How to make wooden picture plaques

Moving to college this year, I have had the opportunity to redecorate in a way that I never did at home. Also due to the fact that I am in college, I need to decorate on a budget! For people of all ages and incomes, decorating can be outrageously expensive! One of the greatest ways to decorate a room or home is with pictures of the people you love most. However, you hit a roadblock again because frames are so expensive. But there is a new and simple way to frame pictures that is becoming very popular. Wooden picture plaques are a great way to add zest to any room and can be done with very little money and time!


Here is what you will need:

  • 4×6 wooden plaques (They can be purchased at Michaels)
  • ModPodge
  • Amazing GOOP- Craft Arte (or any contact adhesive)
  • sponge brush
  • ribbon
  • 4×6 pictures
  • paint
  • sandpaper (If you have never used sandpaper, check out 5 Tips to Using Sandpaper.)

1. First, you need to paint your wooden plaques. I painted mine gray.

photo         photo

Let them dry completely before continuing to the next step.

2. I wanted a vintage or worn look to my wood so after I painted them I used some sandpaper to take away some of the paint. Here is what mine looked like after I used the sandpaper.


3. Now you are ready to glue the picture down. First, you need to apply a generous coat of ModPodge to the wood using a sponge brush. This is what mine looked like with the ModPodge.

photo   photo

Now go ahead and place your photo on the center of the plaque and apply another coat of ModPodge over the picture.


Apply ModPodge generously!

4. If you want to apply a second layer of ModPodge you can, but be sure that the first coat is COMPLETELY dry. Otherwise, the ModPodge will get clumpy. For even better results apply one coat ModPodge and one coat High Gloss Varnish.  Once again, make sure the ModPodge is totally dry before you apply the varnish.

This is the varnish I used. It will protect the paint from chipping and keep the color from fading.


*Make sure the ModPodge is completely dry before applying this.*

5. Now you are ready to attach the ribbon. Measure how you want your picture to hang so know how short/long to cut the ribbon. Mine were probably close to a foot long. Then, use Amazing Goop, or any strong adhesive, to glue the ribbon to the back on the plaques. Use a ruler to make sure you have the ribbon spaced out evenly on both sides.

photo     photo

6. Now just give them a couple hours to dry and then they are ready to go up on your walls!


If you want more picture plaque inspiration check out Stay at Home Who?

Show me what your finished picture plaques look like! I can’t wait to see them!

Happy Crafting!


4 thoughts on “How to make wooden picture plaques

  1. Picture frames are by far my favorite to decorate my room. The walls on my side of the dorm room are completely covered in them. And you’re totally right about picture frames getting expensive. The ones you’ve made here look great and I love them! I’ll definitely have to try this next time instead of buying frames!

  2. Carly — I love this idea! I have actually been looking for something just like this. Decorating on a budget is so incredibly difficult, and I check your blog regularly to give me ideas for gifts for other people and for decorating my own dorm. I hope you keep this up after this class is over, because your ideas are fantastic!
    I love the sweet pictures you used; having reminders of those who God has blessed you with is so uplifting and can brighten and warm up any area. 🙂 Great job!

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