Decorating with Portraits~My first Mod Podge Project

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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 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…

Join The Discussion



  1. SOOOOOO cute! I LOVE IT!

    And definitely something I think EVEN I COULD DO!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Photography by Cassie says:

    Oh my goodness! How cute! They turned out so great, and I think Sams Club did a pretty good job of printing too! Seriously, so cute. I wanna grow up to be just like you! 🙂

  3. leardonsbelle says:

    They look gorgeous. If you were worried about the modgepodge, you could probably try spray adhesive on the back of the pictures and attach to the wood that way. Just a thought.

  4. i love this so much i want to marry it. hoping to do something like this in my house in the future! thanks for sharing the how-to.

  5. I love it!! I might just copy that very thing. So cute.

  6. THEY ARE FABULOUS!!! (yes, I know it was all caps. I'm that excited for you! 😉

  7. Great idea! So a thumbs up on the quality? Are you happy with it?

    They look great from here:)

  8. devon spec says:

    that is crazy that you posted this, (not crazy as in "mental hospital") but crazy because i had been toying with the idea of doing this! 😀 these would make great, (cheap!) presents too.

  9. Mod Podge is awesome fun. idea!!
    Excellent idea!!

  10. These turned out great! Love the idea!

  11. What a great idea . . how did you decide on orange and what do you mean by putting it on with your hand. after you put the mmod pog on did you use your hand to spread it?

  12. These look amazing – nice job!

  13. They make such a statement! Great job! I would like to try this one myself one day! Have a great weekend!

  14. WOW!! what a FANTASTIC idea!! you did a great job with it!

  15. Had to come back and say thanks for linking up to my party!! I was SOOO excited when I saw your link there!!

    Have a GREAT weekend Kristen!

  16. Michelle says:

    Very cute! I might have to give this a try:)

  17. Mod Podge Amy says:

    Very fun! Love.

  18. Sarah Roughton says:

    Hey Kristen, I am SO in love with that green cabinet!

  19. Gretchen Seefried says:

    Love this project!!! I am a new follower and so happy I stopped by to visit!

  20. Kristen…these are AWESOME!! I sooo want to do this! Thanks so much for your how-to!! LoVe your photography too! So CuTe! I would love to feature this on my blog! Let me know what ya think!

    Thanks again!


  21. Margaret says:

    How did you keep the pictures from bubbling with the mod podge?

  22. Wicked Cute!

  23. LOVE IT!!!!! My neighbor just did a project like this, and she used her extra tiles – she went and bought coordinating scrap book paper (12×12) and mod podged those to the extra blocks and added them checkerboard style with her photos. Make sense? 🙂 I think she also wrapped ribbon around the edges, but I love the paint. Great Job!!!

  24. Thank you! I'm going to try it! A great Father's Day gift!

  25. The Crafty Barn says:

    Love this project! I am a fan of family photo's so any new idea on how to show them off is great! Thanks for sharing! AWSOME!!

  26. darling! they turned out just beautiful, great job! FYI – i know costco does 12×12 for 2.99 if that helps anyone who doesn't have a sam's near by their printing is fantastic too.

  27. Makalani Adolpho, PLC says:

    Thanks for sharing. These are fantastic! I love it!

  28. ificould says:

    Those are so cute! Can't wait to try them myself. Isn't Mod Podge great??

  29. I never thought to do it on wood. They turned out fantastic! I modpodged my 12 x 12 digital scrapbook pages to floor tile, but will try it on wood next time…thanks to you!

  30. I need to try this! Love it.

  31. They look so fantastic. I can't wait to try this.

  32. So clever….I've used adhesive foam core for a similar effect but I like this better!

  33. ducksfly2gether says:

    Cool! I used artist's tape for the edges. I'd like to hear how everybody is attaching to the wall. I used those velcro strip things. Any other ideas? Picture hangers work?

  34. I love those! What a clever idea! See…you are a crafty gal!

  35. I am so doing this, and I know right where I'm going to put them. Hooray for filling empty spots!

    Thanks for sharing the steps and also for the tip on getting Sam's (Costco in my case) to trim to 12×12.

  36. a very cute project. just fyi, costco does 12 x 36 prints for $5 (i'm pretty sure anyway). i have a cousin that does digital scrapbooking, so she'll just do 3 12×12 layouts on one sheet. i guess you'd only save a dollar on three. just an idea.

  37. Glenn and Natalie says:

    Absolutely LOVE the project and cant wait to go do it! I also am in L-O-V-E with the gree cabinet…did you pain it yourself? What color???

  38. love! i think this is going to have to be my first mod podge craft. what a great way to display our recently taken family photos. one question: how did you end up hanging them? i'm sure i can figure it out, but that would be too difficult.

  39. vintagewithatwist says:

    wow this is SUCH a great idea! love it

  40. tomiannie says:

    Wow, how fun! I was toying with the idea of splurging on some of those canvas wrapped prints, but I think I like yours even better!

  41. I was planning on doing up 3 or 4 pictures in a grouping of frames for fathers day, but this is SO much better! Thanks for sharing!

  42. I love how simple these are so the faces are the focus – terrific!

  43. Pricklybranch Manor says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have 5 boys and thought about doing something like this in their room but I wasn't exactly sure how to go about it. To see it completed and for way less than I'd imagined…I'm thrilled!!!
    Now, I feel more confident about tackling such a project!!!
    Be blessed,

  44. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    This is fabulous.. you did an awesome job!

  45. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House says:

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I just did my first Mod Podge project yesterday! 🙂


  46. McKenzie says:

    I love this! How did you mount them to the wall?

  47. mommy2luke2008 says:

    I love these!! Beautiful!! I featured them on my friday favorites!

  48. jayayceeblog says:

    We have a big bare wall in our family room where I have refused to hang anything until I find just the right thing … I think this may be it! Love it … great tutorial. Thanks much!!!

  49. Stefanie says:

    Love this idea. Thanks for all the tips! Can't wait to try it!

  50. says:

    What a great idea! I love the splash of color on the border. I would love to link to this if you didn't mind.

  51. Infarrantly Creative says:

    Those are great! I just wanted to let you know about a product called Z-gel. That is what the professional framers use to give a canvas texture to poster prints. It is photo safe and used by places like Aaron Brothers, Deck the Walls, etc. Mod Podge is great for alot of things. I use MP all the time. But for photos I use Z-gel. Since you are a photographer you might consider looking into it. You can get posters made and mount them yourself for your clients instead of paying out the nose for canvas prints. Just a thought. I am posting about it tomorrow on my blog if you are remotely interested. P.S. I am enjoying your series on TIR.

  52. lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:

    oh, very cute! The uses for this idea are pretty limitless, I might use it to decorate my playroom basement with pictures, but I think you could also decorate a nursery with pictures of toys or whatever too. You've got my wheels turning!

  53. These are adorable, were the pics glossy or matte finish?

  54. Hi, I recently bought wood to do this on, but I can’t figure out how to get my picture to a 12 x 12 size. I don’t have photoshop. Can that space that you added to a 12 x 16 be done in picnik, or something like that? I am at a loss as how to get my picture to the correct size.

    Any advice you can give me would be sssssssooooooo appreciated!

  55. Hi there! I tried this project with an 8×10 photo and I absolutely LOVED the way it turned out. I made them for family members for Christmas. One downfall…every single one of them bubbled!!! I’m devastated that I have to redo every one of them now. Maybe putting mod podge on both paper and wood makes a difference…because I just put it on the wood.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that! I have done this a few times with great results, but I have heard mixed reviews. Check out mod podge and I know there is a video tutorial online somewhere.

  56. What type of Mod Podge did you use. There are so many different types.

  57. Love your photo idea here, I wondered what pro printing lab you use?


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