Ornament Finish Front
Cricut Projects DIY Wood Projects Inexpensive Projects

Make your own Wood Photo Christmas Ornament

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Ornament Finish Front

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This Christmas season add a DIY wood photo ornament to your tree. It can be a fun memory or of a deceased loved one. You can easily make your own photo ornament.

So this was an emotional DIY. I knew from the beginning I wanted a wooden picture ornament. Do I do one of the family or my kids? Do I give to grandparents? Then I decided I would honor my sister who died 4 years ago and my husband’s brother who just died 8 WEEKS ago. It is also a tad bittersweet because my sister’s birthday would had been December 14th. Add another tear because both died at age 36 with so much of their life ahead. It will be a great memorial piece to display at the holidays.

You can do this project with photos with your deceased loved ones, pets, or your family! That is the brilliance of it, it will always be cherished no matter how it turns out. And mine IS NOT perfect…

1. Get a scrap piece of wood and a circular object

If your wondering why this piece of wood looks weird, it is a cut down drawer from the dresser upcycle project I did. You can read about some other DIYs I did with these scrap pieces: rustic tray and outdoor decoration.

I went with my container of spackling but duck tape might be more accessible for you. Trace around it. Grab a pop tab or another smaller circular shape and trace around that. I saw someone do a trick with a string on a pencil – hold the string in the center and rotate the pencil around. Seems easier than looking around your garage for a shape to draw around….

2. Use a jigsaw and cut out the ornament

This was harder than I thought it would be. I may not have used the jigsaw correctly because apparently it IS the right tool, just wrong user 🙂 IF you are not confident in the jigsaw and a perfectionist, an ornament shape that has straight lines would work better. Then you would just use a miter saw.

3. Use a sander and sanding block

Sand, sand, and sand some more. Actually it does go fairly quick. I think I used 100 – 150 grit paper. Only reason was because I had it on hand. The sanding block finished off any rough edges and helped make a circular pattern. A trick I did end up doing with the palm sander was to hold the sander still and rotate the ornament on it. That worked better than holding the ornament still and rotating the sander.

4. Paint the ornament white

Painted Ornament2

Apply 2 coats of white paint on both sides of the ornament.

5. Apply your Picture

Copy or print your picture on plain paper. Depending on the distance of the people in the picture you may need to reduce the size of the reprint. Place the ornament on the paper and trace around it. Cut out the circle. Keep adjusting the size until the picture fits the way you like it.

6. Apply Mod Podge

Apply Mod Podge, set picture, apply mod podge another 2 times. Press on the picture to remove wrinkles. It will dry clear but make sure the ornaments are dry between coats. Past projects I have applied the additional coat too soon and it can cause the ink to smear.

7. Apply Wording on the backside of the ornament

I have horrible handwriting so I got my Cricut out! You can read about my other cricut DIY here. Type in your Cricut Design Space your saying using the size and font desired. This took me FOREVER. I believe the main reason is my fine point blade needs replaced. Needless to say I tried many different fonts and sizes to come up with one that printed off right. Once it is printed, you weed it, apply transfer tape and then apply to the ornament. The dates did not print off correctly and I was tired of this step so I got a black marker to apply the dashes.

8. Spray with Gloss

Mod Podge Gloss SPray

So this actually smells like spray paint so do not do INSIDE your house like I did. I am not sure if you ‘need’ to do this but I thought it couldn’t hurt and will help keep the lettering on. Especially if it gets stored for 10- 11 months out of the year.

9. Drill a hole into the wood ornament and attach String

Get your drill out and get a bit that is larger than the thread or ribbon you want to use. I had this twine on hand so used that.

10. Attach the photo ornament to your Tree

“Always on my mind, forever in my heart.” No truer saying. We miss you Jennifer and Troy SO MUCH and you will be loved forever. Side note, seeing this makes me happy and sad at the same time. I am looking into loved ones smiles so that makes me happy and sad because it is the only way I get to see those smiles now.


There were a lot of tools used for this project.

Ornament Hop

I started this project as apart of a ornament blog hop. Please check out my friends’ ornaments too!!!

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