Okay, so this is a super easy project that I wish I could take credit for it. But I can’t. I pinned this baby over a year ago & finally decided to get around to doing it with some of our recent family pictures from Let Me See you Sparkle Photography. My sister-in-law actually did this project awhile ago & I absolutely loved it so she sent me tips & tricks (thanks Hil!) and here ya go. Ive been trying realllllly hard to not post anything unless it’s semi-original, or I modified the plans. I don’t like copycats. But, I posted some pictures on Instagram and y’all went cray cray with questions so I broke it down & took lots of pictures. The original instructions are found HERE. When I broke the price down, it ended being like $2 per wood block. So, everyone is getting these for Christmas because we are poor students. The end. I’ll include the price breakdown at the end so you can be smart & frugal too. Why not?
Alright, so I printed off 4 pictures & headed to Home Depot. I found the cheapest board of wood that was the same size of my picture (so I wouldn’t have to do a lot of cuts) & that was that. It was $8.66 & it was about 5-6 feet tall. I lined up my pictures & drew lines for hubby to cut for me. You could just have this done at Home Depot if you don’t have a saw at home, I think the first 2 cuts are free & then it’s like 50c after – so not horribly expensive.
Presley does NOT like the saw, it’s pretty stinking loud & she makes sure to get as far as physically possible away from it. She was in my lap, but as soon as Daddy pulled out the saw she ran to the other side of the garage. Smart girl 🙂
So after Chad cut down the wood (Our post made 7 of the 8×10 size pictures), I took 4 of them with our sander to sand them down a little bit. This is a completely optional step – and not really necessary. I just hate splinters & I wanted the wood to have a very smooth finish & slightly rounded corners to look a little more finished. You definitely could do this by hand with sandpaper if you don’t have a sander. Easy peasy.
After the blocks were sanded, I wiped them down with a damp rag to get all the dust off & let them dry for a few hours to make sure they weren’t damp. Then I picked which picture would go on which block of wood. Some of them had some darker grain, one had a big knot on it. So I made sure a face wasn’t going to line up on a knot & then pulled out the gel medium.
The gel medium I found at Micheals and used a 40% off coupon (Which you can get in an email, mail OR I just use my Joanns app on my phone and they will use a competitors coupon) so the jar of gel medium was only $12. I only used about 1/5th of the jar (if that) for the 4 8×10 pictures – so this stuff goes a long way! I painted on an even layer & then layed the pictures down PICTURE SIDE DOWN directly onto the gel medium & then used a credit card to smooth out any bubbles or lumps. *MAKE SURE IF YOU ARE DOING AN IMAGE WITH TEXT THAT YOU FLIP THE IMAGE BEFORE PRINTING*
Let dry overnight. I had to stick them up very high so I would kinda forget about them and not just skip the ‘overnight’ part.
This is the fun part! Take a wet rag & run it over the entire block & your image will show up. Then working in small sections rub off the paper – the image will stay behind. You have to find a happy medium between rubbing too hard & making your image completely come off the wood block (which I purposely did to create a more vintage look) and too soft – leaving some film behind. I went over the image once, let it dry & then went at it again once the picture had dried & I could see the areas where more paper needed to be rubbed off.
Next, I measured the back of the wood blocks & added hardware so that I could hang them pretty easily. I found 6 of these in a small thing at Walmart for a buck – so an easy way to make sure these can be put up on the wall.
Admire. & Then decide where to put them:
I added a small layer of Mod Podge to the top to just seal them – but I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff. Love that it protects, but with the light on it, I can see the brush strokes & that bothers me. So, its a toss up. To seal or not to seal.
Not bad huh?
So as promised, here is the price breakdown:
Wood: Home Depot $8.66 – Makes 7. $1.24 each
Gel Medium: Michaels – purchased with 40% off coupon – $12.60. For these 4 I used approx 1/5. So $.63 each
Picture: Printed in either color or b&w – approx $.15 each
Hanging Hardware: $1.00 for 6 at Walmart – $.17 each
Optional: Mod Podge to seal – not included in price, because who doesn’t have this on hand?!
So, thats $2.19 per picture. I mean, I kinda want to make like a trillion more. Why the heck not? My sister-in-law who did the project forever ago has smaller sizes & they are ADORABLE! She did text (and made sure to flip it before printing!) and I love that idea! You could do family pictures, favorite quotes, I mean – the possibilities are endless.
So, what are you going to make? What are you pinning lately – any fun projects I should try? I’m always down for a cheap fun project – send them my way!
You can find me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter – for all the latest at greatest. I’d love to collaborate with YOU & your blog/shop, so send me an email. I promise we can work out something rad.
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