The holidays are a great time for gift giving, which also normally means they’re a time for cleaning out closets and camera bags. Every year, I find myself needing to get rid of old stuff that has been replaced; or dealing with the thoughtful but odd and/or useless gifts given to me by well-meaning family and friends.
But what to do with that redundant lens or knitted camera cozy? The simplest answer is to return or re-sell it, but sometimes there’s no gift receipt to be found or the gizmo in question is too beaten up to be sold for any real value. Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to find a use for your used gear. Read more…
If you still process your own film in a darkroom, you probably regularly toss empty film canisters into the trash can once you’ve popped off the cap and retrieved the film inside. The next time you’re in there, try saving those canisters: you can upcycle them into neat magnets for displaying photos on your fridge — perhaps even prints of latent photos that were once in those canisters!
If you’ve got spent, empty film cassettes lying around collecting dust, Photojojo has a crafty idea for the mindful re-user: make them into rolled invitation or stationery holders.
It’s quite simple: cut and decorate 1.375″ x 11″ strip of paper, pop the top off the film cassette (you can use a bottle opener) and tape the inside end of the strip to the film spool. Wind the paper into the cassette and leave a tab for the recipient to unfurl the message.
Camera hoarder Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights received a massive collection of old cameras from her uncle a couple years ago. She soon discovered that she wouldn’t possibly have time to use all of them, so she took a few of the neglected and worn down ones and made a one-of-a-kind lamp for her home. The cameras were turned into the lamp base using a pipe and some cold weld, and the lamp shade was made using color slide film. If you have some broken cameras lying around and want to make your own, Grissom has detailed her entire process over on her blog.
How to Make a Lamp from Vintage Cameras (via Make)
Image credit: Photograph by Stacie Grissom/Stars for Streetlights
If you have some unwanted 35mm negatives lying around and need a simple gift idea, you can try your hand at turning them into one-of-a-kind bookmarks. Simply cut out the actual frames from the film strip and replace them with actual photographs to create film strips that you don’t need to hold up to the light to enjoy.
Create a Stylish Bookmark with 35mm Film [Lomography]
If you have an old mount for attaching a GPS or cell phone to your windshield, you can upcycle it into a suction cup tripod for your camera (just make sure it’s not the flimsy kind that falls off on its own). What you’ll need to do is flatten the mount surface and then install a tripod screw. Nano_Burger has a step-by-step tutorial on how he did this conversion over on Instructables. The resulting tripod allows you to fix your camera in locations that aren’t accessible to tripods that don’t suck (hah, get it?).
Turn Your GPS Suction Cup Support Into A Camera Tripod (via Lifehacker)
Accidentally expose an entire roll of film to light? Instead of throwing it away, you can turn it into a geeky greeting card! Lomographer brilliantgreen made a Christmas-themed one using small illustrations and letters cut out of a magazine, but you could do it for any occasion.
Film Roll Christmas Letters [Lomography]
Wanting a cheap and compact way to carry, protect, and manage his SD cards, Instructables member FrankenPaper discovered that the plastic cases that come with Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks are the perfect size for holding 2 cards. To keep the cards from jostling around and to track whether they’re full or empty, he created an insert that you can print, cut, and fold yourself (download the PDF here).
SD card case [Instructables]
Want a clever way to use your Christmas tree as a photo display? Simply print 1.5-inch photos onto acetate sheets, tape them to the outside of translucent film canisters, and then illuminate them by sticking clear Christmas lights through the caps!
How to Make Film Canister Holiday Lights! [Photojojo]
Last week we featured Jason Hull’s awesome nightlights created out of old (and cheap) vintage cameras. If you’ve been dying to learn how you can make one yourself, today’s your lucky day: Hull has written up a step-by-step tutorial showing how the conversion is done. If you do attempt this project, try to find a broken camera — working ones are happiest when they’re used for photo-making!
Vintage Camera Nightlight [Instructables]