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DIY ~ Wood Block Photo Transfer

Colette Rixey


Okay guys!  Here is everything that you will need...

Step One: Gather your Materials

Here is a list of everything you will need to create this project:

1.  A photograph that you want to transfer onto the wood block.  There are a few parameters       for the photo you work with.

               a.  The photo needs to be printed on regular printer paper from a                                                   laser printer.  You can do this with any of the self printers at kinkos.

               b.  The photo needs to be the mirrored image of what you want to see                                           on the wooden block.  You can mirror your image in photoshop.                                                 Here is a link to a tutorial of how to flip your image in Photoshop.                                               You can also flip an image in Preview.

               c.  Your photo needs to be the same size or slightly bigger than the                                               wood block that you are working with.

2.  A wood block.  I used one that was 4.5" x 4.5".  You can get precut wooden blocks from          Michaels.

3.  A Gel Medium.  I used Golden Matte Medium.  I also got this from Michaels.

4.  Mod Podge.  You don't absolutely need Mod Podge for this project.  If you don't mind a            rougher look at the end you don't need Mod Podge.  If you like a more refined, glazed            look to your finished project then go for the Mod Podge.  It's up to you!

5.  A foam brush.  If you have a regular paint brush at home already, this will work too.  

6.  A stiff card that you don't mind getting some gel or Mod Podge on.

Step Two: Apply Gel to Photo

Apply a layer of the Gel Medium to your photo.  Don't apply too much gel, but make sure that it covers all areas of the photo.

Step Three:  Lay Photo onto Wood Block

Lay the photo onto the wooden block.  Sometimes it helps to actually lay your wooden block down onto the photo itself.  Either way, you want to make sure that the wooden block and the photo are centered.  You can really only do this step once, so once your photo is down on the wooden block, don't pull it back up to place it down again.

The photo may initially look a bit wrinkly from the Gel Medium.  This is totally fine.  That's why we have our old card handy. Use the card to slowly and gently massage out any bubbles in the photo and smooth everything flat.  You can also gently use your fingers to massage the image down flat.  

(Note:  I actually had a pretty big air bubble in'll see how this effects the final product at the end.)

Step Four: Let it Sit!

It is very important to let the photo block dry for at least 4 hours.  I usually let my photo sit over night and complete the project the next day.

Step Five:  Dampen the Photo

Fill a bowl with warm water.  Dampen a wet dishcloth with the warm water and lay it over the photo.  Don't soak the photo, but make sure the entire photo is moistened.  

Step six: Gently Massage Away the Paper

With two fingers gently massage away the paper.  The photo will be left behind!  Please be aware that this step takes a lot of patience.  If you rub too hard the photo may come up with your fingers.  The gentler you are the better preserved the image will be.  I personally like a little but of roughness in my final product because I think it looks a bit vintage which I just love.  

When the paper begins to dry and become hard to massage away re-dampen the photo like you did in step 5.  

The finished product will look something like the image below...

With the image on the left I had a lot more patience and had no air bubbles when I applied the photo.  You can see how clean it looks.  My example on the right is much rougher looking and a big chunk of photo came off because I had an air bubble!

Step Seven:  Apply the Mod Podge

When you are done massaging off the excess paper, apply a thin layer of mod podge to your photo block.  It is really important to let each coat dry between applications.  I like to do about three coats, letting them dry for 20 minuted each.  The mod podge will give your project a shiny finished look!

You're Done!

Have fun making memories from all of your awesome adventures!  These are just a few of my travels pics below :)