I made these for Christmas ornaments this past year.  Everybody loved them.  But they don’t need to be ornaments.  They would be an awesome gift year round for someone’s desk.  You could add painted hearts and LOVE letters, to make a sweet little Valentine’s photo gift.

I made the first bunch for family without thinking to take pictures to share with all of you. (duh).  They are all made on paper mache blocks that I got for 50% off from Hobby Lobby for $1 each.

Then the day that I went to get another block for this tutorial (and my tree) was a Sunday.  So they were closed, of course.  Onward, ho, to Michael’s, where I found this little 2″ wooden block for $1.29.  Plus, I had a 40% off coupon.  If I could go back and make them all again, I would probably make all wood ones.  I don’t dislike the paper mache, I just like the wood more.

Enough of that.  How did I do it, you ask?  You will need:

-whichever block you choose (and an eye hook if you go for the wooden one)

-acrylic paint (I chose gold)

-paintbrush

-modge podge or other decoupage medium

-ribbon

-photos

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First, you need to paint your block.  On the paper mache blocks, I only painted the edges.  On the wood blocks, however, I painted the entirety of the cut ends to act as a bit of a barrier so the glue wouldn’t all soak in. 20141207_0032

While the paint was drying, I cut out my photos.  You can leave them square if you like, but I finally just got myself a rounded corner punch and must therefore use it on everything. 20141207_0033

You can screw in the eye hook whenever after this point.  I did it now (or don’t, if you’re not making an ornament).  And then I used the modge podge generously to apply my photos, making sure they were pressed down evenly.  For the paper mache blocks, I had to do this one side at a time and place something small and heavy on top of the photo to make sure it stuck down well.
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Once that had a while to dry and the photos were all secure, I put two generous coats of modge podge over everything, giving time to dry in between coats.  I made sure to really get around all of the edges.  If you’re new to modge podge, don’t worry about the streaks and the fogginess.  I assure you, it dries completely clear.
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Ta-dah! An easy, inexpensive gift that’s sure to please.  Happy crafting!20141208_000320141208_0004