Where is your favorite place to shop? Who is your favorite hair stylist? What brands are you loyal to? Why?
Among the obvious answers (they do a good job) is the fact that they make your experience personal and leave you saying “Wow!”
Here is an inexpensive, easy diy project that will wow your clients. These gorgeous photo block ornaments are a great way to personalize your client’s experience with you and create brand loyalty. You can wow them by surprising them with a little something extra that they were not expecting. A Christmas ornament handmade by you!
Here is a list of what you need all of which can be found at a craft store like Michaels:
- 2 in wood block
- Mod Podge (matte)
- foam brush
- small eye screw
- hemp twine
- distress ink pad (optional)
- fine sand paper (I like 150 grit, but finer will work too)
- matching scrapbook paper (optional)
- photos laser printed on semi-gloss poster type paper (not an actual photo and doesn’t need to be card stock thickness). I just went to my local print shop. I’ve made a FREE template for you to use; just put your email in here, and you’ll get a link to download them!
First use the template to create your jpg or pdf of your photos and have them printed. I suggest printing 2 copies of each incase you mess up. They are inexpensive and you can print multiple copies on each page. The templates are completely customizable and easy to use. Here is a demo video below with instructions.
(Video doesn’t work? Try this link)
Next, get your supplies.
Now the fun begins!!!
Cut your images apart, the template is pre-formatted to fit the wood block. Using your foam brush paint a layer of Mod Podge on one side of your wood block and apply the picture.
Its doesn’t have to fit perfectly and you can trim any excess off.
Repeat with all sides in the order you’d like. Make sure to smooth out all the bubbles 🙂
Mod Podge your message to the bottom of the block: First Christmas, Hannah 2014 or your own clever message. If you are super great at hand writing, you can write on a piece of matching scrapbook paper. If not, not worries there is a printable message in the template 🙂 Then add a piece of scrapbook paper to the top or the included printable paper included in the template.
All sides should be covered now. It should look about like this when you’re done. Let dry for about 15-20 minutes.
Now is my favorite part. Distressing. You can do it as much or as little as you’d like. With the sandpaper, sand all the edges so they are smooth and warn looking; corners are slightly rounded. The rough edges of the pictures should be smooth and the wood should be showing on the edges. If any of the corners start to come up just re-glue with the mod podge. You can then go over the edges again with a finer sandpaper if you’d like (220 grit).
You can stop here or continue with the distressing ink pad. I chose the ‘Walnut Stain’ but honestly I wished I’d gone with a lighter color like ‘Vintage Photo’. Having both is not a bad idea either. You can just swipe the ink pad along the bare wood edges and over the photo, but I prefer using my finger or a sponge dabbed on the ink pad.
Once you’re done distressing, get as creative as you’d like by adding things like these stick on letters (or hand lettering with a metallic pen if you’re good) to represent the child’s name.
Last we add the hook and hanger. On the top of the block, find the center by drawing a line from each corner with a string to create and X.
Now just one last coat of Mod Podge to seal and protect and your ‘wow factor’ is complete! Let dry for 15-20 minutes.
We can’t forget presentation. Your clients are already going to be blown away by this gorgeous hand made ornament with their child’s picture all over it, but to seal the deal lets create a beautiful package. If you already have signature packaging and want to use it, that’s perfect. But if you need and idea that is classic and simple here’s one… Think ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’!
Here is what you’ll need, all found at the craft store:
- 3x3x2 inch box
- hemp twine
- gift tag
- gold, silver, bronze or white pen
- stamp (optional)
- grassy filler
I used the white paint pen and a stamp to embellish my tag because my hand writing is no good. But I did sign the back with a personal handwritten message 🙂
Thats it! Can you imagine what people will say when they see that one-of-a-kind ornament hanging on the tree? Can you imagine how special your client is going to feel?!
Now go for it and post a photo of what you created on The Photographers Element facebook page! We’d all love to see!
Children’s Photography Instructor for The Photographers Element
A killer course coming your way this March! Be the first to know when enrollment opens for All The Cool Kids!
P.S. If you are feeling extra creative here are a few other ideas for ornaments 🙂
Married and living in Roseburg, Oregon with 4 kids of her own, she is one of the most real, honest and down to earth people you will ever meet. It’s been said that Jenny has an uncanny ability to elicit great expressions out of any kid. She believes there isn’t a child out there that she couldn’t get a great photograph of. Her secret?? Patience. Determination. And an understanding and love of children.
Jenny’s confidence and passion spills out from her ‘Can Do’ spirit. She doesn’t believe being a successful photographer is a matter of what gifts you were born with, but how hard you’ve worked and how many failures you’ve overcome. Being completely self-taught has presented her with many challenges, but also an understanding for the needs and doubts among aspiring photographers. She never claims to be the absolute expert, but is willing to do whatever it takes to figure it out, and to help those around her succeed.
Jenny has earned recognition as an award winning photographer by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers, Shoot and Share Magazine and various other blogs and websites. When she’s not being a mama or photographing clients, you can find her filling her time with a variety of creative avenues like: refinishing furniture, redesigning/remodeling her home or cutting a friend’s hair.
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