Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mod Podge Photo Star Collage Tutorial

A dear friend of mine made me a photo star a few years ago for Christmas and I LOVED it!  It was a new, unique way to chronicle our first year with out little man and I really treasure it.  But now that we have our little girl I wanted to make a second star to include her so through a little trial and a few errors I figured out out how to make my own and wanted to share it with you.
To get started you need Mod Podge, 10 photos (I printed mine with a sepia tone to match the brown metal star but that's totally up to you) 2 sheets of scrapbook paper and a star (any size will work, but the bigger the star the more of your photo will show).
First you need to make a template for the sides of the star.  I used a piece of heavy card stock and traced the full side and then trimmed that down by 1/4 to 1/2 an inch on all sides.  The size will depend on the star you choose, by the way I found mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond, for cheap but they are pretty popular so most decorating sections have them.
I decided to use two different patterns of scrapbook paper, but that is totally up to you. You could pick bright colors and use colored photos, or black and white and black and white photos. I think coordinating the paper and photo color looks the best.  Because the sides are the same dimensions you only need one template, just remember to cut five with the template one one side, then flip it over and cut five more.. other wise your pattern will be on the underside of the paper of half of the pieces. That's what I did, cut ten all going the same way... oops!  So I ended up having to scramble to get more cut out of the little paper I had left, which if you loo close is why the pattern don't alternate. Oh well I figured out a fix and it in my eyes it still works.  To make life easiest, use a rotary cutter, a rule and a cutting mat, but if you don't have those good 'ol scissors work just fine. 
Next, use a small foam brush to apply a thin even layer of Mod Podge to the entire back of the paper pieces and press them down centered onto the sides of the star making sure to smooth out any lumps and bumps as best you can while the glue is wet. Once things are nice and flat and in place give the top of the entire star, including the tops of the paper pieces a coat of Mod Podge.
While that is setting use your same paper template to cut your photos.  The point of the template is going to be the widest area so I tried to use that as my guide to get the most picture possible on the star, trimming away any excess.
Once all the photos are cut and you are happy with the layout, put a layer of Mod Podge on the back of the photos and one at a time place them on the designated space on the star.
Finally give the entire star, photos and all another two full coats of Mod Podge.  This step looks scary like you are destroying your photos, but just keep the layers even and thin and have a little faith because it all dries clear and looks flawless.
Once it's dry hang it on the wall, stand back and admire your amazing work!
Mod Podge is some crazy stuff, I admit it is hard not to panic when you see how gloppy things look while it's drying but be patient and the end result will WOW you.  If this "Queen of Impatience" can do it you can too!
I hung the updated family star next to the original one and really love how it turned out.
This is my big collage wall in progress.... I have several more projects planned for this space so stay tuned!
But in the meantime, this is a quick, easy and inexpensive project that would be a great gift for the grandparents or a new couple covered with wedding pictures.  Way more fun and unique than just a frame!
So instead of letting them hide away on you computer, get all those great family photos out for everyone to see.


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