This is a gift that is sure to be appreciated by the recipient. I recently made this plaque for my Mom’s birthday. My Mom knows that she is probably going to get some kind of handmade gift from her starving artist daughter for just about every occasion and she is fine with it. I try to make the gifts useful and/or memorable. Believe me, there are a lot of weird and random craft ideas out there that I would never give as a gift. If it doesn’t pass the “Would I Like To Receive This?” test, it doesn’t make the cut. This project passes with flying colors.

It’s a very easy project, unfortunately you will most likely have to make a trip to the craft store before you start. Unless you are an artist, it is doubtful you have gel medium on hand, and nobody I’ve ever met keeps a supply of blank wooden plaques hanging around. But if you are anything like me, you are at the craft store at least once a week (who am I kidding, I am there almost daily). Also you will need a laser print or photo copy of the photo you are transferring. Ink jet prints will not work. When you print your image, do not forget to reverse it so that when it’s transferred onto the plaque it’s the right way. This is especially important if your image includes lettering, or is a photo of your family home which you are giving to your mother as a gift.


Paint the printed image and the plaque with a nice, even coating of gel medium. Carefully lay the image face down on the plaque, making sure there are no bubbles, and smooth it down. Try not to press the paper over the edge of the plaque, and wipe up any gel medium that oozes over the edge. That stuff dries as hard as plastic and is a real pain to get off without marring the edges of your image. Let it completely.

Once it’s dry, soak the paper well with water and let it set for a minute, then rub the paper off with your fingers, rinsing occasionally. It is so awesome, just like magic the image will be transferred onto the wood. After it dries, you will notice that there is still some paper left and you’ll have to wet it and rub it some more. This will happen a few times before all of the paper is gone. Tiny bits of the image will get rubbed off too, but it just adds to the home made coolness of the plaque.

Ta-da! Another fabulous handmade gift that will be sure to warm the heart of the lucky receiver.