Transferring a photograph onto wood is easier than you think! The possibilities are limitless! All you need is a few items and you’re ready to get started. I’ve even included some helpful tips for this project below.
I’ve been curious for a while now about how to do a photo transfer on wood. My local MOPS group (mothers of preschoolers) does an Antiquities fund-raiser and I just love these pictures.
Can you transfer photo prints on wood?
Yes, you can transfer photo prints onto the wood. It’s a simple process.
What kind of photos can you transfer onto wood the easy way?
There are different ways you can transfer photo prints onto wood, which involves using use any photo. Digital images are the easiest, although traditional prints will work as well. As long as it’s made on a heat-sensitive material, then you should be able to transfer that image into wood!
Can you transfer a glossy photo to wood?
With the right tools and supplies, you can transfer a glossy photo to wood. This process is described in this post.
I’ll walk you through the proper steps you need to take to successfully transfer a photo to wood.
How do you transfer large photos to wood?
You can transfer large photos to wood using a home printer and these instructions. Simply print the image onto regular printer paper and then iron the back of the printed side against your wood.
What is the best way to transfer a photo to wood?
The instructions I’ll share with you today are one of the best ways to transfer your favorite photo onto the wood. It’s definitely one of the easiest ways.
You can use any wood that you like – totally up to your preferences! I chose a simple wooden plaque. It’s sturdy and it looks great as picture frames, home decor, and other craft projects, such as this one.
How do you transfer a digital picture to wood?
A digital picture will need to be printed using a laser printer (not an inkjet). You can print from your desktop or smartphone.
What kind of paper do you use to transfer pictures to wood?
The most popular kind of paper you’ll want to use is an acrylic poly combined with transfer paper run through a laser printer.
Can you use an inkjet printer to transfer photos to wood?
Yes, you can use an ink jet printer to transfer photos to wood, however, for this tutorial, we will be using a laser jet printer.
Today I want to share a fun project with you how to transfer these antique-style photos onto a wood frame to give this décor a rustic look. You’ll need some mod podge to compete this craft. The items on this list can be found at your nearest craft store.
Materials needed for your wood photo transfer project:
- Wooden Plaques 4.5″ X 6″ X 1/8″ – these are the ones I used
- Unfinished Wood Plaques – are also a great choice if you are looking for a more polished look/shape
- Liquitex Professional Matte Gel Medium, 8-oz
- Sand Paper
- Drift Wood – I got my sticks from a beachfront – but that isn’t available to you, you can get some on Amazon.
- Hot Glue Gun
- A printed image from a laser printer (inkjet printer will NOT work!) on regular photo paper
- Paint brush (optional)
Take your image that has been printed by a laser printer and trim it if necessary to fit on the wood.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to apply a healthy amount of the gel medium to your piece of wood.
You’ll want to use a foam brush to make sure you have a smooth and thin layer. You can find these foam brushes at most craft stores.
I found that it was easy to wipe on the gel medium and let it dry before doing another coat.
After about 5 or 6 coats of the gel, I let it lightly dry between each coat.
The gel will attach to the ink in your image and dry, so you want to make sure all spots are well covered where you want your photo to be transferred to.
Then with the picture side down, glue onto the wooden plaque. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles and air bubbles with your finger in a circular motion. I recommend beginning at the outer edges of the photograph and moving to the center.
If there are air bubbles, then that part of the picture may not get transferred and you’d end up with a small blank spot.
After this is done, let it sit and dry for 12-24 hours.
The next part is my favorite because you get to slowly “reveal” your image.
For best results, get a damp sponge and rub that on your paper. Make sure your paper gets wet enough and then start rubbing the paper with your fingers until it starts to peel off.
You will do this once, and not realize that there is still some paper left on top of your image.
When the paper dries again, it turns back white, and you’ll see that you’ll need to get it wet again and keep rubbing off the paper until it’s gone.
You may need to go back and do this 3-4 times.
Because these are antique-style photos, I wanted the finished product to look a little rough around the edges on purpose to give it a true antique/rustic feel.
So I used some sandpaper and gently rubbed it around the edges to get that worn look.
Now I know I mentioned earlier that you need to be sure to use an image printed with a laser printer. I did try this with an inkjet, and you can see above what you get.
It does not transfer enough ink with the ink from an inkjet printer.
I know you can also go to places like Office Max or Staples and get an image printed with laser printer ink.
I finished mine off with hot gluing on both a piece of driftwood at the top and some twine on the back to hang it. To fully protect your image, your final step should also top it off with a coat of generous amount of ModPodge to seal your photo and wood together for a better quality look.
These turned out beautiful!
I want to make 2 more of these and hang 3 in a row in my “cabin style” family room!