self portrait party

My family knows how to celebrate the holidays in crafty style. The adults swap homemade gifts instead of store-bought, and in the past couple years, we have added a crafty activity to the day as well! My favorite holiday moment in the past few years was when we decided to have a self-portrait painting party.

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Kodak is giving away $100 to one lucky reader – click here for details, or read on. Update: This sweepstakes is now over. The info is at the bottom of the page. Back to the self-portrait party details!

Host a Self-Portrait Party

Project Estimate:

  • Wooden blocks or plain canvases, on hand or about $2 each
  • Assorted acrylic craft paint, on hand or about $1 a bottle
  • Paint brushes, on hand or $1 and up
  • Pencils, on hand
  • Mirrors, on hand
  • Paper plates, on hand or $1
  • Cups of water, on hand

Total: about $4 per person

Inspired by a post at Fresh Picked Whimsy, my sister and I organized a “secret” activity for the family on Christmas Eve. We prepared some hardwood blocks we already had on hand by painting each one a plain color with acrylic paint. We then gathered acrylic paints, paint brushes, paper plates (to use as individual palettes), and set up tables to give each person in the family a workspace. We also had a couple of big mirrors for people to use for reference.

We let people choose their blocks one by one, then everyone got down to work. Some people used the computer to take a picture of themselves to refer to. Everyone was pretty into it as soon as they found out what we were doing.

I love seeing how people interpret their own appearance – the features they choose to emphasize, the details they have to include to make an authentic portrait.

This Year’s Christmas Eve

pink pjs

Pink PJs - 1974 and now

This year, I really want to try to recreate some childhood photos of me and my brother and sister while we are all together, like the ones at Young Me/Now Me. I’m not as prepared as the ladies in this photo were – check out the detail on the pajamas! The haircuts are even perfect. I just love this idea!

Sharing Family Photos with Each Other

Well, I’m about to leave to go to Christmas Eve at my parents’ house. I’m bringing my camera (of course), and everyone else at the party will definitely take tons of photos as well… but it is still so hard for me to know that there will be some photos of the event (and my three little boys) that I will probably never see! We’ve all been there — wishing that we could get the photos that someone else had taken with their camera!

I just learned that KODAK Gallery has figured out how to fix this little problem with their new Group Albums. With Group Albums, multiple people can upload, share and comment on photos all in one place, for free. And not only that, you can download other people’s photos for free. And then you can order prints of your favorites.

merry christmas

So I just created a Group Album and invited my family members to join the album (easy – we can all log in with our Facebook accounts). Now I know I won’t miss any of their amazing shots of our family fun (including my boys), and I’ll be able to download high-res versions to keep forever.

I’m not gonna lie, I am a little bit excited about this Group Album! Every year when I sit down to make my photo album, I am always bummed because I just know there are some prize shots of my boys that I don’t have access to. The Group Album would mean that I could steal legally download all the awesome photos my professional photographer sister takes!

Want to get your own Group Album? You know you do! Just click on this link to sign up for your own Group Albums and don’t forget to invite your family to share!

Kodak Wants to Give One Lucky Reader $100

UPDATE: This sweepstakes is now over. Congrats to our winner:

kodak winner

How to enter:

  1. Share a memorable holiday moment in the comments to enter.

Giveaway open to United States residents only, 18 and older. Ends on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 11:59 PM. Full rules here.

p.s. Kodak Gallery is also giving away a Hawaiian vacation package worth more than $2,500 on their Facebook page — go on over and get in on that sweet action! Sweepstakes runs until Jan 3.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kodak Gallery. All opinions are 100% mine.