DIY Wood Photo Transfers

Post image for DIY Wood Photo Transfers

Today’s DIY is something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time – wood photo transfers! This is such a fun project and a great way to turn your favorite photos into artwork. Once you get the technique down there is SO much you can do with it! I also found that there is a much faster and easier method to doing this than a lot of the tutorials I’ve seen online. You just need a few supplies and about an hour or two, and you’ll have beautiful wooden images to hang on your walls or give out as gifts. Next time I want to try doing this with coasters and instagram images!

diy wood photo transfers

What you need: Piece(s) of wood – I had my heart set on using these circular slabs and was so happy AC Moore had them! Mod Podge, a paint brush, a towel or rag, and photos. If you’re using digital photos that you print out, be sure to flip them horizontally first so that they aren’t backwards once you transfer them, and print them on a high quality color printer or laser printer. I used a laser-jet printer and it worked perfectly!

diy wood photo transfers

Cover the front of the photo with a thick coating of Mod Podge.

diy wood transfers

Place the photo face down on your piece of wood, and trim off the edges if needed. Use a credit card or driver’s license to smooth out any air bubbles. Let this sit for about an hour to fully dry.

diy wood photo transfers

Next, place a wet towel (not sopping wet, but more than damp) on top of the photo/piece of wood. Let it soak for about ten minutes or so, softening the paper.

diy wood photo transfer

Using the rag, gently start to rub the white paper backing – it will start to rub off, leaving your image behind!

diy wood photo transfer

For mine I chose an image of the location where Woodstock 1969 was held – as a lover of classic rock, visiting this place was very special to me. I love how you can see traces of the wood peeking through the sky!

diy wood photo transfer

Once you’ve removed all of the white, add a thin coating of the Mod Podge on top of the image to protect it. Let it dry, and your wood photo transfer is complete!

diy wood photo transfer

More DIY projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Comments

Lynn -May 15, 2013, 7:38AM

That is incredible!! I’m so going to try that!!

Jana -May 15, 2013, 8:46AM

AMAZINGGGGGGG!!!!!!

Amanda -May 15, 2013, 9:16AM

I am going to try this for my wedding! Do the pictures need to be printed on any particular type of paper? (photo paper vs. printer paper?)

Alexa Sonken {Invitations for Creatives} -May 15, 2013, 11:03AM

This is GORGEOUS!! SO going to try it :)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/alexasonken

Megan -May 15, 2013, 11:23AM

This is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meg -May 15, 2013, 12:04PM

What?!?!?! This is so easy and awesome!
I have a jar of mod podge totaly trying this!

http://happinessiscreating.com/

Fiona -May 15, 2013, 2:51PM

I saw on ebay and amazon that there are various kinds of mod podge, may you let me know which is the right one to buy for this awesome diy :)

fp julia -May 15, 2013, 4:52PM

Fiona – I used the glossy kind :) But matte also works!

rebeccabenitez -May 15, 2013, 6:58PM

From my experience, inkjet printed photos will generally run. Toner-based or Lazer-jet prints work best.
Great photo selection!

R

Women's fashion -May 16, 2013, 5:55AM

That is so romantic!!

3girls1apple -May 16, 2013, 7:54PM

This is a pretty cool idea. I definitely want to try it. Makes great decor for a house. Thank you from 3girls1apple.com

Raquel -May 18, 2013, 12:24PM

Coolest decor DIY ever!

Caitlyn -May 22, 2013, 1:05AM

So I tried this with photo paper and it is just a pain to try and get off all the paper from the wood. And even by being very careful I’m still getting spots of my picture missing. I’m going to try this again, but this time should I use regular paper instead of photo paper?

Katrina -June 12, 2013, 7:21PM

I love this DIY project! It’s very easy and there is a lot of opportunity to be creative. I wonder if it works on material other than wood. Woodstock- that very road is where I live <3 xxxo Bethel, NY.

hp 350 cartridge tesco -June 18, 2013, 5:40AM

I’ll print my photos to create this one. Thanks for sharing.

Emilie -June 18, 2013, 8:03PM

Do you use photo paper or printer paper?

Emma -June 22, 2013, 1:58PM

I’ve tried this 4 times and it never worked :(
Could you be more specific as to what kind of paper you used?
Cool idea though!

Megan @ Lush to Blush -June 25, 2013, 10:58AM

Amazing!! I have a piece of wood exactly like that, so I will definitely have to try this!!

Pat -June 27, 2013, 9:06PM

Can you print them out at like a cvs? i dont have a printer at home.

Jenna -June 28, 2013, 8:40PM

This didnt work. I printed my pictures at Walgreens. The white paper was so hard to take off. I waited 2 hrs to dry and even then it was such a hassle. The picture didnt stay on the wood. There’s so many blank spots missing from my picture. This should be explained in better detail.

Jennifer -June 30, 2013, 2:48PM

Use regular printer paper, if you don’t have a laser printer go to staples and have them do a regular laser print on regular printer paper. If the paper is thicker (cardstock) or has a finish to it it will not absorb the water properly and/or won’t rub away properly! Hope this helps! Make sure to put a thick coat of mo doodle on too! :)

Shannon -July 23, 2013, 10:29AM

This is my signature topper for whatever gift I give to friends and family for special occasions. My favorite was a sonogram I transfered. You need to use regular paper. If you use anything else you wind up rubbing so hard you remove some of the transfer. Photopaper is the hardest. I like to blow them up to 8x10s first too. Also, 2 hours is not long enough most of the time. I let mine sit for 8 or more usually and have never had a problem. This is a LONG process and there are several layers to do…but if you are patient, the final product is beautiful. Also, a little flair tip: add those little wooden, pre-painted flowers, animals, etc from craft stores around the edges to give them a little extra :-)

Oempaloempaas -August 1, 2013, 1:55PM

Ohmy, I love it! <3
I've put the link to this DIY on my blog in Inspiration *I hope you dont mind* <3
And I linked you on my facebookpage: https://www.facebook.com/Oempaloempaas
xx.

Stephanie -August 14, 2013, 3:31AM

I absolutely loved this project, so much so that I wrote a mini tutorial on my blog . I’d be happy to answer any questions about the project if anyone is having issues. This is such a great idea, I can’t wait to make even more now that I have the supplies. They make the best gifts!

drewk -August 17, 2013, 11:24PM

Does the type of wood make a difference? I tried this and I am having a hard time getting the tiniest bits of paper to come off…any suggestions?

Mandy -September 7, 2013, 3:28PM

I tried this, it worked perfectly expcept when the photo transferred it was cloudy and it started leaving cracks. I used a photo paper. What did I do wrong?

Donna -September 15, 2013, 8:14PM

Will this also work with printing? I would like to transfer a typed poem onto a wood plaque. If I printed the poem using a laser printer, would it work using this process? Thank you!

Cheryl -September 18, 2013, 7:32AM

Thanks for this DIY! I woke up this morning with the idea that I wanted to transfer some photos to wood and found this. I can’t wait to try it out.

Hillary -October 12, 2013, 7:10PM

I JUST tried this and it was almost successful. Unfortunately a strip of the image didn’t take and/or came off when I rubbed. I’m going to try again and let it dry a lot longer (I think I put too much Mod Podge on it to start and then didn’t let it dry long enough).

Ana Hunter -October 25, 2013, 5:17AM

Love this DIY!! Beautiful results :)

Brian -October 31, 2013, 8:52PM

Transfer pictures to wood DIY… pretty neat! These works of art are awesome, as I recently just got a couple pieces. Adds a great look to a room.

denise -December 4, 2013, 6:44PM

finally….I have been trying many differant ways to do this. Your instructions are the only 1 that works. Thank you

Sarah -December 6, 2013, 10:05PM

I’m having problems with mine. I did two. I’m using black and whites. I’m using orange mod podge. I did as you said and painted it on thick onto the picture and put it on the wood. Let it dry and the coloring is different on both pictures. And some of the mod podge got ink in it and went into the wood unevenly. I tried to use sand paper to get it off. It’s not helping

hayley -December 7, 2013, 9:59PM

I just did this with a photo of my son for an xmas present it turned out amazing thank u this tutorial helped big time :D

Diann -December 11, 2013, 3:05AM

I’m in the process of doing this. I’m using the image transfer by Mod Podge. It was $9.99 at mikaels I’m doing mine on pallet wood! I LOVE pallet wood! I have a big piece and I’m using my kids pictures on it and leaving it sit over night. I also went to staples and had them print it on the 20lb weight cheap printer paper. I’ll be posting updates on this on my fb page and my husbands fb business page as we’ll. his page is called Sapien & Sons my fb page is Dianne sapien if anyone wants to see the results good or bad I’ll be posting them :) love your picture though! It came out beautiful!!!

holly -December 17, 2013, 7:29AM

When I take the paper off my picture turns white. When I spray it with water it clears but when it dries it turns white again. Please help. What am I doing wrong?

Anonymous -December 17, 2013, 11:34AM

holly there is probably still paper on the wood you need to wet and continue to gently rub till all paper is off sometimes you will think its off till it starts to dry then you see the white or flaky finish just keep wetting and gently rubbing

Tori -December 18, 2013, 9:19AM

If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it! I have attempted 3 of these transfers and none of them have worked. I’ve let them sit for 8, 12 and 24 hours respectively. I’ve used tons of gel medium and the picture never transfers. Instead, when I start rubbing off the residue, the whole image just rubs off. I am using normal paper not photo paper. The closest I’ve come to the transfer actually working is whenever I just stopped rubbing and left a layer of the paper with the image still on it, on the wood. I don’t know what I’m doing incorrectly! Any advice?

Ashley -December 18, 2013, 8:14PM

Is it okay to use photo paper? I just printed some prints from SAMs n thought I’d try it out

Melisa -December 22, 2013, 6:21PM

I am in SERIOUS need of help!! I am trying to make several of these for Christmas, but when it comes to the rubbing part, portions of my photos keep coming off. I printed the copies at the self service copier at Staples which I thought was right & I allowed the photos to dry overnight, but when trying to get the layers of paper off , it’s getting pretty frustrating bc it just is not coming out right. Someone PLEASE help!!!

Anonymous -December 22, 2013, 11:08PM

I did the exact instructions and my photo paper wouldn’t rub off. The water didn’t even seem like it was seeping through. I got my picture developed at Walgreens and I have no idea why it isn’t working. This pisses me off and I think I just waisted money on this project

Kim -January 1, 2014, 10:00PM

So cool! Going to give this a try. Thanks for the tutorial

Sarah -January 29, 2014, 10:21AM

Love this tutorial! I design personalized chalkboard prints which can be framed but I wanted to do something a little different with them for gifts. So for Christmas, I transferred a print to wood blocks for all of my family members– it was a huge hit! Thanks!

convert m2ts -March 1, 2014, 12:52AM

Is really amazing, it looks very good look, my friend bought this product, really very good, do decorative items, commemorative items are really appropriate.

Jillian -March 18, 2014, 2:11PM

Thanks for this DIY! The transfer I did turned out so well I gave it as a wedding gift to my sister. The look was so unique I wanted one for myself and then I found http://www.InstaThis.com they print photos directly on wood for you. It turned out great without the hassle of trying to remove all the paper residue left over from the transfer.

Sean -April 29, 2014, 2:16PM

WOW COOL I’ve never seen anyone do it on a piece of wood that still has the bark from the tree! That’s a great organic look. I have a couple wood prints I got from Plak That, you design it all online (and you can see the wood grain effect while you do it which is great) and then they print your photo on wood, often on multiple wood slats instead of just 1 piece which also gives it a really cool effect. Here’s the link: http://www.plakthat.com

:)

Martina -May 28, 2014, 7:22PM

Is that regular Mod Podge? Because i saw people use some new version specially made for photo transfer, but they don’t sell it in my country.

Lana -May 31, 2014, 6:23PM

This is really the best method to use! Much faster and looks a lot more natural than other tutorials! Tried and tested.

Lana -May 31, 2014, 6:27PM

But instead of Mod Podge for the last step, I’d use Minwax polyurethane clear wood finish in satin. Mod Podge is necessary for the 1st step though.

Caitlin -June 5, 2014, 12:15AM

I followed these instructions and everything went great until I applied the modge podge after. It totally ruined the whole picture and now I have to start over. I will go with a clear coating spray next time.

Emily -June 30, 2014, 5:59PM

This is amazing. A definite decoration for my dorm room- maybe with a picture from home! :)

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Linda -August 18, 2014, 10:37AM

I need to get out my modpodge again!

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