Photo Sports Award Display

This post has been made possible by Shutterfly and Looksi Square.


One of my favorite things to do when I was younger was go with my mom to pick up our pictures after we’d sent a roll of film away to be developed!  Do you remember that?  I can vividly remember filling out the envelope, putting the film inside, sealing it, and dropping it in the box.  And then it was time to wait.  And wait.  And wait a little longer.  Finally, your photos came, and you’d look through to find that half of them were over or under exposed, you had major red-eye, or somebody blinked.  Then, you’d put them in a shoebox or maybe a scrapbook to look at another time.


Doesn’t that feel like forever ago?  I love digital cameras for lots of reasons!  It’s so great not to have to waste money developing bad photos, and wonderful to be able to instantly delete and retake a family photo until everyone is smiling with open eyes.  And, I love having the ability to crop, edit, and share my pictures wherever I want; here on the blog, via Facebook and other social media, or through email.  But there’s something to be said for the printed photo.  There’s just something about having a picture in your hand that you can frame or display physically instead of just on a screen.



Recently, I had the opportunity to order 100 4×6 prints from Shutterfly, and let me tell you, they were just gorgeous.  Because I had already been able to digitally edit them, they were clear, well-lit, sharp, and just plain fabulous…a far cry from the printed photos of my childhood and teenage years!  My husband and I were both really impressed with the high quality of the images and asked ourselves why we don’t order prints more often.  I ordered multiple copies of some of my favorite images from the past year so that I could give them to my parents and in-laws as well as some older family members who don’t have or use computers.  My grandmother was thrilled to have a good photo of LC smiling that she could frame, and my husband’s grandmother absolutely loved this one of LC kissing his little cousin.



The photo I ordered the most copies of was one of Little Crafter proudly showing off his brand-new karate belt.  He worked eight months to earn it, and couldn’t be more excited.  I knew he would want to give one to everyone he knows, but I also wanted to do something really special for him and display it in a way that was more exciting than just a frame.


Here is what I came up with to help him show off his karate accomplishments…and how you can make something similar with a photo print!



– wooden sign
– photo print
– Mod Podge
– sponge brush
– acrylic paint
– ruler
– hooks and screws
– screwdriver
– adhesive vinyl and cutting machine {optional}

I started this project by painting a wooden sign with blue acrylic paint {his favorite color}.  I let it dry completely, then painted a very thin layer of Mod Podge on the back of the photo.  I measured to make sure I had it straight as well as centered width-wise, then firmly pressed it in place.  After letting it dry for about ten minutes, I gave the entire thing a coat of Mod Podge using vertical strokes, sealing the photo onto the wood.  Then, I went back and gave it a second coat, using horizontal brush strokes.

I have made projects before using this same technique and photos that I printed myself on my inkjet printer, but every time, the ink has started to smear when I add the Mod Podge, no matter how dry I let it get before attempting to seal it.  Not this time!  The photo still looks clear and gorgeous; no smearing, running, or other issues at all!

The next step was adding hooks that Little Crafter could use for hanging the award medals he’s earned for self-discipline and reading.  I made hubby do this part, actually.  He measured and spaced the hooks, then used a power screwdriver to attach them firmly.  I don’t play with power tools.


That was all I had planned to do, but when it was done, I felt like it looked empty and still needed a little something.  So, I relied on “Cammie,” my beloved Silhouette Cameo to cut out some words from white adhesive vinyl.  At the karate school LC attends, the 4-6 year olds are referred to as “Little Dragons,” so that’s what I chose.  I adhered the letters with transfer tape, and it was just the right finishing touch!



I finished this project while Little Crafter was spending the day with his grandparents and surprised him with it when he came home.  The look on his face was absolutely priceless.  He loves looking at it and showing it to everyone, along with his medals, whenever he gets the chance!



Looksi and Shutterfly have invited me to participate in a creative brand collaboration.  I have been provided with product compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own.

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  1. I remember before digital cameras too! You never knew what was going to come back in that envelope. But it’s fun to see how your edited pictures look printed out too. Great project!

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