Learn how to easily transfer any photo onto a wood plaque. This DIY craft activity is great for making holiday keepsake gifts!
Step 1: Choose the type of wood plaque you’d like to use for this project. Our pack comes with 4 shapes – oval, round, square, and rectangle. Then choose a picture, re-size it to 1 inch smaller than the plaque dimensions (we used the medium rectangular plaque, which is 5×7, so our photo is 6×4), print it on regular printer paper, and cut out the image.
Step 2: Apply a thick coat of Mod Podge to your plaque using a paintbrush. Be sure to cover the whole surface. Brush the Mod Podge around in different directions to get a smooth and even coat.
Step 3: Carefully place the picture face down onto the center of the plaque. It is important to make sure there are no bubbles or creases, and the paper is securely stuck to the plaque.
Step 4: Use a heat tool to dry the Mod Podge under the paper. This speeds up the process so you don’t have to wait the usual 24 hours for it to dry. Apply the heat for 3-4 minutes. Be sure to distribute the heat over the paper evenly.
Step 5: Fill a cup with water. Use a paintbrush to apply water onto the paper. Spread the water evenly and let it saturate the paper. Once you see it starting to soak through, then you can start the process of removing the paper. Use the pad of your finger to gently remove the paper so the image starts to show through. This step is a bit messy and can take some time, but don’t rush the process or you could ruin the picture. When you have most of the paper off, you can add some more water with a paintbrush to get the residual pieces off of the plaque. Let it dry. It will start to look a bit whity and fuzzy.
Note: In areas where you rub the paper with a little more pressure, you will notice some of the photo rubs off. This can give the plaque a nice vintage look when you are finished. You may choose to do this to areas you don’t mind looking a bit faded, like the outer edges.
Step 6: Seal the plaque with another coat of Mod Podge. Apply a thin layer with a paintbrush and smooth it out.
Step 7: Use the heat tool again to dry the Mod Podge for about 1 minute. You will see the photo dries clear! Now your plaque is ready to display.
We hope you enjoy making these as much as we did! They make such great holiday gifts. You can also make them into ornaments to hang as an indoor decoration.
Alternatives: If you want to create a simpler design, you can use Mod Podge to apply the photo directly to the plaque. Below is an example that one of our associates created using our circle plaque.