How to Put Pictures on Wooden Placemats

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to Put Pictures on Wooden Placemats
Photos for transfer. (piles de photos 1 image by thierry planche from

Photos can be permanently mounted on wood surfaces easily. To highlight a special dinner party, photographs can be transferred to wooden placemats. These will become conversation starters as your guests look for images of themselves on their setting or their neighbour's place setting. These images can be shared and compared and the stories around the images will heighten the memories of the event and the pleasure of those attending.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wood placemats
  • Photographs
  • Plastic gloves
  • Squeeze caulk
  • Plastic spoon
  • Water
  • Small tub

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  1. 1

    Select the wood placemats you want to use for your project.

  2. 2

    Assemble a collection of photographs. One or more can be transferred to each wood placemat. It is important to use standard photographs and to note that these should not be original photographs but copies.

  3. 3

    Choose the photos you wish to use.

  4. 4

    Put on a plastic glove. Squeeze caulk out of a squeezable tube. Kitchen and bath caulk is often available in a squeeze tube. Make a snakelike shape with the caulk.

  5. 5

    Spread the caulk using your plastic gloved fingers. Smooth out the caulk until you have a thin and even layer. Remove any clumps. Once you have an even coat of caulk, remove your glove.

  6. 6

    Turn your photograph over and position it on your wood placemat. Smooth it onto the wood from the centre out so that there are no creases. Use a large plastic spoon and rub (burnish) the photograph to the wood using a circular motion and pressure. Add as many photos as you like. Allow the caulk to dry 24 hours.

  7. 7

    Fill a small bowl with water and moisten the back of the photograph. Water, friction from your finger and motion will loosen the paper that was on the back side of the photograph until it will pill up and roll off. Add small amounts of water and rub gently until you can roll off the paper in small rolls. Clean the photo as much as you like.

Tips and warnings

  • After the placemat (photograph area) dries for 6 hours you can spray your piece with a spray finish. You can use any type of acrylic medium or caulk to release and glue the photo to the wood. You can also try this process with some photocopies for similar results.

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