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  • Creative Writing DIY Other Gifts Photo Gifts

    10 Steps Towards Photos on Wood

    Photos in a photo album, photos in an envelope, a photo book, a photo calendar,  a photo comic, a photo in a photo frame, photo jigsaw puzzles, a photo slide show, photos remade in Photo Shop, photos in a magazine, photos on a mug – I have already tried and described them all on the blog. Yet the potential of photo gifts is much greater, which I found out admiring my 30th-birthday gift in the form of photos on wood.

    Two weeks ago, I wrote about a creative gift (or actually, an entire series of creative gifts) that I received from my husband and our friends whom he coordinated. Yet it was not the only creative gift that I received for my 30th birthday. My high school friends also exceeded my expectations. And believe me that after the gifts we gave each other for the 18th birthdays – a personalised magazine, a diary and a treasure hunt – and for the 30th birthdays to date – a photo comic – these expectations weren’t low at all!

    A big sack with photos on wood

    My exploration of the huge gift sack I receivec from my friends began with a small packet with strawberry-and-champagne-flavoured tea. It wasn’t hard to guess which friend of mine it was from. Anna – the founder of a topical tea blog Piewcy Teiny – has already appeared on mypresents.eu once with a description of a creative tea gift.

    The next gift I pulled out of the sack was a personalised ‘Joanna’s Notebook‘ with felt and wooden letters, a wooden globe and a pin with owl on the cover. This must have been made by my second friend, who was responsible for the visual side of the entire gift.

    The third thing was a box, also adorned with felt letters, which contained a greetings card with similar decorations as the notebook.  The wishes inside were written as a verse with rhymes and rhythm by my third friend, who has most talent for poetry. To tell you the truth, my eyes were already so full of tears of joy that I couldn’t read the wishes loud. And the best part was still waiting at the bottom of the sack!

    Photos on wood

    At the very bottom of the sack, I found five log slices, each of them 2 cm thick and 15-20 cm in diameter. The slices were separated with a blotting paper, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a brown string with artificial leaves resembling a climbing plant.

    I was already much impressed, especially that the idea for a wooden gift was not a coincidence – at high school we discovered that the first letters of our names and nicknames formed the word WOOD. The tears of joy in my eyes had no chance to dry. As if that weren’t enough, each log slice had a photo on it!

    On one side there were photos of each of us and a joint one from high school days. On the other side – our current photos. I may now turn them at will and have my best friends always with me, which is a great treat because half of them live in other cities, and we only see each other live a few times a year.

    How to make photos on wood?

    Naturally, when my excitement wore off, I asked the main organiser of the wooden gift how she had made it, in order to describe it on the blog. Here is what she told me:

    10 steps towards photos on wood

    1. Find or buy a piece of wood (wooden disks/circles/plaques can be bought e.g. on Amazon), measure it and pick a picture that you want to transfer.
    2. Before printing, create a mirror image of your picture in a graphic design program (especially if it contains a text!).
    3. Print the picture on a laser printer (an ink printer won’t do – believe me!).
    4. You may trim redundant image elements, e.g. white borders.
    5. Clean and cover the wooden surface with a Mod Podge.
    6. Paste the picture on the wood with the image facing down.
    7. Smooth the picture, e.g. with a plastic ID card so that it adheres well. Remove excess glue that escapes from the edges of the paper. You may later wash the card with water (Mod Podge dilutes in water).
    8. After 12 hours gently rinse the paper with a sponge and rub its top layer off, moving your fingers up and down. Don’t use too much water to avoid washing down the glue layer along with the image. After a while, stop using a sponge, and use just your fingers to add more water.
    9. Once you have removed the paper, let the picture dry. You may rub a drop of oil/olive oil in the picture to obtain more vivid colours. This will also facilitate the removal of leftover paper.
    10. Finally, you may cover your photos on wood with a transparent lacquer to make if water-proof. My photos on wood have one layer of lacquer.

    You may find instructions with pictures on https://factorydirectcraft.com/factorydirectcraft_blog/how-to-transfer-a-photo-to-wood-with-mod-podge/, and a video on the same blog as well as on YouTube after typing ‘photos on wood’.

    My advice:

    – You may use round log slices or wooden disks for gifts for a round birthday, but for any other occasion square or rectangular boards will also do as long as they are unfinished.

    – If your photos on wood are to be single-sided, you will do the recipient a great favour by drilling a hole in them or adding something to hang them by.

    – Photos on wood make a great gift for the fifth = wooden wedding anniversary!

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