Remember those awesome wooden ornaments we've been gifting?!  They are so much fun to create, inexpensive, and an easy DIY project using your own photos (well... if you're not making 50+ at a time!).  We want to give everyone the opportunity to keep the tradition going, or make your own super sweet hand-made gifts!  Here's how we do it!

nj photographers jac&jules step-by-step tutorial for creating diy wooden photo ornaments

Here's what you'll need:

1.  1.5" wooden blocks- We got ours HERE.  We clearly needed lots, but you can get them in smaller quantities on amazon, or at a craft store such as Michael's if you only need a few.

2.  Stain (optional) and a junk rag (if you're like Jacqui) or a foam brush (if you're more Julia)

3.  Small screw-in eye hooks- We got ours at Home Depot

4.  Drill (optional)- Totally not necessary, but after about 10 our fingers were cramping from screwing in the hooks and we needed some 'help' haha!

5.  Mod Podge and a foam brush- You can get this at almost any craft store, we used the lustre (pictured below)

6.  Raffia Ribbon- The large spools pictured below, which we ended up using,  are from Michael's, and the box (which includes 3 colors) was from Dollar Tree.  Use your artistic license here, ribbon, twine, let your imagination run wild... as long as it will fit through the hook!

7.  PHOTOS!- You can download our Photoshop template HERE (this is 4x6 size).  If you make your own just be sure to make the photo squares smaller than 1.5" to allow for the border.  We did 1.25".  Keep in mind that you can also use scrapbook paper on some of the sides, or put the year, whatever you like, get creative and make it your own! 

supplies for diy wooden photo holiday ornament gifts


Step 1-  Stain your blocks (if you're going to).  I used an old rag, probably a stained old onesie! I like a light wash, so I dipped the rag in a little bit of stain and rubbed it on the blocks.  Be careful on the raw edges, they really soak up the stain no matter how lightly you apply it.  I allowed mine to dry overnight.  Sorry, no photo for this step, mine were already stained when I decided to write this post!

Step 2-  Insert the eye hooks.  You can screw these in with a little work, but we were making a TON, so after a few, and some really sore fingers, we drilled small pilot holes and it made it much quicker and easier.  I like to put the hook on whichever raw edge is the prettiest ;)

hand made wooden block photo ornaments how-to

Step 3- Cut out photos.  Try to be as precise as possible, but hey, they are hand crafted after all!

creating adorable hand made photo ornaments

Step 4-  Mod Podge.  Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on each of the 4 sides where the photos will go.  This is just to place the photos so it doesn't have to be perfect, but try not to let too much ooze over the edge of the top and bottom.

easy wooden photo ornament diy project with mod lodge

Step 5-  Place your photos.  The Mod Podge will still be a little slippery so you can place them and then wiggle them around to get them centered the way you like.

applying photos to wooden cubes

Step 6-  Mod Podge...again.  This is the top coat that will hold it all together, so be a little bit more precise with this one.  Be sure to get around the edges of each photo.  I like to get it all on there, edges sealed, and then do a final 'once over' with the foam brush so that it is a thin even layer with uniform brush strokes.  Like I said before though, they are hand-made, and a little mishap only adds character and personality ;)  Note: the Mod Podge does dry clear, so don't freak when you first go over your photo!

super cute diy wooden photo cube christmas ornaments

Step 6 and 1/2-  Let the kids join in...if you must, lol!

easy diy for kids wooden photo ornament

Step 7-  Make the Raffia Ribbon Hanger.  I'm not going to lie, this part can be a little trial and error, especially if you're a perfectionist, which we both are!  Cut first.  We find that between 20-25 inches works best for us.  Find something that you can tie around.  After many different attempts with jars and whatnot, we found that our feet or shoes work the best... don't forget to stretch, haha!  You want the large circle part to be about 3-4 inches in diameter.  Tie your bow, and trim the excess.

tying raffia ribbon hanger for diy wooden cube photo ornament

Step 8-  Attach the raffia hanger to the eye hook.  You will be making a slip knot.  I'm not great with explanations, so hopefully the photos help!  Start with your bow upside down.  You want to insert the large circle part (what the ornament will hang from) into the hook and put it almost all the way through.  Then flip the bow part over (so that it's right side up) and pull the large circle part through.  Adjust and tighten.

creating hand made wooden cube photo ornaments

Step 9-  Pat yourself on the back!  That's it, just let them dry and you're all done.  Sit back and admire your totally adorable, completely personal and all around awesome wooden block photo ornaments.  Go you!

completed diy project wooden block photo ornaments

Step 10- Share the love!  If you enjoyed this project, pin, tag, and share away!!!  If you have any questions feel free to reach out! <3