordered image face down. Cut four pieces of the aquamarine ribbon to fit behind the four sides of the border, and glue it to the doily with tacky craft glue.
  5. Cut a 1" wide strip of lace border from the second doily. Piece as necessary to make a 12" strip. Glue a 12" piece of aquamarine ribbon to fit behind the border and glue it on with tacky craft glue. Let it dry, then glue it along the left edge of the background.
  6. Journal the who, what, when, where and why on white paper with a pen or word processor. Trip around the text. Glue it to black paper backing and trim around with decorative scissors, leaving a 1/8" border.
  7. Position the photos, vintage image and journal paper and glue them to the background.
  8. Glue pink braided trim ribbon along the left edge of the page, around both photos, and around the vintage image.

Tips

  • The Wedding March music image we provided is sepia-toned, much like the original was. If you use newer sheet music, you may want to tea-stain it to give it an aged appearance. We describe the process on the Craft Recipes page.
  • If you need to change the size of the image for your scrapbook layout, refer to the information in the FAQ on resizing a PDF image.
  • There are many different kinds of scrapbook covers and bindings, so you will need to adapt your page design for your particular book.
Intrigued by altered art? Tinting photographs is just the beginning. We came across a website devoted to the arts and crafts of altered books. Here you can find descriptions and instructions on dozens of techniques for creating your own altered artwork, including altered books, photographs, and even CDs. Check out these projects at www.altered-book.com/arts-and-crafts.html.

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