DIY: Turn Your Photos Into 3D Works of Art

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My home is filled with photos of my family, friends, and favorite places. However, I’m always looking for fun new ways to display these photos, besides just framing them. 

Recently, I came across a cool 3D photograph, and thought it looked like the perfect choice for my next photo project!

Instead of requiring special glasses to view, this 3D photo is made by layering multiple copies of a photo on top of each other, creating a nice multidimensional effect. I was surprised at how quickly and easily this came together – and was blown away by the end result!

What you’ll need:

  • Multiple printed copies of a photo (how many you need depends on how many layers there are to your photo – see below on how to determine this)
  • Foam board
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil

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Let’s get started.

1. Once you’ve picked what picture you want to use, you’ll need to figure out how many layers the photo has. This will determine how many copies of the photo you will need.

For example, the photo I used has four different planes – the subjects are in the foreground, then there are the trees on the two sides and the mountain in the middle ground, and finally, the ocean/sky is the background – so I printed out four copies. (You can do this from your phone using the Kicksend app!)

2. Take one of the copies of the photo and trace around it with a pencil. Using a utility knife, carefully cut along the line you’ve just made. You’ll want to make sure the blade of your knife is new or at least, very sharp. (If the blade is too dull, it will tear up the foam.)

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3. Apply a layer of glue to one side of the foam board, carefully align the photo, and press down to attach it. This will be the background.

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4. Identify the next layer in your photo (in my example, it’s the mountain). Cut along the line that divides this section and everything in front of it from the background layer.

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5. Repeat step 4 with the remaining copies of your photograph for each additional layer, ending with the foreground image (in my example, the two people).

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6. Cut out small pieces of foam board to fit the back of the second layer you’ve cut out and glue them to the back of the photograph.

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7. Once they’re attached to the back, apply glue to the side of foam that’s still exposed. Flip the photo over, carefully line it up with the matching image on the background layer and attach it to the background image.

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8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the additional photo layers you’ve already cut out, gluing each piece on top of the last, ending with the foreground image.

9. Once you’ve glued the foreground on, you’re finished! Step back and admire your work.

This sweet 3D photo would make a creative birthday card, or it just looks great on its own as a piece of art. You can put it on an easel, create a stand to hold it up with a sturdy piece of card stock, or add it to a frame with the glass removed (you just need to find one that doesn’t have much of a lip to it, so your picture will fit).

What are your thoughts on this kind of 3D art with photos? Let us know in the comments! 

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Laura is a freelance writer in Michigan who is inspired by the beauty in everyday life. In her free time, she enjoys cooking (and eating), DIY projects, and binge-watching Netflix.

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