A few weekends ago was spent celebrating with my friend that will be moving away to San Diego. So today I am sharing this personalized gift that a friend and I made for her. We wanted to make something that represented SLC and also all the fun times we had together with our group of girlfriends. So being that we live in Salt Lake City, we decided to get some wood blocks that say SLC and put a photo collage of all the fun times we had together in with the girls!
- wood block letters
- sponge brush
- paint brush
- mod podge
I started off by painting the front of the wood letters black. Knowing that it would be hard to print my photos to match the letters exactly, I painted them black to help hide any seams and mismatches.
Once the black paint was dry, then I painted the rest of the wood a pretty emerald-green color. I had such a hard time deciding which color to use, but I am happy with how this color turned out!
Now it’s time to apply the pictures. Luckily I have a very talented husband who was able to put all the images together for me in a collage, so I only had to make a few cuts. If you are unable to do this, you can easily still create the same look just by printing out your pictures individually and cutting them to fit how you like. Apply mod podge to the wood and then place the images on top, so it will be glued on to the wood. Let dry.
After you have applied all the images to the wood with mod podge and it is completely dry, use a sponge brush and apply a thin coat of polyurethane over the top of the images and on all the painted wood areas.. This will help to secure the images on even stronger and it gives it a nice glossy finish to everything. When I made my DIY Wood Photo Block, I applied mod podge over the top of the image instead of the Polyurethane. I really like the polyurethane better, as I felt like the mod podge gave it a bluish tint once it dried.
This really was a bitter sweet project to make. Going through all the pictures of us back in the day, just made me reminisce of all the fun times we had, making it a really fun project! But on the other hand saying goodbye to a good friend was tough. I am so happy for her but also extremely jealous, as she will be living in San Diego where she will be enjoying the sand between her toes!
This would be a great gift for anyone and being that you can personalize it anyway you would like makes it even more special. For more great gift ideas using pictures, make sure to check out my DIY Wood Photo Block, DIY Photo Tile Coasters, and the best method to transfer photos to canvas, my DIY Photo to Canvas Tutorial.
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Very cute and such a thoughtful gift.
Thank you 🙂
What a fun and thoughtful gift! I can totally see making something like this for Christmas!!!
Kristi recently posted…DIY Rustic Fall Wreath
I really love making gifts for people, especially thoughtful ones. I swear sometimes I am more excited about giving them the present than they are about receiving it haha! Thanks, Kristi for stopping by!
Great idea looks amazing!
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I love it! This will definitely add to my wall art to do list.
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Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says
So cute! What a great and unique way to display pictures! 🙂
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What a thoughtful gift! I’m sure your friend will cherish this in her new home!
Roxanne recently posted…A Garden Tour & A Love Story
She better 😉 Thanks, Roxanne!
My daughter would love these for College I must try this with her 🙂
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Would be a fun project to work on together 🙂
Shannon Ficklin says
We glued pictures on the wood and applied mod podge over the top of the pictures (as recommended) and let dry over night. The glue is still white on the pictures but seems dry. Help! 🙂 did we use the wrong Mod Podge or is it still drying?
Amy | Canary Street Crafts says
This is such a great idea, Tara!! I love how they turned out!
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This is great! I love your sweet idea, and the project turned out so nice. I’m sure your friend is very happy to have such sweet memories beautifully displayed. I’m a sucker for sentimental decor, and this one is just perfect. I’m pinning, tweeting, and sharing on FB today.
Thank you for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday.
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Aww! Thank you so much, Karen! You are so sweet!
What a thoughtful gift! Such a great way to remember all those memories 🙂
It was so fun to put it all together for her and look through all the pictures 🙂 Thank you, Bre!
I love these! I think they’d be a pretty little compliment to my desk. Thanks for sharing!
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Thank you, Leslie!
I would love to make these DIY letters! Would your husband be able to share how he made put the pictures in a collage? Did he use a template or an application? I am thinking do you pick the letter, and then paste pictures onto the letter?
Hi Shirley, he used photoshop to put the picture collage together. He first scanned the wood letters and then was able to size the pictures to fit. H is sharing a tutorial on how to do it here! http://www.https://www.hatchandhaven.com/photo-collage-tutorial-photoshop/ Hope this helps!
Fun project! These would be such a great conversation piece–and carry so many memories! I love it!
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Definitely a conversation piece! Thank you, Kelly for stopping by! Glad you like it!
These are awesome! I really like this idea and may give it a try myself!
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Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says
Such a thoughtful gift Tara! Love how they turned out!
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Marie@The Interior Frugalista says
Love this idea Tara! What a great idea to put photos together in a collage first and print out a sheet. Definitely pinning this idea – thanks 🙂
Thank you, Marie! I am so thankful that I have a great husband that can put the collage together for me, making it much easier 🙂
Hello cute lady! This looks so cool. Love it. Pinned. We couldn’t think of anyone better to party with. We hope to see you tomorrow at 7 pm.
Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls
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Kim @ This Ole Mom says
What a beautiful project and, a great way to display lovely memories of you and your friend. I’m sure she will be proud to display it! I would love for you to come share with us at the Click and Chat Link Up Party (Monday Morning 8am EST) . http://www.thisolemom.com Have a great week!
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Thank you, Kim! Looks like I missed the link party, so I will link up next week for sure 🙂
Leslie @ House on the Way says
This is exactly like the letters I did for my daughter’s graduation party in 2013. She loved them and they were a big hit with everyone! Thanks for sharing at the Twirl & Take a Bow party!
Have a great week.
So thoughtful, so creative… love it! I’m thinking of incorporating something like this into a gallery wall. Pinned!
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Thank you, Jennifer! Oh that is a great idea to incorporate it in your gallery wall! Love gallery walls!
What type of paper did you use to print the pictures?
With printing your pictures at say Walmart using the picture paper still work with this project?
No, you need to make sure to print them on translucent paper, photo paper wont work. I am sure you can purchase the translucent paper and still have Walmart print it for you though on that paper. Let me know if you have anymore questions!
This is so cute. What a great gift idea! Pinning!
Congrats on being featured on SITS Girls this week. 🙂
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Hi!! Thanks for your tutorial 🙂 I have a question though, did you use photo paper or the regular kind? Do mod podge and photo paper react well? Haha thank you so much! 🙂
Danielle G. says
I absolutely love this project! It came out so beautiful and that green is so pretty! What size letters did you use?
Thank you, Danielle! I believe they were 3″ wood letters.
I am also wondering about what kind of paper you used for the photos! My brother and s-i-l are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and we want to do this for them. Thanks!!
I used translucent photo paper like these from Office Depot http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/171372/FORAY-Inkjet-Translucent-Vellum-Paper-8/ Your brother and sister in-law are going to love their lantern! Have fun celebrating!
Would regular picture paper (say you printed it at like Walmart) work?
Would printing your photos at say Walmart and printing them off on the picture paper work?
Hi, I was wondering if you print the pictures at home would it make a difference?
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Amazing one, alphabetical photo collage , this one seems so amazing and perfect.
Amazing creative Idea, love this one . Thanks for sharing this one , Will love to make same as like with my family members first alphabets
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This Photo Collage Letter Idea is amazing , thanks for sharing this great stuff.
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Thanks for sharing this amazing DIY Photo Collage Letters Idea, will love to make this same DIY stuff, its truly amazing .
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Love this amazing DIY Photo Collage Letters, this DIY is amazing . My members gonna love this unique photo collage
K Store says
Great article you shared, Thanks for sharing such type of precious article.
Jean Sutherland says
I am doing this on numbers ‘25’ for my granddaughter’s 25th birthday. So excited I found your site.
My question is: Can I use spray paint to paint the numbers? And does it need to be primed before painting?
I thought I read somewhere that mod podge was used before painting the letters/numbers. Your response will be greatly appreciated.