Flower Embellished Photo Art

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.Some people like to make up rules about what kind of art is acceptable in certain areas of a home. Family photos? They're usually banished to bedrooms or dens. I don't particularly like following silly design rules, but instead of blatantly breaking them this time around, I decided to just bend them a little. With a little inspiration and a lot of glue, I transformed this photo of my daughter Lucy into a piece of art perfectly compatible for any room of the house.

I have a soft spot in my heart for frilly mixed media art and collage work with a feminine feel, so of course I fell hard for the work of Ben Giles. I was especially inspired by the movement of paper flowers in combination with photography in his collaboration with Rebekah Campbell for Yen Magazine (seen here) and wanted to create a similar vibe in 3D with supplies I usually have lying about—family photos and artificial flowers. After running to the store for a shadow box frame, I whipped up this darling piece of art in a jiffy. I love it when I'm surprised by how easy a project turns out to be!

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.Supplies:
-shadow box frame
-photo sized to fit the frame (mine is 8" x 10")
-variety of small artificial flowers
-hot glue gun + glue sticks

I made sure this project remains a keepsake by printing the image onto acid-free paper and making sure the glue sticks I used were also acid free. This project was a gift for my sister-in-law, so hopefully she'll be able to treasure it for a long time.

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.I selected a few sprays of flowers that had tiny blooms that slightly varied in size. I wanted a fun, bright feel, so I chose these bright shades of colors in an analogous scheme, or colors that sit beside each other on the color wheel.

Step One: I trimmed the blooms from the artificial stems to create a pile to work with.

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.Step Two: I laid out the flowers without glue to make sure I had a rough arrangement that I liked. I decided to make stripes of colors, sort of like a floral rainbow flowing from Lucy's hand. You can arrange your flowers however you like, letting the white space and composition of the photo help you along. Let your creativity be your guide!

Step Three: Glue the flowers into place with a hot glue gun. When the glue dries, make sure you pull away all of the stray wisps of glue before putting the photo into your shadow box.

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.I love the way the bright colors pop against this light, desaturated photo. From far away it looks like an abstract piece, and up close the texture is surprising.

Helpful Tip: To make sure you like the arrangement of the flowers, it's helpful to look at it from far away, but that's hard to do when it's lying flat. Try taking a photo of the arrangement on your phone or camera and then viewing it at a smaller size before you commit to the arrangement.

Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.Turn a simple photo into a work of art with artificial flowers and hot glue.I enjoyed working with this simple photo, but I keep thinking it would be fun to do a close-up shot of Lucy, too, perhaps covering her dress with lots of pretty flowers. There are so many creative options with this project!

P.S. You can see more photos from this mother-daughter fashion shoot right here on my personal blog! Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Spring of the Signature Collection.

  • I love this project, and the result looks really sweet! The colors you chose for the flowers really complement the black and white photo!

    This actually reminded me of the project I’m working on, http://mindviagra.tumblr.com/post/98585692247/watering-tots – if you want to participate, send me an e-mail, it’s for a really good cause!

  • What a great idea and love that it looks like she is carrying all of the flowers…adorable!

  • Definitely! You could even embroidered the photo too. You could use other glue, too, if you don’t want the work of hand stitching the flowers. -Mandi

  • This is such a cute project that I’m sure could easily be made kid-friendly! Added bonus! I am always in awe of how creative and awesome your blog is. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all! 🙂

  • Such a cool idea to be creative and crafty with your photography! I’m going to have to try this!

  • love it! Do you think I could hand sew the flowers onto the photo if I printed on thick paper? The glue gun just decided its life span was over :/

  • Believe me, I have already decorated photos with various techniques and this is one of the most beautiful and creative ones I have ever seen. Can’t wait to try it! Great work Mandi!
    xo hope

  • I absolutely LOVE this project! I can’t wait for my baby niece to start walking so I can use her as inspiration. 🙂

  • Wow, I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing it…can’t wait to try it. It’s super pretty and brings a whole new dimension to the photograph (which was cute on it’s own, but now so much more). I also just clicked on the link to your site and read your story about cancer. You are a very brave woman for sharing that. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • A really wonderful idea.
    I love it so much.

    Greetings & Love

  • That is such an adorable idea! Love how the flowers just come off as a never ending trail of her cuteness

    The Sorted Hats

  • This is WONDERFUL. Thank you!! I am having my first child in Hawaii, already dreaming of a picture on the beach with her surrounded by orchid flowers that I can POP this way! Her first lei:) What gorgeous inspiration!

  • This is one of the best DIY art pieces I have seen in a while. I simply adore the flowers. Thanks for helping me step outside of the box when it comes to ‘family photos’!!!

  • Love this idea! It gives the photograph so much more life and dimension to it! xo


  • I love the look of the black and white artwork with the bright coloured flowers to contrast the two portions. Great idea! Flowers are cheap too, so this is a great DIY for everyone.

  • oh my god, this is so, so pretty ! It’s stunning, thank you so much for the idea 🙂

  • This is adorable. A fall picture with some leaves instead of flowers would be cute too… off the top of my head. 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • This is such a beautiful DIY..love the flower arrangment, and its so simple…you always have such wonderful ideas..



  • Hahaha that’s so funny you said that! But either way, holding flowers or farting flowers, it’s still cute cuz she’s such a cutie. Probably won’t work on a photo of me :P. This project is really cool btw. Thanks Mandi.

  • This is so mega neat. You guys are so creative.. it makes me wanna get a little crazy with my crafting! :))

  • Haha! Thanks exactly what I said to Phil (husband) when I showed it to him. It didn’t occur to me until I thought about it through his eyes, then I wondered if he was thinking it first. Her hand is holding the trail of flowers, but that’s not the easiest to see in photos of the photos. -Mandi

  • I love this project! Mixed media photo art is my favorite and yours turned out amazing!

  • I have been wanting to do a project using a shadowbox, and this is such a cool idea! I think it would be a great idea to do a close-up shot covering up her dress with flowers.



  • This is spectacular Mandi! *love* I love using silk flowers in my paper crafting and have jars and jars of them! I cannot wait to try this, so inspired!

  • Awesome, Mandi!

    PS.Just a little head’s up, you’ve linked to the wrong Rebekah Campbell, oops!

  • This is an adorable idea. And I hate to be a jerk, but it totally looks like she is tooting flowers.

  • I’m actually working on a project right now that involves pressed flowers and a watercolor painting… I love the idea of adding 3D elements to framed photos!

    <3 dani

  • What a lovely creative idea! The colourful flowers look wonderful on the black and white photo!


  • Shoot, I put pictures anywhere I please! Honestly, I least like family photos in my bedroom because, I mean, I feel like I’m being watched. Ha.

    I always do photos for halloween, I’ve been meaning to get them out on display. Now I’m a little inspired! Not using flowers, but inspired!

  • oh my gosh, I love this, what a beautiful twist! Lovely xx
    Holly x


  • It’s such a beautiful project. Love it. Totally going to do one as a surprise for my daughter for her room. As always, you are so so full of inspiration and you provide so so much inspiration! Thank you.

  • I will take note of this!
    Love the idea to do with a photo of my two kids ; )


  • LOVE THIS! This has to be one of the best DIY photo ideas I’ve seen in a while! Gorgeous!

  • Love this piece of multi-media art-especially the colors of the blooms against the black and white picture.

    Who knew artificial flowers could look so classy?



  • This is such a beautiful idea, I will definitely be making my own version of this! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  • Wow. This is AMAZING! I don’t think I have an image I can immediately use this on, but I want to go take one so I can!!!!

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