Decorating for the holidays is one of the best parts of the season—it creates the perfect environment for wonderful memories with the people you love. One of the best ways to showcase those memories is to incorporate photos into your holiday décor. This personalized block ornament is an excellent example. It can be made with pictures printed off of your home computer, making it extremely easy to customize. And since you have control over the color scheme, each ornament can be made to suit your home's existing decor. For a lovely family tradition, consider making a new batch of ornaments each year. With proper adult supervision, you can even get the kids involved. These ornaments also double as charming (and inexpensive) gifts for loved ones.
Step 1 - Gather the Necessary Supplies
Before starting this project, crop and print four photos. You can do this with a normal printer at home on regular white paper. It's up to you if you want to print them in grayscale or color. If you're not sure how much to crop the photos on your computer, leave ample space around the subject or focal point. This way, you can just crop the photos once they are printed. Opt for a small, lightweight wooden cube for best results. The block used in this project measured 1.97 inches wide on each side. Choose an acrylic paint that best suits the theme of your tree or existing decorations. The ribbon can be made of any material; silk, grosgrain, and velvet are all wonderful holiday options. You can even use hemp or leather for a rustic touch.
Step 2 - Paint the Block
Protect your work surface with a scrap piece of paper, newspaper, or old magazine pages. Apply an even layer of acrylic paint to the top and all four sides. Add more layers of paint, if necessary. Once the paint is dry to the touch, flip the cube over and paint the bottom. Wash the brush thoroughly and set aside to dry. You will need a clean brush ready for a later step. Alternatively, you can just use a different brush when the time comes.
Step 3 - Cut the Photos
Trim the pictures into squares. Each one should be slightly smaller than one side of the cube. While a paper cutter comes in handy for this step, you can use also use a pair of scissors. However, a paper cutter will offer the straightest cut.
Step 4 - Adhere the Photos to the Cube
Apply a thin layer of clear glaze or decoupage to one side of the cube. Place a paper photo on the surface. Using a clean, dry brush, apply another helping of clear glaze on top of the picture. This will help the paper stick to the cube, creating a clear protective coating.
Step 5 - Add the Remaining Pictures
Repeat on the next three sides. Leave to dry completely.
Step 6 - Cut the Ribbon
Cut a strand of ribbon measuring 6-8 inches long. The longer the ribbon, the farther the ornament will hang from the tree.
Step 7 - Glue the Ends
Form the ribbon into a loop. The ends should overlap slightly. Using the hot glue gun, adhere them together. A small dot is all you need.
Step 8 - Glue to the Cube
With another dot of hot glue, attach the ribbon loop to the top of the cube. Make sure it is in the center (or near it). Double-check that the ribbon is secure before hanging on the tree.
Step 9 - Add Optional Extras and Embellishments
Your new ornament is ready to go! If you'd like, take things up a notch and add extra details using paint, permanent markers, or gems. This part can be exceptionally fun for kids.