Use "altered art" techniques on vintage images
The colors for Bette and Joel's wedding were a blend of the bold and
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.
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)
touch of realism. Most often, coloring was limited to a
pink on the lips and cheeks. More extensive tinting would
hair, clothing, flowers, and even metallic highlights for buttons or
jewelry. Many of these tinting artists were applying skills
preceding era, when miniature likenesses were hand-painted on
ivory. Today, tinting photography is an art rarely practiced
hand, but more often as a digital enhancement
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
- Vintage image (Free PDF download).
- A page of sheet music for Mendelssohn's Wedding March (Free
- 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.
- Paper cutter (optional).
- 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.
- Adhere the sheet music page at an angle to the
background paper, and trim off the excess (see Tips).
- 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
seams in the center of each side or cut mitered 45° corners. Center the
image and glue it to the border. Let it dry.
image face down. Cut four pieces of the aquamarine ribbon to
behind the four sides of the border, and glue it to the doily with
tacky craft glue.
- Cut a 1" wide strip of lace border from the
Piece as necessary to make a 12" strip. Glue a 12"
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
- Journal the who, what, when, where and why on
paper with a pen or word processor. Trip around the text.
Glue it to black paper backing and trim around with
scissors, leaving a 1/8" border.
- Position the photos, vintage image and
journal paper and glue them to the background.
- Glue pink braided trim ribbon along the left
edge of the page, around both photos, and around the vintage image.
- The Wedding March music image we provided is
sepia-toned, much like the
original was. If you use newer sheet music, you may
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
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