It’s A Handmade Holiday This Year

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Block PictureIn my quest for saving money this holiday season, I focused on handmade gifts for everyone. Not only are they fun to make, but they mean something to the recipient to know that you put effort into the gift instead of just shopping. I may just make gifts for all occasions from now on.

I found a great idea for a photo that is more creative than just sticking it in a frame. The result is a weathered black and white photo block. It is simple to make and looks great! The fun part was picking a photo that I thought would look nice when turned black and white.

If you’re really creative, you could also use a favorite phrase or saying printed with white letters on a dark gray background. Print the wording in mirror style because you’re going to place it face down on the block.

Weathered Photo Blocks

  • Wooden Block
  • Printed black and white photo
  • Foam brush
  • Gel medium
  • Elmer’s glue
  1. Get a wooden block or plaque at a local craft store. I got mine at Joann’s and used my 40% off coupon. My block was 5 x 7 but they have plenty of sizes and shapes to choose from.
  2. Convert one of your favorite photographs to black and white and size it to fit your block. Print the photo on regular copy paper on a laser printer.
  3. Gel MediumBrush a coating of gel medium on the top of your block. You don’t want so much gel that it’s dripping off but you do want an even coating over the top so that the paper sticks well in all places. If you miss a spot with the gel, then your photo will have a blank spot on the block.
  4. Place your printed photo face down on the top of the block and press and smooth to remove any air bubbles. Once you’re done, the paper will be glued onto the block. Let it dry completely overnight.
  5. Once dry, wet the paper and rub gently with your fingers or a wet sponge to remove the paper and reveal the photo underneath. This may take a little bit, but don’t submerge the block in water to hurry it along. Make sure to remove all of the paper pieces.
  6. Blot with a towel or paper towel and let the block dry for a little bit. Mix equal amounts of Elmer’s glue and water. I used 1 Tbsp of each, stirred together for my block size. You can also use Modge Podge or something similar but that stuff is expensive. If you already have it lying around, feel free to use it instead of the glue mixture.
  7. Spread an even coating of the glue mixture over the top of the block to seal the photo. Make sure to get around the edges of the photo where it might have more wear than other places. Let dry and enjoy or give as a gift!

Are you doing handmade gifts this year? What are some of your ideas?


  1. I love this. Look at how old Corinne is getting. Where does the time go?

    • Accidental Fitness Quest says

      I saw it and just had to make them for presents. I might even do a few for decorating my place too. Life goes by so fast, doesn’t it. All the kids are so big now!

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