This DIY Personalized Photo Tray is so easy to make and brings such a fun wow factor! Make one for yourself or make one to give as a gift!
This year I wanted to do something extra special for my mom and dad for Valentine’s Day because they are going to be gone for over a month and we will not see them for more than 5 weeks because we are going out of town before they leave. We have a condo that has been in our family in Mexico for over 50 years and my grandma used to go there every winter. Now that my parents are retired (both public school educators) they are enjoying their much deserved time off and are enjoying their own time in Mexico now.
This means that we do not get to see them for a while and that makes us kind of sad! I decided a personalized gift was the way to go. This tray can be used to hold make up, jewelry, toiletries, or simply look beautiful with a small plants, remotes, or used as a decoration. We don’t want them to forget their cute grandkids while enjoying the beautiful weather.
I used Photoshop Elements 15 to adjust the photo to the exact size and color I wanted. If you are new to using Photoshop elements like I was, here are some basic step by step instructions to help you get just the look you are going for. I added the words “We Love You!” because this is a gift, but you could use any photo, design, or word ideas that you would like. I thought if I was making this for my own personal office or bathroom it would be fun to use a word that inspires me for the year or even a quote that has personal meaning to you.
Another fun idea could be to use this same process to create personalized trays for your kids to keep their things in the bathroom. It seems like the kids always are much better about keeping their things were they belong when they have their own personal space for it.
CREATING THE TRANSFER IMAGE
- Open your photo in Photoshop Elements 15.
- Correct the white balance. Guided Edit > Color > Remove Color Cast
- Enhance the colors. Guided Edit > Color > Enhance Color
- Adjust the brightness and contrast. Guided Edit > Brightness Contrast
- Enter Quick Edit mode by selecting ‘Quick’ from the center menu towards the top of your screen. If your image is vertical, you’ll need to rotate the image by clicking on Image > Rotate > 90 degrees right (or whatever direction you want to rotate the image)
- Make the image the size of the bottom of the tray. Select the Crop tool (in the tool bar on the left hand side) > and crop to 14” x 6.25″. Adjust the size by entering it in the panel towards the bottom.
- Touch up any blemishes in the photo. If you have specs of dirt, paint, or other small things you want to remove from the photo you can do that easily with the Spot Healing Brush tool. Select it from the tool bar (on the left hand side) and simply click once over a blemish in the photo and it will magically disappear. If you want to make the brush smaller press “[“ on the keyboard. If you want to make it larger press “]”.
- Add text on top of the photo. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the tool bar. Click and drag across the width of the image to create a text box. Then type in your word or phrase. You can use any font you like. Adjust the font size so that it takes up most of the width. If you want your text to be transparent once transferred, make it white.
- Enter Expert mode by selecting ‘Expert’ from the center menu towards the top of your screen.
- Save as a PDF and get it printed. When you’re done, go to File > Save As… > and select Photoshop PDF.
HOW TO TRANSFER THE IMAGE ONTO THE TRAY
- Use scissors to cut out the printed image. Use the paint brush to apply a thin, even coat of matte medium all over the entire front side of the image. Also apply a thin coat of matte medium all over the bottom of the tray. Allow both to dry completely, about 30 minutes.
- With the tray upside down, apply a generous but even coat of matte medium all over the bottom. Immediately after, place the printed photo with the image side down onto the tray. Use the squeegee to smooth out any bubbles. Allow the paper to dry completely; at least 2 hours or overnight.
I love how it turned out and I think my mom is going to love it! You may want to do a trial print to make sure the colors are what you want them to be. I used a paper that was a little thicker than normal printer paper and after printing it out once decided I needed to go back and adjust the colors to be a little darker. I love how it turned out!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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