Friday, May 10, 2013

bird.i.y: wood photo transfer

i have said it before and i will say it again, i am not a crafty person. this DIY series has been really great for me because it has forced me to try something new. and i love it! but not all of my DIYs are going to turn out perfectly. and this one was very close to being a fail. it didn't turn out exactly how i wanted it to, but it turned out well enough for me to show you. i learned from my mistakes and i will definitely try this again! that said, here is this week's DIY!

we don't have a ton of framed photos of the kids around the house. we take a ton of pictures of them every day, but we tend not to print and frame them. this is something i would love to change. and i thought i would try something a little more fun than just framing their photos for this project. i decided to take two of my favorite photos of them and transfer them onto wood! i thought it would give the photos a nice, vintage-looking quality (more on that later.)

here's what you will need:
~ your favorite photo(s) (please note: these should be printed on regular white paper. not photo paper! and the final product will be flipped, so keep that in mind when choosing a picture!)
~ Modge Podge Photo Transfer
~ Modge Podge (matte or glossy will work. i used matte.)
~ a wooden plaque
~ a foam brush
~ a sponge
~ parchment paper (wax paper or tin foil would work, too.)
~ paint and a paintbrush (not pictured)
~ a glass of wine (optional)
~ ignore those scissors. they somehow sneaked into this photo. rascally scissors.

place your photo on the parchment paper and, using your foam brush, completely cover it in the modge podge photo transfer. use a thick coat (this was my first problem.) and make sure it is totally white.

next, place the photo face down on the wooden plaque. smooth it to get any bubbles out. then, the hard part (for me, the most impatient crafter ever), leave it alone for 24 hours.
don't touch it for 24 hours??? but i want immediate results! ugh.

once that long and hard 24 hours is up, grab your sponge and a bucket of water. begin wiping the paper with the sponge. get the entire paper completely wet. wait a couple of minutes (more waiting???) to make sure the paper is completely soaked.

then begin to wipe the top layer of paper off to reveal your photo. be gentle (my second mistake) or you could rip the picture. and don't go crazy (my third mistake.) too much wiping can ruin the quality of the picture.
see that little rip on the bottom corner? yeah, that's not supposed to be there. dang!

once your photos are revealed, wait until they are dry (i know. more waiting. this was, like, the worst DIY for me.), and then you can decorate them however you like. i decided to paint colorful frames around the photos. i used acrylic paints, but you could use whatever you like. washi tape (seen here and here) would be super cute, too! i then sealed the entire photo with a coat of modge podge (as you will see on amelia's photo, not waiting until the paint dried completely before doing so took it's toll. mistake #4. lucky for me, i think it looks kind of cool!)

and here is the final result:
i wish they weren't quite so "vintage-y" looking. this was the result of too much wiping on the photo and the fact that i used really low resolution photos (i printed instagram photos. mistake #5.) but, other than that, i love them. and now i know what to do differently next time! 

what do you think? is this something you have done or would ever do?

xoxo, nora bird


  1. i love it! i had a hard time when i did something similar - it was really smudgy - i think I didn't do it even or something. but they still look so cute!

  2. Awesome! I like how they turned out - they look rustic/weathered which I love :)

  3. I like the idea! I think they turned out pretty good! I'd be willing to try something like this sometime!

    I love this DIY series, you guys have made crafting seem easy, which is good for someone like me!

  4. I think they look adorable and it's something I would definitely try, although waiting....oi!

  5. This came out really cute! I'm not a DIYer AT ALL but this one I could handle :)

    The Tiny Heart
    $50 PayPal Giveaway!

  6. They are cute! I love a vintage look. You did a great job. I don't have the patience. So I admire you.

  7. I kind of like the vintage feel of it! What a great DIY, I would have never thought to do this.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  8. Love how these turned out! I like the vintage look to them! A perfect and easy Mother's day idea!

  9. They came out cute! I think it is awesome that you post your mistakes, some people act like everything is perfect, and it is not true!

  10. This looks wonderful! Thanks for the wonderful idea and tutorial. Happy Friday. xx. McKenna Lou

  11. Thank you for the kind comment on my blog
    These look great I love the vintage feel about them, I was reading you mistakes and I was like "really they look great"
    I want to try this but as I don't have kids I'll have to try it if my dog

  12. Love this. I actually saw this on Facebook. Happy Mother's Day too you too

  13. These are SO cool! Love them! :)

  14. Fun! I really need to start printing out my photos and doing something with them. Maybe this will finally inspire me to!

  15. Don't be so hard on yourself! It turned out great! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.

  16. If you don't like the vintage feel of the photos, you could try adding some vintage-looking decorations to make the look intentional? You could also hide the corner rip that way too! Maybe try some old brass buttons, or flowers?

    This is just a suggestion though- it's up to you :)

  17. that came out so cool
    i have some modge podge somewhere if it isn't all dried up i will be trying this out this weekend

  18. I love the result! So beautiful:)

    Win a pair of sunglasses:

  19. I see you tried it! Like I said keep trying and it will get easier!

  20. those turned out cutie pie cute! i stink at photo transfers with gel medium. i need to practice them more. my fave photo transfers to do are with magazines and clear contact paper.