Posterized Wood Plaque Tutorial

So, I had to do this with my new products from DecoArt.
Posterized Wood Plaque Tutorial
It’s totally inspired by a few other’s tutorials put together along with my own, so there will be some links to follow because I want to give proper credit to where I learned some of these things from. This all began when I was thinking of a birthday present for my mom. Now I think I know what I’m doing for Christmas presents this year! See the end of the post for the other two I did.
Now, I by no means am an “artist.” This is a sewer/crocheter having fun with new ideas and concepts. SO, if I, with no experience in this stuff whatsoever can do it, you probably can to :)
What you need (what I list is exactly what I used; some things can be substituted or even not used at all. Just have fun and make it your own :)
-Wood plaque
-DecoArt Modeling Paste (available online or find a store) or texture of choice
-Acrylic Paints (your choice. I think I used five colors).
-Wood Stain
-Gel Medium (I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish from Michael’s, but after research it seems the one recommended by Ashley is one of the best. But, they all seem to be fickle sometimes….)
-Mod Podge (or a top clear sealant; you could use the gel medium too)
-Texture Tool with straight edge (or use a playing card; old credit card; etc).
-Picture to Posterize
-You will need to get to a copy machine
1. Posterized Image:

I have to admit, Dana has me hooked on this now. It’s not a new thing, but it is new to me. Let’s begin by choosing the picture you want on your plaque. You need to posterize it either in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements (what I use), or find out the way without having any fancy program with Dana’s helpful tutorial here.
I played around with a few pics and found what I liked best. You could go over it with a black marker and make it more “posterized”, but I liked mine how the program did it, so I left it like that. Some are better than others. Having a light background in the picture made it work better from my playing around with it.
You need to then do a mirror image of it (I did this in Publisher), making sure it is the size you want it to be on the wood plaque. Then print it out and go get a copy of it at a local UPS store, post office, etc…. Wherever there is one. You need to do this because the copy machine ink comes off the best.
Posterized Wood Plaque 6
2. Wood Plaque:

Posterized Wood Plaque 1

Now to prepare the plaque. Grab your texture tool and modeling paste (or texture of choice) and have at it. On the large one I added a little more thickness to the edges to have it pop a bit.

Posterized Wood Plaque 2
Now it’s time to paint. This is how I started with the paint job.
Posterized Wood Plaque 3
Then I took my straight edge texture tool and swirled it around to my liking. I used a paint brush to catch the extra paint to cover the edges of my plaque.
Posterized Wood Plaque 4


If you desire, you can add some wood stain to the edges to have a more “old” feel to it. I did this lightly. Just swab some on a rag and swipe it on the edges.
Posterized Wood Plaque 5

Use your finger to blend it some if it looks unnatural.

3. Putting them together
Now, this part can be tricky and it might now come out perfect. Just warning you. If it’s your first time, maybe make two copies so you can practice with one first. You need to apply your photocopied photo with your medium gel as Ashley shares here.
Then cover your plaque with mod podge or even use the medium gel for the finished look.
My notes:
-On my first one (the pink one), I didn’t use a lot of gel. I forgot, so some parts of the picture didn’t make it.
-I also just used my finger to rub over the paper once on the wood covered in gel. I think maybe even using a popsicle stick would have been better and might have allowed me not to lose as much of the picture as I did.
-I ended up using the soft side of a sponge to get the paper off too. My fingers were not doing the trick. Some people use rags, etc. Just be easy. Rub off just enough. I recommend going slow so you don’t over rub and take the ink off of it too.
-With the texture, you might lose some of that too because it isn’t a simple flat surface. I ended up liking the end result though, even with a few bare spots here and there. It gave it a worn look. If you use only one color like I did in the green one below, you can touch up the spots after as well (which I did for that one).
- Remember, sometimes you can do everything right and this still might not turn out “perfect.” Fortunately, I was extremely pleased with each piece I did, but after doing some research, I found you might not always be.
Just have fun and go with it! Each piece will be different and unique :)
Add your finished product to the flickr pool
Posterized wood plaque for my mom
This one I made for my mom’s birthday present. I used one color for the base, then did a crackle finish texture with a stencil.

Posterized wood plaque- small
Done in one color with some brown paint on the edges.
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  1. says

    I love this! I like it especially because I need to use my gel medium so this is perfect. I have been wanting to posterize a picture too. So fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    Jess – That is stinking adorable! I love them all! I think the pink is my fave tho! I was telling my hubs about this texturizing stuff last night – now we may need to go get some! (I got wooden Ns (our last name) and was going to paint them — then thought it might be cool with the texturized stuff first!)

  3. Lauren VonEper says

    Such a blast to create, and those who receive it are so thankful for a true one of a kind gift. :)We did this in our Design class this year. It was inspired by the work of Hollis Brown Thornton.
    I created many for friends and family, and they loved it!

  4. says

    I cant thank you enough for posting this. I made one for my friend’s wedding shower but I did mine with a landscape background.. Check it out here.

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