Photo Block Tutorial ~ Great Gift!!

Hey guys!!
We are gearing up to spend Christmas with my in-laws.  I love spending Christmas with them.  They are the most creative people I know and I hardly ever make them anything… Why make them something that I know they could make better :))??
But… I decided to brave it this year and make them some family photo blocks.  They love receiving new pictures of my kiddos and if you know me at all, you know that I love photo art!  Here is what I made them…
Want to make your own?  Here is how I did it…
I started with my wood.  I purchased a 2x4x8 and a 2x6x8 from Lowe’s.
You could just stick with one size but I liked the variation.
I cut my wood using my saw into squares.  Since the 2x4x8 is actually 3.5″ wide I cut each those 3.5″.
The 2x6x8 is actually 5.5″ so I cut those 5.5″.
I also cut a long piece of the 2×6 about 20″ long.
Then everything received a coat of my very favorite…
After spraying each of the blocks and letting them dry I used an 80 grit sanding block on the edges to shanty it up a bit.
Then I used some dark walnut stain on a sponge brush to darken my sanded edges.  I just barely painted it on like below…
And then used an old t-shirt to wipe all of my excess off.  This left my edges perfectly shanty.
Here they are ready for my next step!
I used a trimmer to cut my pictures down to size.  For my little blocks I do 4×6 photos and my larger ones I like to use 5×7 but I only had 4×6 so I used those for this project.  I cut each picture about 1/2″ smaller than the blocks.
I then used some 3M photo safe spray adhesive to attach my photos to my blocks.
This stuff is great! You can leave your blocks like that or add a little Mod Podge like I did.
I like to use Matte Mod Podge.
I used a paint brush to put a thin layer over each block.  I only did the side with the picture. It goes on white and dries clear.
Now I used my very favorite new tool for my next step!

“>Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

I know I have shown you lots of things my Silhouette Machine can do.  Here is another!
I used Silhouette’s Brown Vinyl to cut out the word Blessings on my machine.
Here is what my computer looked like.  I spaced the letters to get the most letters in the smallest space.
I then let the machine cut it out for me while I burped the baby 🙂
I peeled the letters up from the sheet…
And attached them to my wood block.  Cute… But missing a little something!
So I added a scrolly!
Yep… Much better!
After my photo blocks were all dry I stacked them on top and took a picture for you guys!
Another fun thing is that you can arrange the blocks however you want.
That makes them perfect for a fickle decorator like myself!
Hope you liked them!!  These were so fun to make!!  I can’t wait to make some for myself that I don’t have to wrap up.  I am excited to see their reaction when they receive it though.
So… If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet it’s time!  Go wink at Santa and tell him you need one 🙂

“>Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Cori on January 23, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Can I print my pictures at a Walgreens or rite aid ? Or does it have to special paper

  2. Amanda van Erp on December 13, 2013 at 5:19 am

    For those of you interested in this font, I believe it is Adobe Caslon.

  3. Jocelyn on December 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    This is a beautiful Christmas gift!!! Thank you so much for the idea 🙂 What font & font size did you use for this project? That would be really helpful. My friend & I don’t have a Silhouette machine & we are trying to get creative with the letters. Thank you so much.

    • Shanty2Chic on December 6, 2011 at 2:15 am

      Hey there! I am so sorry but I really can’t remember what font I used! I know when I sized them I made sure they were almost the same height as my wood… (hope that makes sense!)

  4. Brandi Golemon on November 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I have created theses for Christmas, bu I dont want to glue the picture so that people can change out the pictues. I went to hobby lobby to look at corner pieces I could put on the blocks so that you can pop the picture in and out but its $3 for four pieces which defeats the purpose of trying to save money on gifts. Does anyone have an ideas on how to make some or where I can find cheap things that will hold the pictures?

  5. Eveline on November 8, 2011 at 5:22 am

    This is adorable. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Lorrie on October 8, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Do you spray everything with a sealer when finished? Just made these and they turned out great!!!

  7. Liz in AZ on August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Love these. I jsut got a Silhouette and would love to know what font you used on these. It’s so perfect for this. Thanks!! Liz

  8. Grace on April 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Hi, I love you wood pieces and am trying to do this myself…..on the staining….I think I must be doing something wrong…..I paint on….and when I wipe it goes everywhere!!!! and isn’t staying on the sanded bits….HELP!! 🙂

    • Shanty2Chic on April 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Hey Grace~
      How much stain are you using? I use just a tiny bit and make sure my edges are sanded pretty good before I do.

      • Grace on April 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        okay, I will try that, I was just trying to get it on the sanded bit, when are you wiping off, immediately or after it dries a bit?

  9. Carmella on April 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I love this and can’t wait to get started on these for Christmas gifts! With two more grandkids expected in our family this year, my in-laws are going to love this! Thanks for sharing!

    • Shanty2Chic on April 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      Glad you like it! They really are fun to make and grandparents love receiving them 🙂

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