photo blocks – finally!

Here’s a project I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I bought six of these blocks on clearance at Target probably two years ago now. I thought it would be cool to add my own photography and display them, because I liked the look of the lion and the other stone “gargoyle” (the only two designs they had), but they didn’t mean anything to me. So. I bought six of them (probably about $1.50 each) and they sat in a closet for two years. Until Monday! I decided to do this project over my lunch break in my office, so that’s proof that it doesn’t take very long!

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I first decided which of my photos I wanted to use, and honestly, this was probably the most paralyzing part of the project, and the reason behind how long it has taken me to actually do it. In the end, I just decided to pick some, then cropped and made them B&W in iPhoto. I sized them so they’d be squares, then printed them on regular printer paper (probably not the best long-term solution, but it will work for now, and it was cheap!) Sometimes it’s best to just do something instead of letting a project sit unfinished.* I laid them all out to make sure they completely overlapped the board they were paired with (some of the photos or boards were a little different in size).

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Then I squirted some Mod Podge on it (you could probably use another kind of glue if you prefer – I’m not the boss of you), and …

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…brushed that MP with a sponge brush, like so:

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I carefully placed the photo centered on the block (not shown), and then smoothed out wrinkles (again, carefully) with my handy dandy credit card:**

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(Also, I thought about Mod Podging the top of the photo, but I really like the matte look for now, so I’m leaving them as they are for the moment.) Then I wiped off any excess Mod Podge with a damp paper towel:

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My original plan was to use an Xacto knife (or similar – I’m not partial to brands here, unless it’s Cheerio’s – the fake ones don’t compare) and remove the overhanging bits (seen in the photo below), but the one section I tried proved really difficult, so I gave up on that and decided no one would really be examining them close enough to notice.


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Here they are drying on my window sill (at which point my boss came in and asked what it was all about…).

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And here they are on my wall (in plate hangers I got from a thrift store). Sure, they may not look as cool as the lion that was originally on the blocks, but these photos all mean something to me, so I smile when I walk down the hall and see them there!

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*This idea always reminds me of a quote from one of Gretchen Rubin’s books: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” (or something to that extent). Pursuit of the perfect can be paralyzing, and chances are if you just do something (hang that photo on the wall, spray paint those lamps, cut up that tablecloth, etc.) it will be better than nothing, and you’ll be glad you did.

**In the interest of full disclosure, some of the wrinkles didn’t get perfectly worked out, and I may have scratched a couple pictures, but it wasn’t worth it to me to reprint and retry, and honestly, you’ll probably never see them up close enough to notice!

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