How to Make Glowing Photo Spheres

Created with Sketch.

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Sometimes, it’s just too cold to be outside!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy scenic views from the comfort of your living room (and warm blankets and fireplace).

Learn how to turn your photos into glowing photo spheres!

You’ve seen those plain paper lanterns at the store, and now you can convert them to show off your own bright and colorful photographs.

And when the temperature starts to warm up, you can take your photo spheres out on the porch. Your neighbors will appreciate the view.

Why it’s cool:

ingred-sm It doesn’t take much to transform ordinary paper lanterns into pieces that will make your room shine.

These photo spheres look great in the daylight, and even better at night!

You can bask in the glow of your very own photos. What could be better?

Ingredients:

paint-sm

  • Photos to print
  • Printer
  • 11×17 copy paper
  • 12″ Paper Lantern
  • Gel Medium
  • Sponge Brush
  • Tape
  • Xacto knife
  • Cutting Surface
  • Sphere template (optional)

STEP 1: Size It Up

paint-smMeasure the surface you want to cover and determine how big you need to print your images.

We printed four 11×17’s to wrap around our 12″ diameter lantern.

We found a good price on lanterns at World Market, but you can find them at Target, Michael’s, and a variety of online vendors. The bulb kit is usually sold separately, so make sure to pick that up as well.

Step 2: Print It Out:

paint-sm After sizing your images in Photoshop or another editing program, print them out.

We printed on regular copy paper. We found it to be easier to wrap around the sphere.

Photo paper will work, too. You might need a little extra glue. Keep in mind the thickness of the paper will affect the translucency of the sphere when lit. Photo paper will give off a more subdued light.

Step 3: Cut It Up

paint-smYou’ll need to make vertical slits on your photo in order to get it onto the sphere. Here are your two options.

You can use the sphere template to cut an elliptical pattern. Size this template to fit your photos. Use photoshop to crop it to 11″x17″ before you print. This method will keep the overlapping paper parts to a minimum.

TIP: Make sure the length of your template covers the entire sphere before cutting. You also want to make sure not to cut all the way through. You want your center “equator” to stay in tact, and use the strips to be able to bend around the thinner parts of the sphere.
paint-sm

The other option is to cut straight lines vertically along your photo, again leaving the center in tact. This is the easier version, but will have more overlap at the top and bottom.

These overlapping sections are apparent in the final product, but can also produce cool effects.

Step 4: Stick it Down

paint-smStart by taping down the “equator” of your first section to hold it in place.

Coat the backside of the image with gel medium and press into place. Gel medium is a glue like paste available at any art supply store. It’s a lot like modge podge, but has a nice clean finish when it dries.

Tuck the corners over the inside edge of the lantern. You may want a little extra gel/glue here to secure them.

Step 5: Do it Again

paint-sm Repeat the previous step for each section of the photo.

Overlap each strip slightly to create a continuous image. Tuck the edges, and keep going.

TIP: Work in sections vertically across your lantern, i.e. glue the top of the first strip, then the bottom of that same strip, before moving on to the next section.

Step 6: Seal it Up:

paint-sm This step is optional, but can help give your lantern a nice, finished look.

After each section is in place, brush a thin layer of gel medium over the photo, sealing in any cracks and smoothing out areas on your sphere.

TIP: You can use your hand on the inside of the lantern to press out any parts that may have been crinkled in the process.

Step 7: Dry it out:

paint-sm Let it dry completely before hanging it.

Depending on how much gel medium was used, this can take from one hour to several hours.

Step 8: Hang it up!

paint-sm Follow the instructions that came with your lantern for connecting the bulb and socket.

Pick your favorite place and hang up your glowing photo creation.

Enjoy your photos in all of their glory!

Why Stop There?

  • Make a string of these beauties using paper lantern Christmas lights.
  • Make glowing portraits. Put a face on one orb, torso on another, legs and feet on a third.
  • Try printing photos on transparencies to make other worldly glowing orbs.
Author

You love love, and you love it big time. So, go BIG this Valentine’s Day.

Print up a 3 foot x 4 foot Engineer Print to show your love BIG time.

Read along to see three fun ways to spread the love to friends, crushes and soulmates using photos!

 

1. Mailbox Surprise

gifts
Just fold up your Engineer Print, pop it in an envelope and mail it to your long-distance love.

Parabo Press’s EPs (as the cool kids call ‘em) are printed on extra thin paper, perfect for easy hanging and mailing too!

Yeah, your print will get creases in it, but we just love the idea of your giftee unfolding and unfolding and unfolding to reveal the biggest Valentine they’ve ever received.

 

2. Pin the Heart on the Babe

gifts
We may have spent a bit extra time on this part of the photoshoot in the Photojojo Office … this game is serious fun! Everyone gave it a go.

Print up a photo of your favorite heartthrob, cut out some hearts, procure a blindfold, give the first contestant a good spin, and watch them just try to find their way to that cutie’s heart.

It’s the perfect pastime for a Galentine’s Party or a cozy night in – just you, mood music, a box of chocolates and an EP of Michael B. Jordan.

 

3. Surprise! I love you!

gifts
Engineer Prints (available in color and B&W) are the perfect width to tape in your
standard door.

Tape your face looking into a room with an inward opening door to give your favorite someone a BIG surprise.

Just make sure your intended recipient is in the room when you stick up that print.

 

 

What are you waiting for?

gifts
gifts

#DIY
Three Lovely Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Using Photos

We get it. You need the perfect costume idea.

Whelp, if you like snapping photos and having fun (you sound like our favorite kind of person) look no further!

Check out four easy costume ideas that’ll get you all the best candy (full size only).


Inspector Gadget

before
Fill a trench coat with gizmos and give your friends a fright followed by relief when they realize you did not dress as a streaker.

YOU’LL NEED:


Instagram

before
Hang the Photo Rope from your neck and use magnets to hang your favorite photos. You’re everyone’s favorite stream of photos. *Liked*

GATHER:

  • A Black Outfit
  • Photo Rope
  • Square Prints (get ‘em free from Parabo Press)


A Beautiful Unicorn

before
Throw magical colorful clouds around, wherever you go! The more color you fling the more colorful your costume will become.

INGREDIENTS:

A Real-Live Photo Booth

before
Document your favorite costumes and hand out prints as you go. You can even charge your pals for print … just like a real photo booth.


JUST COLLECT:

Do you have a super photo-related costume idea? Tell us over on Instagram – we’re @photojojo. Or, show us with #photojojo.

#DIY
Simple and Silly Costume Ideas for Photographers

The World’s Most Amazing Gear

Go shopping