Easy, Inexpensive and Classy Photo Gift!

My siblings and I usually trade family photos for Christmas, and I must say that they are probably my very favorite present of all.  I LOVE them so much.  I really look forward to receiving them (even if they are electronic, siblings!!!  Don’t forget to send me my picture!!)  Oh, have I mentioned that I come from a HUGE family?  I’m #2 of 10 or 11 kids.  It’s complicated.  And, yes, my mother did give birth to 5 children.  And, yes, 5 of them are adopted.  And, yes, my parents are saints.  And, yes, we all have the same 2 parents. And, no, we are not Mormon or Catholic.  Hee, hee!  (People always want to know these things!!)

This is what I’ve been working on the last couple of days.  Family members, please stop reading this blog post now.

Okay, is the coast clear?

Good.  Here we go.

We bought some MDF boards from our local bargain building center.  I bought one 1×5 and one 1×8.  Both were about 6 feet long.  I think I spent $6 total.  Mitch cut the 1×5 down to 4×4 squares for me.  (They were both pre-primed, which is why they are white.  This isn’t important.)  He also pre-drilled some holes in the back, and I made sure a standard picture hanging nail fit in the hole.


I painted the edges with black acrylic paint using a foam brush.


Then, I grabbed a few favorite pictures and ran a B&W action on them (Pro Black and White by Photoblast EZ Actions).  YES, I do know how to do this without an action, but John (Mr. Photoblast) makes it SO easy, and I hardly ever have to tweak it.  LOVE the results.

I printed the photos on my home printer (an HP Photosmart All-In-One) on 4×6 photo paper (HP Glossy), then cut them down to 4×4.

I used 3 In 1 Advanced Craft Glue, which is an awesome liquid adhesive that hasn’t given me any trouble with warping.  It dries very quickly and has a strong bond, too!  I applied the glue in little taps on the edges of the block of wood.


And stuck my photos on!

add picture

Now, my husband did a rockin’ job cutting the wood, however things are never perfect, right?  And, really, they don’t have to be, because I have a craft knife!  I trimmed the edges of the photo that were hanging over the wood.  (And, there is that hole I was talking about.)


I mass produced (this is only a tiny fraction, and I have more to go!).

mass produce

I covered the back of the blocks with some patterned paper (by Close To My Heart).  I just used a glue stick for this.  Keepin’ it easy!  I’m going to tell my family members that there is a hole on the back, just in case they want to hang the pictures. (Sorry about the terrible photo!)


And, this is what my mom is getting:


Oh, I wish you could see these in person!!  They really do look super classy.  I’d be proud to display them!!

And {gasp!}, isn’t my family GORGEOUS?  Good stinkin’ grief.  Be still my heart.

A quick, easy and frugal photo gift!!  (I’m totally making a set for myself.)

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I’m linking this to:

Get Your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

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