Attaching and cutting photos

Okay, I have several ideas involving “gluing” photos to a wood product such as Draftboard before cutting and they would need to be well sealed for handling. I’ve just not been enough of a crafts person in the past to know how best to go about this.

First, they will need to be attached, would that stuff in the craft stores for doing decoupage work for this or will I need something different?

Then I’ll need to cut the assembled photo and wood. I’ll need to mask it. Will standard masking work for this? If so, does any one know of smaller rolls? Johnson plastics wants to sell me a 100-yard roll for $70!


edit: @Jules let me go ahead and tag you as there is a 99% chance that you will be of help here.

@jbv let me tag you as well, I’ve gotten to know who has certain skill sets


3m Super 77 is pretty much the standard for flexible materials like fabric and paper to wood. It works really well. Since you’re gluing before cutting then precision gluing may not be a huge issue but if it’s the other way around and a large object it’s best to lay it all out. Put weight on half and flip over the other half, spray and then glue that side down. Then remove the weights and spray the remaining half.


I remember someone mentioning a substance called Mod Podge for a photo transfer/affix


Thanx, I could not remember what the stuff was called and that has lead me into other good discussions.


I’m thinking the Mod Podge type thing is better for this application but I DO need to get a can of 77.


ModPoge works and is laserable and the MSDS says the byproducts of combustion are benign (CO2, etc). It’s vinyl acetate (and low concentration of that as well). But it does laser and painters tape doesn’t stick if you want to mask it.


you are no doubt aware but to head off the inevitable comment: the reason this is fine is because it contains no chlorine: the formula is CH₃CO₂CHCH₂. vinyl is simply a special kind of bond, though most vinyl in a consumer sense is pvc.


Mod Podge was my first thought as well, without sourcing out the printing. Photo could be printed on self-adhesive non-pvc wrap vinyl like 3M Envision, but that stuff isn’t cheap.

For masking material, I like this stuff (and the hi-tack version). Add ‘app tape’ and ‘transfer tape’ to your products searchs
100-yard rolls are pretty standard. can’t tell you if the johnsons price is good without knowing the width.


I’ve also used rubber cement to affix photos to things. Using the dry mount method it is pretty permanent but doesn’t allow for re-positioning like wet mounting.

To dry mount with rubber cement apply it to both surfaces and let it dry. Then stick them together. Just make sure you are lined up because once the surfaces come into contact with each other they are stuck in place.

For another project I am going to experiment with face mounting photos to acrylic but that adhesive is much more spendy and may not work with wood.


Thats good stuff, I use alot of it…the 12" wide is great to just precover your material sheets and just grab a go.

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I wouldn’t classify it as a special kind of bond. The Vinyl group has a specific chemical makeup:

And as you point out, most of the time the term Vinyl by itself normally implies Polyvinyl Chloride.


Super 77 is one of the standards, but I have had success with some other ones. I think 3M even makes those, but I’m blanking off the top of my head right now. Most of those, if you just spray one side, it is a temporary hold. If you spray both pieces and let it dry a little until tacky, it is a permanent hold.

Are you wanting to attach the photo before just for the precision of the edge to be cut at the same time? I really think you could achieve what you’re wanting by adhering the photo after the cuts.

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i was explicitly referring to the C-C double bond for (probably too much) simplicity’s sake, but yes.

Mod Podge® – Gluing photos to stuff since the 1960s. :smiley:


I’d thought about that also - it’d be super easy to make a gluing jig. But, (always a but, right?) I was thinking maybe he wanted shapes cut out. Like a star, or circle, or whatever… but typing made me realize just make a vector shape, cut your wood, cut your photo, drop the wood in the jig, spray it, and drop your cut photo on top in the jig. Roll it smooth.

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For several of my use cases yes, for one of them, only if you have the patience of Job.


And I don’t have that kind of patience, so I had better pay attention to what you’re doing. ha ha

3M & Loctite are the two gorillas in the space. I use both interchangeably depending on what’s on sale or in stock when I need it.


I just purchased this masking. $9.99 standard shipping, but had a $5.00 off coupon. $18 shipped for 6" x 100 yd.


I would recommend some research if you have any concern about archival characteristics. (Namely, Mod Podge almost assuredly is NOT archival, and will not stand prolonged exposure to sunlight.) I’ve used Super77 and it is very effective, but again, I would hazard a guess that it isn’t archival in the long term.

Now, you may not care about whether it is archival. Hell, for all I know your photos might be from a Dye-based inkjet printer in which case they’ll be toast in 1-3 months if exposed to light, anyway.

But I have experience doing collage artwork on varying surfaces and I use Acrylic Medium, Glossy or Matte depending on that artwork’s needs. Here’s the trick if you do use it, apply layer to backer, apply layer to back of Photo, stick together. Then use a brush to add layer to the top and squeeze the backer to the photo until its flat and no bubbles are underneath. This way you’ve encapsulated the photo in an archival acrylic medium.

Now my question, how does it laser? I would love to know, and will try this out when my Glowforge arrives. But Mod-Podge is a crafting tool, I would never use it for a project that I want to last more than a couple years.