super quick & easy mod podged photo ornaments

by @according2kelly on December 9, 2011

as i’ve mentioned before, christmas just isn’t christmas without the the annual photograph ornament. (it’s something my mom did for me as every year as a child, & now i do it with my own children – i just love seeing how they’ve changed over the year.)


this year i’m getting the kids involved in spreading christmas cheer, so they’re helping make their very own, super simple, super fast, super cheap, mod podged christmas photo ornament.

you can make one too & help spread the christmas cheer.

super quick & easy mod podged photo ornaments

supplies needed:
an unfinished frame ornament (i picked up my 3.75″ x 3.75″ square frame for $1 at the craft store), wood stain, a piece of card stock scrapbook paper (larger than your frame), a jar of mod podge, a sponge brush applicator, a tiny bit of sand paper, a razor blade or exacto knife, & clear acrylic sealer.

1. stain your ornament. you don’t have to stain the entire frame, just the areas that will be visible after you mod podge the paper to the front… that means you will be staining the back of the frame, the outer sides of the frame as well as the inner sides (near where the picture will go). i love the zig woodcraft stain pens, it makes stain easy breezy – little to no mess & they dry dang quick.

2. once your ornament is dry, it’s time to get your mod podge on… the first step to the art of mod podging is to apply a light layer over the entire surface to be mod podged (the front of the frame) & let it dry for about 30 seconds or so. the timing isn’t setting in stone, you just want it to set-up a touch.

3. next, apply another layer of mod podge & then position your frame to the wrong side of the cardstock. i like to match up as many edges as possible – less trimming later!

press the paper firmly to the frame, smoothing away any air bubbles that may form. (it’s kinda like wall papering… i found it helpful to use an old credit card to help smooth the paper out.)

once the paper is set in place, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then recheck your frame to see if any more bubbles have appeared. if there are, press the bubble down again. if it still doesn’t stick, take a straight pin to release the air under the paper & press it smooth.

4. once your frame is dry, put it right-side down on a cutting surface & using your razor blade or exacto knife, trim off the extra paper from around the edges & from the center opening of the frame.

& don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect, next you’ll use your sand paper, & lightly sand all of the paper edges (that you just trimmed) to ensure that they are smooth.

next, using stain from earlier, lightly re-stain all your newly sanded edges… your going to be “covering up” the bright white of those newly cut paper edges. make sense? you can also use a sponge, or paper towel to pick up stain & get into those “hard-to-reach” places.

you can use stain as much (or as little) as you like to give your scrapbook paper a more vintage look. sometimes i just use it on the edges, sometimes i’ll use it to completely cover the entire scrapbook paper. you can also use a little water to spread and smudge the stain… experiment with it.

5. once your paper trimming, sanding & stain-applying is done, apply at least 3 more layers of mod podge on top of the scrapbook paper. apply a layer of mod podge & let it dry for about 15 minutes, then apply another, and let it dry, etc.

after the mod podge dries, it can sometimes be a wee bit sticky. not a problem, simply spray spray your project with several coats of clear acrylic sealer after the Mod Podge is dry, & all will be right in the world.

6. when everything is good & dry, staple a loop of christmas-ey ribbon 3-5″ long to the back of your ornament, for hanging purposes.

7. at this point you are pretty much done… so pat yourself on the back & find the perfect picture. i like to add the year using photoshop or a photo editing site like picnik.¬† print your picture (for my ornament frame a 2.25″ x 2.25″ square picture was the perfect size), & then… ta da! you have a finished product.

 hope you have a jolly holly holiday & that your days are merry & bright!


I am super in love with this idea. I always see those frames in the checkout line at JoAnn's and thought they were really chintzy looking but covering them with a fun cardstock? Hello, genius! I'm definitely going to have to do this for the grandparents who are all the way over there on the other side of the country. :) So fun.


i've done it with the bigger, $1 frames too. we make em for all the holidays! so fun!

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