DIY Photo Transfer Ornaments

I know, I know. Halloween was only 11 days ago and Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet. But I can’t help it. I am already thinking about Christmas. It is the most wonderful time of the year after all.

While we do respect the turkey and don’t decorate until the day after Thanksgiving, or other-wise known as Black Friday, I am already crafting away. I told you I was bit by the crafting bug!

Every year, I get an ornament printed with the kids’ pictures on it and the year. This usually ends being a last minute thing and costing me a lot of money. This year, I am planning ahead and I’m trying my own hand out making our own photo ornaments.

Instead of experimenting with the boys’ pictures, I chose some of my favorite abstract photographs that I have taken in the past.

diy photo transfer on ceramic

After you have chosen your images, convert them to black and white. You will want to bump up the shadows and highlights so you have definite light and dark areas.

diy photo transfer on ceramic-1

Now, you’re ready to go!

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornament

diy photo transfer ornament

You would think that this is gonna be hard. But I’m here to share some of the tricks with you to make this simple and easy! You’ll be making photo ornaments for everyone on your list from grandparents to long distance friends.

You will need:

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-6

First things first. Go ahead and remove all the labels off the sheet. You don’t need them! You want the backing.

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-1

If your labels are perforated, make sure you tape them on the back so that your backing doesn’t fall apart when feeding it into the printer.

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-2

Next, spray a thin coat of the Krylon clear sealer on the backing paper. Make sure you allow time to dry. Using a small sponge, apply a thin layer of Elmer’s glue to the paper. Again, allow time to fully dry. It’s really important that you let ever step dry completely.

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-3

Now print your photo out on the side with the dried glue. Remember, when printing your photo will be backwards so make sure you flip it if need be. Also, be careful not to smear when you pick it up once it’s printed out. Let the ink dry before cutting out your image to the size of the ornament.

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-4

Once the ink is dry, apply a thin coat of gel medium to your ornament with the sponge. Place your photo onto the gel medium while it is still wet and press the photo firmly onto the ornament. Smooth out the papers to remove any air bubbles.

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-5

Allow the gel medium to dry for at least an hour (I let mine dry overnight). Once dry, you can carefully peel away your paper…

DIY Photo Tranfer Ornaments-7

…leaving your photo on the ornament!

To seal the photo, spray a thin coat of acrylic spray over the ornament. It took me a few tries to get the process down but now that I know the little tricks (like making sure every step dries completely), I am flying through making more ornaments. You can also use this process on wood or canvas. The possibilities are endless!

Looking for more handmade ideas for the holidays? Check out these ideas!


Similar Posts


  1. Pingback: DIY Kid-Designed Ornaments - Mamma Bear's World

Comments are closed.