Skip to Content

How To Mount A Photo Onto Wood

Yesterday I showed you the Ikea wall lights I made over for our master bedroom and today I’m back with an easy peasy way to make a unique and interesting piece of art.
After you get your materials you can whip this up in under an hour!
I recently framed some of our favorite photos from our trip to Hawaii for the travel gallery wall in our basement. In the middle of a long, cold and snowy New England winter it’s so wonderful to escape to that warm, beautiful, breezy spot in the middle of the Pacific, even if only in our memories.
However, the basement is mostly the kids’ domain and I don’t see these pictures very often.
If we are friends on Instagram (and if we’re not, let’s be!) you may recall this vignette I spied at a mall store while I was Christmas shopping with my kids.
I decided then and there that I needed to lay eyes on Hawaii each and every day. We have a lot of framed photos and prints but I wanted to make this more of a piece of art, and I really love how it came out. I already have another one in the works! Here’s how to make your own……


photo poster (see below)
wood board (see below)
foam brush OR brayer
D-ring and screws for hanging


The first step is to choose an image and have it reproduced to a poster or large print. I uploaded my photo to the Staples website and opted to have it printed in my local store, with same-day pickup  (18″x24″ for $20.99. Since then the Staples posters went on sale for 50% off!) If, unlike me, you have patience to have a poster shipped to you, you can search around on the internet and find some really great deals for poster printing. Adoramapix has great prices (starting at a 16″x20″for $9.60, up to 20″x30″ for $18.00, plus shipping.)
Note – beware of the quality of some photo printing services. I have been very happy with the quality of Staples, Adoramapix, Snapfish and Shutterfly, but Walmart and Walgreens’ same day printing products leave a lot to be desired.


 Once you decide how large you want your art piece to be, purchase a piece of wood on which to mount the photo. Since I opted for an 18″x24″ photo, I had a 24″x24″ birch plywood board cut down to 18″x24″ at Lowes. The board cost <$8. I chose birch because it is smooth and has fairly smooth cut edges as opposed to other kinds of plywood.
-Sand the board surface and edges, and wipe clean.
-Paint the edges and perimeter of the top of the board. I gave the edges 3 or 4 coats – they dry very quickly.
Note – I painted the top of the board because, while the poster was supposed to be 18″x24″, in reality is was more like 17.75″x23.75″, and therefore does not reach the edges of the board. I was initially disappointed by this but ended up loving how it frames out the photo!
-Next up, pour a good amount of Mod Podge on the board,
then spread evenly, wiping the excess back into the bottle with the brush.
(thank you to my cute little assistant for these photos 🙂 )
-Mount your poster onto the board squarely. You can reposition it but keep in mind that Mod Podge starts to cure quickly so you don’t have a lot of time to keep picking up the poster and resetting it.
Use the brush to add a bit more Mod Podge around the edges as needed.
-Use a clean foam brush or a brayer to push out all the air bubbles.
 – Final step:  pour Mod Podge on top of the photo and use the NYLON paintbrush to spread it evenly. Why not a foam brush? Because the foam breaks down a bit after repeatedly spreading the Mod Podge, and the you will have tiny bits of black sponge in your finish that you will have to pick out one by one. Ask me how I know this!

-A tip to help you spread that final layer of Mod Podge on top of the photo – have a bowl of water and paper towel nearby. When the Mod Podge starts to cure and gets more difficult to spread, dampen your brush a tiny bit – it will give you a few more minutes of work time. However, keep in mind that texture is a good thing – it will give your photo depth and make the light bounce off of it in interesting ways when you look at it up close.

Let dry, attach a D-ring to the back, and hang your art – that’s it! From start to finish this was hanging over my bed in less than an hour.
Is God the most amazing artist or what??????
Those glistening black lava rocks?


The colors of the water?
He really outdid Himself in Hawaii.

The colors in the water reminded me of my Aquamarine Chiang Mai dragon pillow that was in my living room. I don’t know if I’ll keep it up here but it’s a fun pop of color for the winter.

The mix of metals makes me happy too.

After saving and planning for years, I’m crazy grateful that we were able to go on that adventure to Hawaii and make one of our dreams a reality. Looking at this photo every day reminds me – even when my house is a mess, the bills need to be paid, the kids are being challenging, and I’m grumpy – how incredibly blessed I am!

Art that is easy, inexpensive and special – what could be better?

For another fun photo + Mod Podge project, check out this post on tracing paper and tissue paper canvas art.

While Staples is running their 50% off sale I’m off to make another masterpiece. And if you make wood mounted photo art send me a photo – I’d love to see it!

Have a wonderful day my friends.

Pin for later!

How to mount a photo onto wood.

Ikea Wall Light Hack
← Previous
Garage Organization: Skate & Ski Storage
Next →

Ashley Jo

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

This looks amazing! And I agree, I love how the extra wood frames out the picture. What an amazing job.

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles

Thursday 23rd of January 2014

That looks REALLY fantastic, Lisa! I've done something similar several times but your method is a little bit different. I'll try it next time! I think that's the perfect choice for your wall.

Privet and Holly

Thursday 23rd of January 2014

Beautiful! I was just thinkingtoday that I want to enlarge oneof my own beach photos for mybathroom, which has sort of alake/ocean theme. It's so niceto bring a favorite memory intoa personal area where a lot oftime is spent and where it willbe seen and appreciated daily.

Thanks again for the inspiration,Lisa!

xo Suzanne


Thursday 23rd of January 2014

Wow, you're on fire lately! Love this. So pretty against your walls.


Thursday 23rd of January 2014

Wow, you're on fire lately! Love this. So pretty against your walls.