And so I've been experimenting with Clipping Magic. It's a program that erases the background from an image, creating the illusion that it's floating in white space.
The program is relatively easy to use and although it's no longer free, it's still a good value in my book. Rates start at $3.99 per month for 15 downloads (called "credits") and increase in increments on up to $14.99 per month for 500 downloads.
Here are more dramatic transformations
Clipping Magic has a step-by-step written tutorial with pictures and there are video tutorials on youtube. Like this one.
Of course, I didn't watch the video tutorial before jumping right in -- that would've been too easy ;). So I just dove in and clicked around. :) One of the tools I found useful (which is not mentioned in the above tutorial) is the scalpel tool. The scalpel tool became my new best friend for getting the background out of the small crevices in the above luggage photo.
Let's try another keychain:
As you can see, the results of your edits are shown in real time. Once you're happy with the "after", you click the blue download button at the top of the screen. Or, if want more edits, there are more options on the menu along the bottom.
When you click the download button you get this screen:
Until next time, happy mini-making, fellow miniacs. :)