Add a custom touch to your home by turning your favorite photos into wall art! The beauty of this project is that you can either go with a few large pieces, or create an ensemble of smaller ones in a multitude of colors. It’s a great way to bring your favorite pictures to life and they make outstanding presents with a personal touch. Best of all, it’s simple, inexpensive, and makes for a great family project with the kids. Interested?? Get your photos ready and let’s begin!
- 5″ square photos
- 5″ square wooden blocks (with 1/2″ depth or more)
- Paint brushes
- Adhesive velcro (for wall mounting)
Obviously you can go with any size of corresponding photos and blocks. In this case we had the blocks custom cut at a local hardware store (free service), but the easiest method would be to use 4″ blocks from any crafts store and then print your photos on 4″x6″ photo paper. This way you only have to make one cut to square it out and can jump right ahead to painting.
Inspect both sides of your wood block. If you had it custom cut, one side will generally be smoother than the other. Use the clean cut side for mounting the photo to ensure that the edges of the photo and block are nice and smooth when finished. The rough side will be hidden when wall mounting, but if you’re a perfectionist, you can also smooth it out with a little plaster and sanding.
Tip: Precut wood blocks at art and crafts stores will generally come much smoother on both sides.
Get to painting! For this project we’re doing the entire back and sides, just in case we decide to take it off the wall and stand it up the future. Follow the re-coat times on your paint and apply it in several light coats for a nice and uniform finish. Let them dry thoroughly before moving on to Step 3.
Time for decoupage! Flip those colorful blocks over and apply a light coat to the naked side of the block and back side of the photo. Be careful not to make it too damp or else it could compromise the photo paper and create the photo equivalent a cheap coffee table that’s never seen a coaster.
Make sure that all the edges are all properly aligned with each other and carefully mount the photo to the block. Use a clean and dry towel to squeegee across the photo and smoothen out the finish. When you’re done, turn them photo side down and put a weight on the block while the decoupage dries enough to handle (should be an hour or so). The end result should look something like this:
Cut your velcro into reasonably sized strips and apply it to the back. Of course, you’re free to use a variety of hanging methods, but we prefer velcro because it’s as easy as applying a sticker and will enable your photo art to sit nice and flat against the wall.
Mount those pretty puppies up and use a spacer and level for perfection. Admire your handiwork and then spend the next hour debating what order the photos should be in. Enjoy.
Note: Instead of photos, print out some animated images and give your kids (or inner kid) a one-of-a-kind pop culture present they’ll be sure to love.