How to Transfer a Photograph Onto a Block of Wood

Here’s a quick and easy tutorial that’ll teach you a cool method of transferring a photo print (black and white or color) onto a block of wood.

All you’ll need (aside from the photo and wood) is some gel medium and Mod Podge. You’ll want to use prints made with some kind of laser printer or copier rather than an ink printer.

DIY Wooden Picture [ReadyMade]

  • Mar
  • Cecile

    il it helps anyone, in France, mod podge is called Vernis colle

  • Taylor

    Should I use regular printer paper or photo paper?

  • Beloved Shah

    nice and interesting work amazing i love it 

    see my sites also 

  • Kcarr1958

    you can add a little water to elmers glue that will do the same thing as modge podge

  • Duncan Creamer

    Well, the way it works is that the clear acrylic bonds with the ink and you rub the paper away. So an ink print might retain it’s image-ness because it’s in the paper, not on it. If you rub off the paper you may also rub off the image. Also, if the ink is water soluble, it’ll run when you add the water needed to ssoften and remove the paper. 

    As with all things in life – try it out for yourself. But be sure to report back what you find.

  • MsquareClicks
  • brittany

    i’m having some trouble with not all of the paper coming off… if i rub too much to get the last layer of paper off then the ink starts to rub off. i applied the gel a little thick.. could that be the reason?

  • Loren

    I just wanted to tell you that looks AWESOME. People are saying the Mod Podge hides the paper… I don’t know though. I’m about to try this myself for my boyfriend for our anniversary! *crosses fingers* I hope mine comes out as nice as yours!

  • Loren

    Question, does the printer paper have to be normal printer paper? I know NOT glossy picture paper… But the only printer paper I have is thicker than normal printer paper. Not as thick as card stock, but definitely not thin like regular printer paper. Will this work or no?

  • Dbakeca Italia

    Hm! Nice! surely i’m gonna try this…

  • Ttone

    Will it still work with an ink printer?

  • Kim

    What type of paper do you use?  Regular printer paper or photo paper? 

  • Jenny

    I tried it with pretty good results today.  I applied the layer pretty even but thin, and I also left it to dry for a good couple of days.  Another thing I did was that I sanded the surface with sandpaper a little to try to even it out, maybe this helped too?
    I did have some minor white residues after my first rinse dried.  I just rinsed it under the sink again and rubbed the surface gently with my fingers, the ink stay put pretty well doing so.
    Hope this helps, good luck!

  • Ashley

    I tried it with an actual photograph, all you have to do is peel part of the paper backing off, and then when you go to take off the picture, instead of rubbing it with water you have to peel the film layer off carefully! 

  • hi

    Would photographs developed in a dark room work in this project? Or does the image have to be printed by a laster printer on thinner paper? 

  • Rob Howett

    I have tried PVA glue… works just fine.

  • Lisa

    Would STRING GEL also work instead of GLOSS GEL in the video?

  • tv

    Actually, you can use clear-drying Elmers Glue in place of Modge-Podge.  I’ve used it for decoupage projects.  Just use a think coat.

  • Annaeileenchoi

    Do you have to use Gel Medium? I can’t find it any where! What can I use instead?

  • JP

    You can get it in the craft section of large WHSmiths

  • guest

    So are you printing just on regular paper,or photograph paper?

  • starless

     could i do this on a vase? but with pictures and words?

  • Duncan

    Regular plain whit paper with no coating. Understand what you’re doing is securing the ink images in the clear paint and removing the paper by getting it wet and rubbingit away. Use a card stock or coated photo paper and that can’t happen.

  • Duncan

    Try it and let us know.

  • Duncan

    Macy’s has them. ;)

  • Klexum

    did you use pva for to stick the photo down at the 1st stage or just at the end as a sealant

  • Jessv03

    In your test runs with ink printed pictures did you do anything different?? Or is everything the same with the laser photos?

  • Jessica_leblanc2006

    I tried making these but it didn’t turn out. The picture was really light and there was green residue left on the wood. Any suggestions? 

  • Bfgilson

    I was wondering the same thing

  • Die_reihe_106

    I used an inkjet printer and here’s what I found: it works fine, you just have to have a much lighter touch when rubbing off the paper. Once the ink got saturated with water it scrubbed off. So if you just lightly scrub off the paper layer and resist the perfectionist urge to scrub it til it sparkles, inkjet seemed to work fine. And if it takes a little too much off, you can always touch it up with a black sharpie!

  • Manja

    Dutch? In the Netherlands you can buy it at pipoos

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Do you know what it’s called there also?

  • Manja

    modpodge ;) €7,30

  • Manja

    That looks great :) Did you use the modpodge when it was still wet? 

  • Manja

    I’ve also got the problem with the white residue… should I apply it when it is still wet?

  • Manja

    Did anyone tried this with colored photo’s and on painted wood? I’m afraid that the white residue ruins it all…

  • Carolynd1020

    Do u know if I can use photo paper?  I am having trouble make a paper copy of my photo, it gets too distorted.

  • Michelle

    Whenever I wiped the paper off, a purple hue was left over the entire picture. I’m using an ink printer, but other comments said that worked just as well. Is anyone else having this problem? My picture is black and white and I bought the wood from Michael’s if that helps. Please help!

  • Michelle

    I also had the green. When I wiped harder on the green parts there was a purple hue underneath. Not sure what we did wrong. :-/

  • Imdancerd

    I tried this with ink paper-twice-because I saw that some people had success with it.  I did not.  I thought the first time that it was because I scrubbed it too hard, but I’m almost positive now it was because I used the inkjet.  It just doesn’t transfer it to the wood very well.  I’m going to go to Kinkos sometime this week and print them on a laserjet and see if that works.  Or maybe print it with my inkjet and then use a copier to copy the image.  Two blocks of wood wasted, but that’s what I get for trying something that didn’t work the first time again :)

  • Xnaughtylhx

    What size is the piece of wood being used?

  • Becka

    what do you mean ‘clear acrylic’? do you have a brand name i could ask for at my local craft store?

  • Rzmerry

    does it matter wat size wood its put on?

  • Pip

    Try using more gel medium and really getting rid of all of the bubbles. I’ve tried quite a few pictures from a lazer printer also and found the best result was when I used more gel medium

  • Horace

    Hipster garbage.  Or is that not what you meant?

  • Teria Anderson

    I am sure she is using a 8×10 seeing as it’s the same size of a full sheet of paper.

  • jen

    I just did it and it worked just fine! In fact, i hardly had any of the picture rub off with the paper. Looks great! it is a little hard to spread on, and the first one i did too thick of a layer and the paper wrinkled up a little but it still looked good in the end. The last two i did a thinner layer and they were perfect

  • Jacob Animal

    all of those thing can be found at micheals. i live in ft myers and they have it.

  • Michelle

    I figured it out! You have to use a laser printer. I used an ink printer at my house and had similar results as you. Staples Copy Centers all use laser printers, I just got the picture printed there and it worked great!