——creativity never goes out of style——

DIY Wood Transfer


I guess the method of doing wood transfers has been around for a long time but with all the vintage inspired decor out there I guess it’s getting another debut. I love the look of black and white pictures and also natural wood so put the two together! Walaa, a beautiful one of a kind art peice! Soooooo easy AND so cheap! To think that so many people pay money for pictures to be put on canvas’s. Tisk tisk…. Anyways I was in a rush while doing this tutorial and to be honest it was all because I was so excited to see if it really was as easy as I read. A craft this cool in only 3 steps?!?!  Yes….. except for some minor details that make a big difference. (I learned the hard way after a few mistakes) 1. Make sure you cover the wood evenly with enough gel medium  2. Find the smoothest peice of wood you can find or else the ink won’t transfer into the grooves. Here it goes!

You will need:

-black and white photo printed with laser printer on REGULAR white computer paper  (impressed already?)

-piece of wood whatever size you like (I got mine at Michaels for $4.99 and it was sold as a wooden plaque)

-Mod Podge

-gel medium

-paint brush

-water (little pricey… I’m sorry)

 Whether you choose gloss finish or matte finish Mod Podge is up to your personal taste. As for the gel medium, it can be found at your local craft store. For those who don’t know what this is; it’s a thick, colorless liquid, used as a paint additive, protective finish, or adhesive.  In this case it’s used an an adhesive.

Step 1 – Paint a generous even coat of gel medium onto surface of wood.  Place picture image side down and smooth out bubbles. Let dry overnight (whewff tough work hey?)

Step 2. With a sponge or wet cloth apply water to soak the paper. Start to gently rub your fingers in a circular motion until the paper starts rolling off. (Sorry for the blurry pic, but with my clumbsiness I don’t think water and digital camera’s are a very good mix) Once all the paper is rubbed off, let the wood dry.

Step 3. Brush an even coat of Mod Podge over entire picture. Let dry and your done! For a more weathered look like mine, just rough up the canvas  with some sandpaper in vertical streaks BEFORE you seal with the Mod Podge.

What I loved most about this craft was that it was soooo easy. Since I already had all the supplies except the wood, this craft only cost me $4.99! This is such a great addition to any room, fireplace mantle or as a gift. What a cute way to surprise someone with a personalized art piece for a baby shower, wedding or birthday. All you need is a picture of them and your set! Hope you like it!


Author: Domestic Ingenuity

I am a DIY-ing, crafting, thrifting, baking, sewing, cooking, deal-loving gal with too much energy and a love for creating.

31 thoughts on “DIY Wood Transfer

  1. Can u use a regular photo or does it have to be on computer paper

  2. I’ve tried this and the image is rubbing off and the paper is never ending. What did I do wrong?

    • It does take a while for the paper to all rub off. I usually wet the whole thing down and wait 5-10 minutes for it to soak into the paper. Then it takes a few times to get all the paper off. As long as the image is transferring you are doing it correct :)

  3. Can you use mod podge Matt instead of the gel

  4. Hello, Nice trick – what i soft gel, is it glue?

  5. I did it in the morning should it be good to go by the evening?

  6. Do you use a regular piece of computer paper to print the picture, or a actual picture paper?

  7. Hello! I assumed the printer at my work was an inkjet but this diy was also a loooonnnggg time ago…haha I did a little research and it must have been a laser printer. I agree with you that many other tutorials found success with the laser as opposed to inkjet. I hope this clears things up! I’d love to know how yours turns out!

  8. I’m sorry to hear that. The only thing i can think of is that you might not be pressing the image down onto the medium enough before drying? Or you may need to keep rubbing the image to make sure it is not clouded by access paper? Or make sure there is no finish on your wood?

    • It looks pretty good after I take the first layer off. Could I be taking too much paper off

      • I’m thinking that you actually may not be taking enough paper off and the access paper is clouding your image. I rub until no more paper rubs off. I have never had any issues with this technique, so hopefully this helps!

  9. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be interesting to read content from other authors and use something
    from other sites.

  10. Do you know if this will work on a painted piece of wood?

  11. I’ve followed all the steps twice and my pics aren’t showing up. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! :(

  12. Just curious though, will this also work with color?

  13. I saw this at an online photo school. I love the idea and must learn and do some.

  14. can i do this with my shirt?

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