Use a fun photo transfer method from paper to wood to make this gorgeous DIY Photo Planter, perfect for Mother’s Day or any other gift!
So after I made my totally fun DIY luggage tags, I got the idea for this project, a DIY photo planter for Mother’s Day.
If your mom is anything like mine, besides being wonderful, she’s also the kind of mom who, when you ask what you can get her for Mother’s Day says, “Oh, I don’t need anything.” And she actually means it, so sometimes, if we’re able to be together, we’ll go do something instead.
But other years, I still want to send her something. You know, because she’s my mom! And I love her! So a few years ago, instead of just regular flowers, I thought this photo planter would be a fun twist. I’m so excited because it turned out exactly how I imagined in my head.
I was going for a kind of farmhouse rustic, distressed look, but if that’s not your thing, don’t worry, I have a suggestion later on, just keep reading the tutorial. Here’s how I did it…
DIY Photo Planter Supply List
Photos printed in black and white on a LASER printer
DIY Photo Planter Instructions
1 . Measure your planter and size and print your photos. Mine was 4″ square so I sized my photo about 3 3/4″ square. The most important thing for this project is to make sure that you print your photos on a laser printer not an inkjet. A laser printer is the kind that uses toner, not ink cartridges. This project won’t work with inkjet prints because they are water soluble. The photos of mine that were darker like the ones on the right below, versus very light like the ones on the left below, transferred better.
(our gorgeous pics are courtesy of Cadence & Eli, if you live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, hire them, they’re awesome)
Note: if you purchase the planter that I linked to here, just note that while I was really happy with the quality, the color is grayer than the photo on amazon. Here’s a better shot of mine. I actually like this color better so I was fine with it.2. Cut your photos out.
3. Apply a thick coat of mod podge to the front of the photos. Really, you want a thick coat.
4. Stick the mod podged photo, photo side down, onto one side of the planter and smooth out any bubbles. Repeat with the other three sides.
5. Let your planter dry overnight. At least 8 hours.
6. The next day, starting with one side, wet that side. You don’t want to submerge the planter or anything but you should soak through the paper (sort of like you would with a temporary tattoo. The photo below is immediately after I got mine wet. After a minute you should start to see the image showing through the whole thing.
7. Start gently rubbing away the paper with your fingertip. If you rub too hard, you might take of bits of the image, so be careful. Let dry and repeat until all the white fuzzy paper bits are gone. It took me about 3 cycles of wet, rub, dry to get my images to look nice and clear.
8. Then coat each image with another coat of matte mod podge to protect it.
9. Finally, plant your plant in the planter. I got this delicious smelling little hyacinth at Trader Joe’s!
As I said, when you use matte mod podge for photo transfers, you will see the background material, in this case, wood grain, through the image. If you’d prefer an opaque image transfer, use transfer medium. In that case, the white parts will actually stay white and you won’t see the wood through the photo.
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