Decorating with portraits, wood, & mod podge

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*I am on a little trip and have a bunch of scheduled posts. If you want to see random pics while I am on the road, “like” me on my facebook page😉

*I am pulling this out from my archives from a year ago because this is one of my most popular posts.

For those of you that don’t know, I am a BIG fan of decorating with portraits.  It is a feature I like to share on this blog from time to time when I see a great portrait display in a home. I wanted to do something different, and got the idea to mod podge a print on wood squares.

I have been all over the crafty blogs lately and have been dying to do something with mod podge. I wanted a unique way to hang some individual portraits of my kids and had planned on doing standouts that I saw from my pro lab with a silver finish around the edge. However, they didn’t make them in the size I wanted (12×12), so my wheels started turning… I then thought of wood and mod podge.

I went to Home Depot and found a 2ftx4ft board that was 3/4 thick. I wanted at least one inch, but I settled for the big board because it was only $10 bucks. I had the guy at Home Depot cut my squares to a 12×12 and I got 8 of them! I only needed 4, so really only $5 for my wood (you can share with a friend or save it for another project). My 8 pieces of cut wood below.
I decided on an orange edge, so stacked them up and first primed them and then sprayed them orange all together. They got a little stuck together and my hubby had to help me yank them apart.
I also needed a little more around the edge for a border, so sprayed them seperated, too.


Since I was being crafty with my prints, I decided not to pay the extra $ for pro lab prints. I am usually a big advocate of the color quality that a pro lab offers, but with this being my first project, I wasn’t sure if the mod podge would alter the color anyway. I also played it safe by sticking with a black and white print. I saw that Sams Club offers a 12×16 print for about $3 each (wowzers). I made up a layout in photoshop that looks like this:

(I heard that Costco sells square prints, skip this step if you can print a square). I cropped my image to a 12×12 and placed in on a 12×16 and they trimmed for me. Now somewhere between the guy at Home Depot cutting the wood, and Sams trimming my pictures, I didn’t get exact 12×12 on both–didn’t quite line up. The pictures were a tad smaller, so I ended up having a little border instead of having it flush as I planned.


I slapped a layer of mod podge on the wood and on the picture (not sure why that is necessary, but I read to do both) and then rubbed it on with my hand. After it dried (20 min or so) I did a little sanding to the edge, wiped it clean, then mod podged the top. It gave streak lines–sortof canvas like. I messed up on the corner of my oldest son, but oh well.

My daughter showing how big it is next to her head.
I did also buy the orange spray paint (note to self, Joann’s sells the same can of paint for $8 as Home Depot does and it’s $4 there). $21 total for the wood, pictures, spray paint, and had the mod podge on hand.
I feel oh so crafty…

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  1. Fun idea!!! How did you hang them?

  2. Love this idea! I am going to have to try it!! I had a great time at your AZ class!!! So glad I was able to go!! Thank you so much!!

  3. OMGoodness! You are brilliant! I just found your site through I heart faces and I love all of your ideas! I would love to offer this idea to my clients as a workshop. They could come over for the day and we could do this project with their prints! Is that OK with you? I hope so!

  4. Yours look so pretty! I tried this and my photos bubbled up! Do you know how to prevent that??

    • how can you keep picture from bubbling

    • Mod podge has to be applied in a very thin layer or it will bubble your photo and or paper. I have found something that works 100% better after experiencing many failed projects. It is Elmers Wood Glue Max. Make sure it is the Max. They sell one that does not say Max. I can always find it a Michaels or Hobby Lobby. And it should also be applied thin. It’s pretty thick too.

  5. The.mod lodge podge pictures of your children on the wood is beautiful. I want to do a wooden dresser with some craft paper.I found . I am just going to do the drawers. My since I.will not be paint the dresser. Will I need only the mod lodge and craft paper and do I.need to apply the.mod lodge on the wood firsst then put the craft.paper on and then reply another coat of.mod lodge on top.of the craft paper. I just wasn’t sure if that’s all I need to do or.if I needed any other materials this. Cannot find directions like step by step.anywhere. you.mentioned primer when ski.g your pictures didn’t know if I.needed that or not and if so what kind and when or where do I apply it. Thank you so.much.

  6. Great project! I found this post because I was looking for ideas to do the same on some large wood letters for my sisters birthday. I am using multiple photos of her throughout her 40 years to make the letters a photo collage though. This helps a lot!

  7. Hi! I had a quick question. I got a picture done at the Walmart studio and it’s a rather funky size (no frames for it) I want to put it on wood but I’m afraid the mod podge will ruin the professional paper it was printed on. Do you know if it’s safe to do?? Thanks!!!

  8. Did you print your photos on photo-quality paper or regular paper? If possible, can you email me back a response ASAP? I am doing a project like this but only have a couple of days to get it done and I want to start working on it tomorrow. THANK YOU!

  9. This is a great idea and much better than the $20 a piece that they charge to have pictures mounted on to wood at the photo shop!

  10. Cindy Carroll says:

    I’m getting ready to put a photo on a piece of wood and heard Hodge Podge may work. Could you tell me the steps involved in getting this picture on the wood and stick. Thank you.

  11. Hi 🙂 I have modge podge in the spray can form on hand… What do you think about using that!?

  12. I love it! Thanks for the instructions on how to make them.

  13. Did you use photo copies or just regular pictures? I have searched all over the net trying to find out if I need a photo copy or just a regular photo.


  14. Wow! That is lime green furniture! Did you paint it yourself?

    Your portraits turned out a great! What a neat experiment.

  15. That is so sweet. I will love to try this idea rather than to waste some bugs on artificial and non-reliable frames. Fantastic way to save sweet memories.


  1. […] when we first moved into our home (when we still had a small tv hidden behind that armoire) and the mod podge pictures I made.  Our old couches, […]

  2. […] requires a little craftiness in your bones, but produces a great end result. It can be scary to glue your pictures to wood, and to put glue all over the top of them, but it gives a great artistic and different touch. […]