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DIY Photo Mat Word Art

Hello again, crafty friends! Steph at The Silly Pearl here with a project for your home. Today I'm sharing how I commemorated my recent trip to Kauai with my DIY Photo Mat Word Art. All I did was take a photo from our trip, a picture frame, and some poster board and I have a new and special piece of art to remember our vacation. Here's how I put it together.



Supplies
  • Picture frame (size will depend on your word; mine holds an 8x20-inch photo inside)
  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Printed out letters
  • Cutting mat, pencil, and craft knife OR electronic cutting machine
  • Photo to fit your frame (done professionally or printed at home)
  • Glue stick

Directions
Print out your letters in a blocky font (I used Impact) and cut them out. Then, place them inside your picture frame to see if they'll fit properly. Adjust the size until you're happy with how it looks. Then, use the letters to trace onto a piece of poster board cut to fit inside your frame, and carefully cut out the letters with a craft knife. Save the "inside" pieces, such as the triangle inside the letter A.

If you have an electronic cutting machine like the Cricut Explore, you can use that as well. I used my long cutting mat, and my dial was set to Poster Board+. Carefully peel off the outside of the letters, and once again, keep the "inside" pieces of the letters that have one.

Pop it in your frame just to make sure it works. Yay!

Now for your photo. You can have a photo place print out a photo in the size you need, or you can do it at home by piecing two photos together, if needed. I started out with this photo that we took from our boat.

I need a short and wide photo, so I'm going to crop out the middle part, capturing the dolphins plus some of the land and sky up top. But I need to print it on two pieces of paper so first I cropped out the left side. I used picmonkey.com to edit my photos.

Then I cropped out the right side, overlapping a little bit in the center. I made sure both of my photos are the same size.


I printed out the photos, and placed them on another piece of poster board, cut to the same size as the previous one.

Now to join the two photos. You can see the two identical splashes in the center below, where I overlapped the two photos to join them (I used the land at the top of the photo as a guide as well). I also wanted to hide the seam of the photos behind the mat, as opposed to showing through the letters.

Here are the two photos joined. I had to scoot up the right photo just slightly to line up the land, but overall, it looks good!

I layered the wording on top, and woohoo, by some miracle, the space between the first A and the U hide the seam of the two photos on my first try! Wow that usually doesn't happen! If the seam did show, however, I would just play with it a bit, maybe even going back to my editing software and trying again. To save ink, you can print out your photos in black and white to try it out first. Next, I used glue stick to attach the photos to the second piece of poster board. Then I applied a little bit more glue stick to the back of the wording, and stuck it to the photo. If you want to preserve the photo, however, you can skip this part.

Finally, I took the two little triangle pieces from my two letter A's and glued them to the photo. Again, you can always skip this part. You can still tell they are A's even without the inside pieces.


Pop everything into the frame (which I painted a seafoamy color). All done!

Our whale watching trip was an adventurous one, especially for my girls! We rode a fast and bouncy raft along the coast and they were so brave, and they were rewarded with the sighting of lots of sea animals, including this dolphin family. I'm so glad to be able to remind them of such a fun day, and their bravery, with this DIY Photo Word Art for our home.

There are lots of ways you can use this technique to create your own DIY Photo Word Art. You could use a square frame and one letter or number (an initial or age, for example), and a patchwork of photos from that year or every school year. If you have a shorter word (LOVE, for example), you could again use a square frame, but stack the letters (LO on top, VE on the bottom) and put pretty scrapbook paper behind it. You could also make one for each of your kiddos with their names with a long frame.

Thanks Kim, as always, for having me on the blog today! - Steph at The Silly Pearl

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