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Create a Wooden Picture Collage with Photo Transfer

  • October 31, 2017
  • Art

Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving
Thriftdiving

It's so easy to take a million digital pictures on your phone or camera, but why is it so difficult to get the pictures OUT of your phone or camera?? Admit it--people just don't print and display pictures like they used to, unfortunately. With this project, however, we're taking our favorite family and friends' pictures and transferring the images onto plywood and making a fun wall collage! Using scrap wood lying around the house, along with photo transfer medium, we can turn our old pieces of wood into a gallery wall that will make us promise never to leave our favorite photos in the phone or camera again!

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large ff9c7d2e 0a1d 4149 a609 c673e82d184f

      Print Out Your Favorite Pictures Using your inkjet or laser jet printer, print out your favorite photos of your friends and family. I chose whichever pictures I wanted and picked various sizes. If your pictures have words on it, be sure to print the mirror image of your photos. Otherwise, family photos won’t need to be printed in a mirror image.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 362b5d37 7eb9 4c79 ab77 53ec645e7b7d

      Apply Photo Transfer Medium to Front of the Picture Using wax paper or parchment paper, apply the photo transfer medium to the front of the picture. Use even strokes and layer it on thick.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 09aafaf9 492e 4963 9c7a 23485a860884

      Apply the Photo Face Down on the Wood I used a large piece of plywood to place the photos upon. They don’t have to be placed in any particular order; just make sure there is enough space between the pictures so that you can later cut them out. Use a brayer to make sure the pictures are secure to the wood. Don’t press too much or the photo transfer medium could squeeze out the sides. Let the photos dry 24 hours.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 063baf34 488d 4726 bc3f 5518b3c94419

      Sponge the Photo With Water 24 Hours Later Use water and soak the image on the wood, softening the paper.

    5. Step: 5

      Large 761688e3 6d8c 411a 917a 23827d9d33ae

      Keep Rubbing! Using the sponge or your fingertips, gently massage the paper off of the wood, revealing the image beneath. Don’t rub too hard so you don’t remove the image from the wood. Because this was the first time I had done image transfer, I wasn’t sure when to stop rubbing. I recommend doing a test picture first before doing your project.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 02a8789e 74d8 4f32 a963 769dbb0347ac

      Cut Out the Images With a Jigsaw Use a jigsaw cut out the images around the edges of the photo. Cut them on the edges of the photo.

    7. Step: 7

      Large 38be1873 4d58 424f 8cb0 01eb114f6708

      Run the Blocks of Wood on the Router Table You don’t need to use a router for the edges, but if you’d like to create a decorative edge, run the blocks of wood over the router table.

    8. Step: 8

      Large d6c53347 43bb 4a14 bebd 94530fac51e7

      Sand the Edges The edges will be a bit scraggly, but with some 150-grit sandpaper, the edges of the photographs will come off nice and cleanly. The pictures will begin to look like they’re mounted on plaques, which I love!

    9. Step: 9

      Large be597c6a 13bc 443f a542 4a5b19dc8efa

      Seal the Photos With a Top Coat I recommend adding a coat of top coat first before painting or adding color to the picture edges. If paint or color gets on the edges of the pictures, it’s easier to wipe off.

    10. Step: 10

      Large 3fe8a754 2909 40d9 bdee 9c9cfedaa00d

      Apply a Wax Metallic Finish or Paint to the Edges of the Wood I used Rub ‘n Buff, a wax metallic finish, along the edges to create some visual interest to the pictures. You can also use colorful paint.

    11. Step: 11

      Large 0240eecf c3fb 43b5 b666 0d08fecd7356

      Lay Out Your Collage and Hang on Your Wall I wanted the pictures to create a large rectangle on the wall above where my middle son uses his computer. I had to first put it together on the floor, snap a picture of it, and then re-create it on the wall. I used Command Strips with hook and loop on the back to adhere them to the wall, which was quick and easy! The wall turned out great! And finally, I’m glad that my favorite pictures of the people that I love can be admired daily. For more DIY projects, visit ThriftDiving.com.

Comments (8)


  • I've got to try this! I have lots of photos, and lots of pieces of wood! this will be so cool!
    By LindaLW666, on November 6, 2017

  • I love this so much! Plus, I've always wanted to try using a router.
    By Linds, on November 6, 2017

  • this is awesome!
    By andreslh, on November 6, 2017

  • Great job! Gonna make a Christmas picture themed wall include some Christmas cards I have saved over the years that I thought were extra cute. Thanks for inspiration!
    By Melissa Johnson, on November 7, 2017

  • This turned out beautifully. It's personally too much work for me to do since I don't have a lot of patience.
    By tlickliter2001, on November 7, 2017

  • AWESOME IDEA....
    By plproper, on November 7, 2017

  • Turned out very nice, good job!! I like this idea and using the router made it into a real frame!
    By TMVA, on November 12, 2017


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Create a Wooden Picture Collage with Photo Transfer

by Thriftdiving
Oct 31, 2017
Medium 220cc514 87bb 4154 8fd6 38d31dae4b76

It's so easy to take a million digital pictures on your phone or camera, but why is it so difficult to get the pictures OUT of your phone or camera?? Admit it--people just don't print and display pictures like they used to, unfortunately. With this project, however, we're taking our favorite family and friends' pictures and transferring the images onto plywood and making a fun wall collage! Using scrap wood lying around the house, along with photo transfer medium, we can turn our old pieces of wood into a gallery wall that will make us promise never to leave our favorite photos in the phone or camera again!

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge ff9c7d2e 0a1d 4149 a609 c673e82d184f

    Print Out Your Favorite Pictures Using your inkjet or laser jet printer, print out your favorite photos of your friends and family. I chose whichever pictures I wanted and picked various sizes. If your pictures have words on it, be sure to print the mirror image of your photos. Otherwise, family photos won’t need to be printed in a mirror image.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 362b5d37 7eb9 4c79 ab77 53ec645e7b7d

    Apply Photo Transfer Medium to Front of the Picture Using wax paper or parchment paper, apply the photo transfer medium to the front of the picture. Use even strokes and layer it on thick.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 09aafaf9 492e 4963 9c7a 23485a860884

    Apply the Photo Face Down on the Wood I used a large piece of plywood to place the photos upon. They don’t have to be placed in any particular order; just make sure there is enough space between the pictures so that you can later cut them out. Use a brayer to make sure the pictures are secure to the wood. Don’t press too much or the photo transfer medium could squeeze out the sides. Let the photos dry 24 hours.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 063baf34 488d 4726 bc3f 5518b3c94419

    Sponge the Photo With Water 24 Hours Later Use water and soak the image on the wood, softening the paper.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge 761688e3 6d8c 411a 917a 23827d9d33ae

    Keep Rubbing! Using the sponge or your fingertips, gently massage the paper off of the wood, revealing the image beneath. Don’t rub too hard so you don’t remove the image from the wood. Because this was the first time I had done image transfer, I wasn’t sure when to stop rubbing. I recommend doing a test picture first before doing your project.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 02a8789e 74d8 4f32 a963 769dbb0347ac

    Cut Out the Images With a Jigsaw Use a jigsaw cut out the images around the edges of the photo. Cut them on the edges of the photo.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge 38be1873 4d58 424f 8cb0 01eb114f6708

    Run the Blocks of Wood on the Router Table You don’t need to use a router for the edges, but if you’d like to create a decorative edge, run the blocks of wood over the router table.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge d6c53347 43bb 4a14 bebd 94530fac51e7

    Sand the Edges The edges will be a bit scraggly, but with some 150-grit sandpaper, the edges of the photographs will come off nice and cleanly. The pictures will begin to look like they’re mounted on plaques, which I love!

  9. Step: 9
    Huge be597c6a 13bc 443f a542 4a5b19dc8efa

    Seal the Photos With a Top Coat I recommend adding a coat of top coat first before painting or adding color to the picture edges. If paint or color gets on the edges of the pictures, it’s easier to wipe off.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge 3fe8a754 2909 40d9 bdee 9c9cfedaa00d

    Apply a Wax Metallic Finish or Paint to the Edges of the Wood I used Rub ‘n Buff, a wax metallic finish, along the edges to create some visual interest to the pictures. You can also use colorful paint.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge 0240eecf c3fb 43b5 b666 0d08fecd7356

    Lay Out Your Collage and Hang on Your Wall I wanted the pictures to create a large rectangle on the wall above where my middle son uses his computer. I had to first put it together on the floor, snap a picture of it, and then re-create it on the wall. I used Command Strips with hook and loop on the back to adhere them to the wall, which was quick and easy! The wall turned out great! And finally, I’m glad that my favorite pictures of the people that I love can be admired daily. For more DIY projects, visit ThriftDiving.com.