DIY Photo Collage Letters


 

~Spell Out Your Memories~

 

Sometimes memories are best kept to ourself, but there are times when they should be shared. They should be shared and enjoyed by everyone. That was on my mind as my daughter’s graduation neared. The idea of not only creating a new memory for her with a graduation party, but also giving her and the guests some special memories to enjoy.  That’s when this fabulous idea for party decor that is also an amazing keepsake came in…

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Last week I shared her Twilight graduation party and one of the details that everyone loved was the DIY photo collage letters that spelled her name. When I began thinking about creating a photo memory collage or board to share, I knew that I wanted something different. I wanted something that would stand out and fit well with the party. That’s when I decided to not only use large wooden letters to spell her name, but I decorated them with black and white photos of my daughter with her friends and family.

DIY Photo Collage Letters from houseontheway.com. These letters make a great gift or photo board for a party. #diy #craft #photoboard #collage

Today I thought I’d share a step-by-step tutorial on making this great keepsake.

Supplies: Wooden Letters, Mod Podge, Paintbrush, Scissors and copies of Photos

 

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Before you begin, you can paint the edges and the back of the letters to give them a finished look. For my daughter’s letters, I used a black sharpie on the edges.

Choose your photos that you want to use for your photo collage and make copies of them. I love the look of the black and white photos, but you could also do color. I recommend not “printing” your photos directly from your computer, but rather make real copies with a copier. In my experience, when I printed the photos directly from the computer, the ink turned green after being decoupaged. You want to use a laser printer, not an inkjet printer.

Your photos will need to be shaped and trimmed to fit the letters. Once you have determined where you want to place the photos, you can easily create a crease in the paper to match the shape of the letter. Use the crease to trim your photo.

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Before applying any Mod Podge, decide the placement of the photos, including which photo overlaps the other, etc. Once you have that figured out, you will be able to work in steps with the Mod Podge. It’s almost like working a puzzle.

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You will need to know which photo needs to be attached first…second…etc.  Apply enough Mod Podge to the letter, for one photo. Work with one photo at a time.

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After applying the Mod Podge to the letter, add the photo. Smooth the photo completely and use a straight edge if needed to work out any air bubbles.

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Continue to add photos, paying attention to placement and overlap.

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When all of your photos are attached, let them dry for about 30 minutes and then you can brush Mod Podge over all the photos.

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They can be used as a decoration at a party or celebration and as room decor later.

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It’s a fun twist to the typical photo collage. At my daughter’s party, the photo collage letters became a focal point of the decor and the guests loved looking at the photos. It’s a great way to add a unique, personal touch to your celebration.

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By creating these photo collage letters for my daughter, I gave my daughter a keepsake to remember her graduation and the amazing party that we had to celebrate the once in a lifetime accomplishment. They represent the path that she took to get to that point in her life and everything and everyone that she holds dear.

Want more party ideas…

 

6 Party Decor Ideas

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Comments

  1. Jean says

    These are fantastic! I cannot wait to try them! I have one random question . . . My printer is a photocopier too one of those all-in-one things, do you think I’d have a problem with the ink?

    • says

      Mine is that way as well. Just use the “copier” not the “printer”. I made copies of actual photos. If you print photos from the computer, just then make a copy of the print-out. It has to be dry ink and not wet ink. If you use wet ink, the Mod Podge will turn the ink green. Hope that helps.
      Leslie

  2. alicia says

    Okay…so I know you just answered the question but I am trying to understand…I too have an all in one printer…how is the copier function different than the printer function? This is super cute and I would love to do this for our living room with our family name 🙂

    • says

      I’ll be honest Alicia, I don’t know why or how they’re different, but they are…lol! The “printer” apparently uses wet ink and the “copier” uses dry ink. You can print a pic from the internet or your computer, but just take that printout and make a copy of it. Hope that helps. Have a great weekend.

  3. SooJee says

    I love this idea. I want to do it for my friend for Christmas with pics of her kids! Just to make sure the copies of the photos are just in regular paper right? Not the photo paper?

    • says

      When I print directly from my computer, that is wet ink. It has to be dry ink, which is what my copier produces. I printed my pictures then made copies from those printed images. Hope that helps.

  4. Jordan says

    I love this idea and am actually going to make some letters for my sister and her boyfriend for Christmas…My only problem is I don’t have access to a copier to print off my photos directly. But something I thought about is if I printed the pages from my regular printer and then made copies of those photos at FedEx or somewhere with access to a copy machine…Do you think this would work and make the ink not turn green? Let me know what you think! I want to get started on this ASAP,

  5. Lynda says

    Hi, these look great. Would you be able to use actual photos instead of copies of photos? Never tried anything like this before but would love to give it a try x

  6. Cara says

    I was wondering would this work on thick cardboard instead of wood letters? I love this idea I want to do it for my son who graduates this yr. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Nichole says

    Were your photos generally 4×6 or smaller? Approximately how many did you need to create the letters? Thanks!

    • says

      Nichole,
      Yes, all my photos were either 3×5 or 4×6 and I did trim them down. I used around 14 photos per letter.
      Hope that helps.
      Leslie

  8. Anita Leonard says

    Great tutorial! Had almost completed my first letter and referred to your site for the final strips. Love it.

  9. Tyisha says

    Hi! I have one quick question… where did you get the wood letters from and what are the dimensions?

    • says

      I got the letters from Hobby Lobby, but you can probably find them at Michaels or other craft stores too. Mine are 18″ tall. Any other questions, just ask!
      Leslie

  10. Chelsea Coonse says

    I love this idea! But, I have a quick question….What mod podge did you use? Also, did you have to use any sealer?

    • says

      I’ll be honest, I don’t know of a way to fix that, but I’ve never tried. You might want to check the ModPodge Rocks website. They may have some ideas. Good Luck!

  11. Jennie says

    I just wanted to say I love the idea…my children’s father passed away a few months ago and I want to make them a collage for Christmas…this is perfect…I am going to get the letters for DAD and make them each their own with pics of their dad and them…also suggestion on the “wet” ink…maybe let the pictures dry for a few days first…just a thought…

    • says

      I am 99% sure you can use actual photos, but I’ll be honest when I say that I’ve never tried it. I would suggest googling or checking out modpodgerocks.com to see what other people’s experiences have been when using actual photos. Happy Holidays!
      Leslie

  12. Haley says

    im wanting to do this but my printer is ink-jet and I don’t want to go pay money to get laser ones done. Can I just copy photos from my printer? And do I copy them onto photo paper or regular paper? Thanks!

    • says

      Haley,
      If you’re printing photos from your computer, I would print the pictures and then make a copy of that printout. Or if you have a hard copy of the photo, just make a copy of it. Try it out on a practice copy and make sure it doesn’t turn green before doing the project on your letters. Regular page is fine.
      Hope that answers your question.
      Leslie

    • says

      I can’t say for sure, but I think the mod podge would be sufficient sealer. There may be a mod podge specifically for use in moist areas. I know they make some for use outdoors. Hope that helps.
      Leslie

  13. Leslie says

    Hi Leslie, just want to send you a giant KUDOS for answering everyone’s questions!!! In laughing because my husband and I are arguing about using the printer vs copier (we have the all in one) He’s like “it’s the same thing!!” Men…. 😉

  14. Olivia says

    I am currently working on making these for a senior gift. Do you have to use copied pictures or can you use the actual photo?

    • says

      Although I’ve never used actual photos, from my understanding, you can use them. I just don’t have first hand experience with them.

    • polly says

      I was thinking the same thing-I think I’ll make letter collages for my 2 college kids for the holidays this yr- what a great, affordable gift! they can re-do them during college and add updated photos from college if they want to.thanks!!

    • says

      Hey Emily. I’m not sure I can explain it any better than in the post. Check it out again and if you still have a particular question about a step, let me know.

  15. Deborah says

    I love this. Going to use for my son graduation open house. Did you use the mod podge on the back of pictures to stick to wood and on the front.

  16. Julie says

    Love this idea!
    Quick question-I really like the black and white look. I was just going to have some pictures printed at the store then I was going
    to just photo copy them In black and white. Do you think it matters
    what color the original
    picture is before I make a copy?
    Sorry if this is a silly, confusing question.

  17. Sydney says

    I can’t find the instructions anywhere, but I am extremely interesting in learning them. I want to do these with mine and my boyfriends initials with some pics of us.

    • says

      I really don’t know why you can’t see them. I’ve just made some changes to the blog, so let me know if you still can’t see them.

  18. says

    I’m really interested in this but I cannot find the instructions anywhere. If you could please help, it’d be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  19. Jessica says

    I’m not seeing any instructions on here or the link posted. Just the picture and the blurb about it. No material list or steps to do it.

    • says

      I used basic 4 x 6 pics, but I trimmed them to fit. How many you use depends on how you place them on the letter and how big they are (whether you trim them down a lot or not)

  20. Shannon says

    This is an awesome idea! Your steps are really simple and easy to follow and I’m definitely going to make one for my dorm room! Thanks so much!

  21. Sheila says

    Thank you for sharing this cool dyi Leslie. I’m loving it, can’t wait to make this. Seems very simple to do, we shall see! 🙂

  22. Emily says

    So I’m making one of these for my best friends birthday with pictures of the both of us together. Anyway, I was wondering if I could use real pictures or if they needed to be printed out. And if they need to be printed could I just plug my phone into the computer and print out the pictures or would I have to print them out and then make copies of them? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Emily,
      I’ve never used actual pictures, but my understanding is that you can use them. The only problem that I have found with using pictures printed from my computer is that the ink can turn green. It has to do with the printer having wet or dry ink. When I use actual copies of pictures, it works out well. Hope that helps!
      Leslie

  23. Stefanie says

    This looks awesome, and I definitely want to try. Question though – are you covering each photo with modge podge as you go, or only the parts that are overlapping?

    I understand once you’re finishing, all photos are covered with mod podge, but it looks like they’re being covered as you work along as well?

    Thank you!

    • says

      To be honest, I sort of do both…covering as I go and/or when I’m finished adding them. Some suggest letting them dry before covering them with mod podge. I have found that sometimes it’s best to wait and sometimes it’s best to cover them as soon as they’re added. I think it depends on the material that the photos are added to. Either way seems ok.

  24. Polly says

    Love the idea actually tried it, and it looks super cool but my modge pog dried white and now I can barely see the pictures. Why did it do that? I used photo modge poge shouldn’t it dry clear? It there a way to fix it with out ruining it?

  25. says

    I am in LOVE with this project! Thinking about making these for my mom for Christmas. I’ve been searching for a good tutorial and you’ve inspired me! Go- girl 🙂 Where did you get your letters from?

  26. Jada says

    Is this using the photo transfer mod podge? Or regular ? I watched a tutorial with the photo transfer formula and they applied it to the front of the photo and it transferred over after 24hrs.. This looks much easier! Any thoughts on the benefits of one or the other ? I’m doing photos onto wooden numbers for a basketball senior night gift.

  27. Greenpie says

    Leslie, its so hard for me to find mod podge in my country.. Do you think it’ll work if i use white adhesive?

  28. Nina says

    Wow. Leslie you are a star. Not only do you put your hard work up for everyone to see, you teach them how to do it and make beautiful things, and on top of that, you are answering everyone’s questions and being so polite and patient.
    If everyone could just look for the answer of your question before asking it, you will most definitely find the answer… Probably 65 times.
    Haha.
    But you could appreciate her time and effort and show it by just taking the time to read through the actual instructions and then see if your question has already been asked. It will help her out because it’s frustrating to see people type a question that has been answered ten times two inches up the screen ..

  29. Liz says

    This may be a silly question, but does this work better on computer paper or photo paper? Last time I used mod podge with pictures I had from CVS the ink ran everywhere. This could have been an error on my part though!

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