Family Archive Paperweight - United States Census

Keep of piece of your family history close at hand by creating a paperweight that showcases an excerpt from the United States Federal Census.  Copies of original, handwritten census pages from 1940 and earlier are available online, usually free of charge.

I used Ancestry.com as the source for my family's census information.  From Ancestry's main page, click Search from the top navigation menu and select Census & Voter Lists.  From there, enter as much information as possible about the family member you're looking for.  Once you perform your search, a list of possible matches will appear.  Underneath the title of the document for your ancestor, click the "View Image" link to view a copy of the report.

Ancestry.com has built-in printing options that will allow you to print the entire document or zoom in.  I used the zoom feature and printed the report in landscape mode, along the length of the paper.  Although I printed onto white paper, you can print your report on paper with a slight color or an aged look to it to add warmth and interest.

In addition to creating a paperweight that reflects your family's history, you can also have fun searching for your favorite celebrities and notable figures of the era.

I hope this project helps you learn a little more about your family tree while being able to create a valued memento for you desk or a thoughtful gift for someone you know.


Conversation Hearts Paperweights

Our inspiration for the Conversation Hearts Paperweights obviously came the beloved Valentine's Day confection.

These paperweights are incredibly easy to make on your own with a personalized message.  The glass heart paperweight may be purchased on our website:  Heart Paperweight Kit

Step 1

In a word processing or publishing program, draw a 4" square box and fill with a color of your choice.  We used traditional Conversation Heart colors for the background and text.  Here are the color codes we used:

  • Yellow - #FFFF9D / RGB 255, 255,157
  • Lavender - #CD99CD / RGB 205, 153, 205

Step 2

Layer text over the colored box and center it.  Keep the shape of the heart paperweight in mind, as it substantially narrows on the bottom.  We used the following font and font color:

  • Arial, 24pt.
  • Color Code - BD0945 / RGB 189, 9, 69

Step 4

Print the artwork on a good quality photo paper.  Once dry, finish each paperweight using the instructions that come with each PhotoWeights paperweight kit.

What kind of conversation will your paperweight start?

Receive a Box of Conversation Hearts
Plus 15% Off Your Next Order of $20.00 or more...

Enter coupon code BEMINE during checkout at PhotoWeights.com to receive 15% off your next order.  We'll also include a box of Necco® Conversation Hearts candies.

This offer is valid through January 27, 2013 at 11:59 P.M., Pacific.  Excludes wholesale orders.


Valentine's Day Paperweight - Amour Ribbon with Heart Locket

With Valentine's Day exactly one month away, I thought it was the perfect time to bring you a romantic design idea.  This design is very easy to create and doesn't require a lot of materials.

What you'll need:  Ribbon, Locket, Background Paper, Paperweight Kit (Heirloom Dome), Hot Melt Glue

For this project I used fabric ribbon with Amour written in script (French General by Jolee's Boutique, Dots Words Ribbons).  The locket is new (a charm from Michael's Bead Landing collection).  If you prefer, you can use an antique locket instead.  These can often be picked up at flea markets for $5-10 in fair condition.  The red background is a sheet of textured scrapbooking paper.

After the background paper was applied to the adhesive mounting board (included with each PhotoWeights paperweight kit), I created a bow by forming a closed loop with a smaller loop circling the center.  The bow and tails were applied to the background with hot melt glue.

The locket was glued in place just beneath the bow.  I also glued the ends of the ribbon tails to the background, toward the edge of the round board, making sure to leave a little slack to give it a free-flowing appearance.  The edges of the ribbon were turned underneath the mounting board and glued in place to complete the design.

Once the design was finished, it was applied to the adhesive side of the bottom pad (included with each PhotoWeights paperweight kit), making sure to center it.  The black bottom pad may be seen in the photo above.

The final step is placing the design face-down onto the bottom of your paperweight so the applied decoration fits into the bottom recess.  Press the outside edge of the adhesive bottom pad to secure.

Are you working on some Valentine's Day designs of your own?  Please email your photos to me at susan@photoweights.com, or post them to our Facebook page at facebook.com/photoweights.  We'd love to see what you've been creating!