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Photo Plaques: A How-To | Killer b. Designs



Photo Plaques: A How-To

This past weekend, we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family. My mom and sister both have Pomeranians that they love like children. So of course, I had to do something featuring their pups for their presents. That’s where this inspiration kicked in:


Isn’t it super cute? It’s canvas, and if you want one of your own you can buy it at Treasury of Memories for an incredibly reasonable $10. But I am broke, and I wanted to tweak things to work a little differently.

These plaques are made from scrap 1×6, some 4×6 photos, and ribbon. I made the Pom art in Illustrator and popped each pup’s name into it, then printed them all at Walgreens for 19 cents a pop, but get this, they were also running a 50% off special so it was less than 50 cents for all six photos. How’s that for a bargain? And the ribbon is left over from my wedding a year and a half ago, so this project only cost me scraps and 50 cents. But, if you have to buy it all, I’d estimate that you would spend about $3 each, or $9-10 for three of them. For the top two I just did photos, but on the third (a plaque for Charlie’s “honorary grandma”) I used a paint pen to create the art

Sorry for the blur, I'm working on my photo skillz!

Here’s the how-to:

• 1×6 scraps (a 1x6x4 board is about $5, and you’ll get 6 blocks out of it)
• 48 inches of Ribbon (cut in two 24″ pieces, about $3 for 3 plaques)
• Staples/Stapler or glue
• Mod Podge or photo squares

Step 1: Cut your wood to size (I chose 7.5 ” so there would be an even border around the 4×6 photo). Sand, paint, distress, stain, or finish however you like it. I painted mine white, sanded the edges, and used a purple glaze over them.

Step 2: Attach your photos with mod podge or photo squares. The Mod Podge will protect the image better, but the photo squares will let you switch them out later on down the line.

* If you want to use paint pen to draw your own art, steps are below. If you’re doing photos, skip on ahead *

Step 3: Print out your art

My printer was out of ink, so I went all high-tech and used my computer as a lightbox and traced the art off of it. It worked pretty well, actually! After you have it printed, lay it on top of your piece. Then using a sharp utensil (I used a seam-ripper, you can also use a pencil or un-clicked pen) trace the outlines. It will look like this when you’re done

See all the indentations? Nice, huh? It gives you a clear edge to follow without showing up on the final piece. I then used my silver paint pen to fill in the words, and traced it with a black outline from a brush-tip fabric pen. I tried to use a fine-tip Sharpie, but sharpies and paint just don’t mix well. It dries them out or something.

Step 5: Attach your ribbon

I used a staple gun for mine (and had to hammer them in after, because I’m a weenie and can’t hold it down hard enough) but you can use regular or hot glue to hold them down if you like. I just laid out my blocks, attached one ribbon, then made sure things lined up straight and stapled down the second. For the top, I simply tied a bow. Easy as pie!

It’s so easy to display on a wall, you just need one little nail and it balances perfectly. It’s a fun little piece of wall art that adds a personal touch. Oh, and if you noticed, Honorary Grandma gets a kick out of calling my girl Gracie instead of Charlie. It made me laugh to include that on the plaque. Oh, and she loved it. They were all a big hit at Christmas!



  1. Kristie

    Great tutorial! I’ve saved it for future use. What a neat idea for a gift :)

  2. Space 46

    Been meaning to make this for a long time! Thank you for the inspiration. Would love love love for you to share this at our party going on now Happy holiday! My

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