Make Your Own Photo Cuffs

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Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

So here’s the thing: we know you guys are crafty sometimes, but crafty doesn’t necessarily mean girly.

Dainty? No need for it. Lady-like? Not our style.

With a little inkjet-printable canvas and a few minutes of time, you can make yourself a set of badass photo cuffs. Use any photo you want on them and you’ll instantly be the envy of all your friends with their sad, naked little wrists.

Best of all: no sewing required! Read on to find out how…

Photojojo’s Make Your Own Photo Cuffs

What You’ll Need

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  • Inkjet-printable canvas
  • Scotchguard
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Ruler
  • Pencil or fabric marker
  • Fray Check or clear nail polish
  • Fabric glue, such as Tacky Glue or Unique Stitch (no-sew version)
  • Velcro dots or tabs (no-sew version)
  • Needle & thread or sewing machine (advanced version)
  • Snaps and snap-attaching tool (advanced version)

Step 1: Choose a Photo

Look for a photo that will look good cropped down to a long horizontal strip. Here are some ideas we like:

  • Wood grain (we like birch and walnut)
  • Tire tread
  • Rusty metal
  • Graffiti
  • Yellow lines on the road
  • City skyline
  • Grass
  • Blue sky and clouds
  • Street signs

Step 2: Resize Your Picture

resize-smOpen your print up in Photoshop (or GIMP, or whatever) and crop it down to size.

  • Girl’s size: 1″ wide, 8 1/2″ long
  • Guy’s size: 2″ wide, 10″ long

If you have unusually large or small wrists, measure their circumference with a tape measure, then add 2″.

You can fit multiple photo strips onto a 8.5″x11″ sheet of canvas, so you may as well make a few cuffs for your friends while you’re at it.

Step 3: Print on Canvas

print-smMake a test print in grayscale on plain paper to make sure you’ve got the page setup right.

Once it looks good, print out your sheet of photos and let it dry for a few minutes.

Spray the canvas with 2-3 coats of Scotchguard and let it dry again.

The canvas will be water-resistant, but not waterproof. You can splash it, but don’t go spelunking.

Step 4: Cut Canvas Into Strips

fray-check-smUse scissors to cut out each photo strip.

Apply a thin line of Fray Check along each cut edge to keep it from unraveling. (Fray Check can be found at most fabric stores, but clear nail polish makes a decent substitute if you can’t find it.)

Step 5: Cut Felt Backing

felt-smUse the fabric marker and ruler to mark a rectangle on the felt the same size as your photo strip, or trace around the strip.

Use scissors to cut out the felt strip.

No-Sew Version

velcro-smApply a thin layer of fabric glue to the back of the photo strip, making sure to the glue reaches the edges. Lay the photo strip face-up on top of the felt and press down to make sure the glue adheres well.

Glue velcro dots onto each end of the strip to act as a closure. Wrapping the cuff around your wrist will give you the best idea of where to place the dots for a good fit.

Let it dry and you’re all done!

Advanced Version

sewn-smIf you’ve got mad sewing skillz, now’s your time to shine, bucko.

Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew the photo strip and felt together. Make your stitches 1/8″ from the edge all the way around.

If you have a snap-attaching tool, add some metal snaps to your cuff. If not, sew on some velcro tabs to make a closure.

Wear your cuff with pride, my friend. Wear it with pride.

More Ideas

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  • Cut the felt backing slightly larger than the photo strip, and trim it with pinking shears for a different look.
  • Use bright contrasting thread to sew your cuff together.
  • Get out the big needles and embroider over the top of the photo.
  • Stitch a piece of clear vinyl over the top of the photo strip for extra protection.
  • Follow this tutorial on making a cuff with multiple photos on it.
  • Use a piece of ribbon as backing instead of felt, and your cuff becomes reversible!

Photo credits: Step 4: Bryan Noel, More Ideas: Clay Jensen.

Posted in DIY, Photojojo Original