SPOILER ALERT! If you're the grandparent of the children in this photo, turn away from your computer screen now! If it's too late, will you please e-mail me what size you'd like? Yes, this is what the grandparents are getting for Christmas this year. And you won't believe how cheap and easy (and fun) they were to make!
Photo Block Tutorial
What you'll need:
*Block of wood--ours measure about 5.5"x5.5"
*Acrylic paint or spray paint
*Acrylic gel stain (optional)
*Distressing file (optional--can use sandpaper instead)
*Foam brushes (at least one wide brush)
*Photo that will fit on your block (IMPORTANT-ink jet printed photos will not work. Get a professional print with a matte or lustre finish-not glossy!)
*Ribbon slide or other embellishment (optional)
1. Cut and route your blocks. Stacy bought a board at Home Depot and they graciously cut it for her for free (although she thinks they weren't supposed to). Then her husband routed the edges, but this isn't necessary if you don't have access to a router. You could also check craft stores for pre-cut and sanded wood blocks. Paint your blocks--do a nice job on the sides and back. The front doesn't matter much. Sand the edges for a shabby look. I applied a gel stain on top of the sanded edges to finish them.
2. Cut your photo to fit on top. I started with a 5" wide photo. Using a foam brush, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the back of the photo. Place on block and smooth down with the side of your hand. Allow to dry about 10 minutes.
3. Using a distressing file or fine sandpaper, lightly sand the edges in a downward motion to make the photo become one with your block. Be careful not to rip the edges!
4. With a wide foam brush, apply a thick line of Mod Podge.
Brush across in a horizontal direction to cover photo with Mod Podge.
Then, WITHOUT applying more Mod Podge, brush in a vertical motion. This will give your photo some texture, like it's printed on a canvas.
Allow to dry about 15 minutes.
5. Measure and cut a piece of patterned paper for the bottom of your block. Using more Mod Podge, adhere it to the block. I didn't apply Mod Podge to the top of the paper, but you could if you wanted.
6. Attach coordinating ribbon, ric rac, or other trim around middle where photo and paper meet. This will hide the line. I used Glue Dots to stick my ribbon on, but a double-sided tape like Tacky Tape would work as well. I also used ribbon slides from Stampin' Up!'s Hodge Podge Hardware set to dress mine up. Making Memories used to make these, too, but they're getting harder to find!
That's it--you're done! The great thing about these blocks is that they stand up on their own. Instant home decor, and cheaper than a photo frame!
An alternative to the wood block is a tile, as in the ceramic tiles you find in home improvement stores. Thanks to our friend Andrea Sorensen for this great idea! Use the same technique used in the photo block tutorial (minus the painting and sanding). These range in size, but we like the 6"x6" tile, the 8"x10" tile, and the 12"x12" tile. You will need a small easel to hold your tile.
This is the 6x6 tile.
This is an 8x10 tile.
Here are a few that Stacy made on 6x6 tiles. I love the embellishments she used in place of the ribbon slides. You could use anything in place of them--buttons, flowers, bows, metal embellishments, monogram letters, chipboard accents. . .
Merry Christmas, Mom & Dad!
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