Photo Transfers: A Mother’s Day Gift That Will Bring Her Memories to Life

photo transfer
Image Source: Rebecca Wheeler

For practically your whole life, you’ve (hopefully) been giving your mom gifts for Mother’s Day, which equates to 20, 30, 40+ “things.” There are only so many picture frames, mugs, or necklaces you can buy until it gets old. The truth is, it’s hard to be inventive year after year, with something outside the box and (happy) tear-worthy.

Image source: Babble

When we editors were thinking of gifts for our own moms, we stumbled upon the blender marker, which allows you to transfer photos onto many different surfaces (just by printing them out on a laser printer and rubbing with the marker). So we tested it out by taking our favorite mom memories and making collages on wooden jewelry boxes and a hanging box.

Not only is this photo transfer DIY outside the box and tear-worthy (or so we hope), it’s also unbelievably cheap and easy. Now let’s get started on showing you how to create your next Mother’s Day gift.

photo transfer
Image Source: Robin Clement

Photo Transfer DIY


  • pictures printed on printer paper (from a laser printer)
  • scissors
  • blender marker (we used this marker)
  • sanded wood object


  1. Select the photos you would like to use for your collage. Lighter, brighter, and more colorful images work best.
  2. We recommend making a mock collage on your computer, using Photoshop, PowerPoint, or even Word. First measure your object, create a file that is the same size, and add photos to make sure they will all fit. Then, print it out on one sheet (make sure “scale to fit” is NOT selected).
  3. Cut out the photos individually.
  4. Place a photo, front side down, onto the sanded wood object. Hold it in the same spot while “coloring” with the marker. You will need to go over the back quite a few times in order to transfer a majority of the ink. Each picture should take 1-2 minutes each.
    photo transfer
    Image Source: Robin Clement

    Note: the marker gives off strong fumes so be sure to transfer your photos in a well-ventilated area.

  5. Once you’ve gone over the photo, flip a corner up without moving the whole sheet to peek on your transfer. If it needs more transferring, place back down and continue coloring.

    photo transfer
    Image Source: Robin Clement
  6. Follow this process for all of your images.
    photo transfer
    Image Source: Robin Clement

    Note: After you’re done, you can coat with a sealant or leave raw, depending on your preferred look. We left ours, to give it a more antique look.

And now you’re done and ready to gift to that special lady!

photo transfer
Image Source: Robin Clement
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