I just love the look of photos on wood! There are so many possibilities too, from using a wooden pallet, to creating a huge mural on a block of wood, and everything in between. The only problem is… It’s not as easy as it looks. I searched high and low for a good tutorial, and after several failed attempts at this project I had all but given up. My first attempt I made the rookie mistake of trying to get it all done really fast, and I ended up tearing the photo. In my second attempt, I was very careful, and gave myself plenty of time to complete the process. However, my photo just turned out really cloudy, even after painting a layer of Mod Podge over everything. FINALLY, I learned the secret to a successful wood photo transfer…


How To Transfer Photos To Wood

Supplies: Piece of wood, laser printed copy of your chosen photo on regular paper (note: it should be a mirror image, as the photo will switch sides once transfered), Mod Podge, gel medium, sponge crush, scissors, rag, water.


Step 1: Make sure your photo is printed on regular paper, using a laser printer. Unfortunately, ink jet printouts will not work, but most copy stores use laser printers, so if you’re unsure, just print your photo off at a copy store! Once you have the photo, trim it down to size.

Step 2: Put a layer of gel medium on the printed side of your photo. Put a layer of the gel medium on the wood as well, and then lay the paper photo side down on the wood. Using a credit card (or just your fingers) make sure to smooth out and get rid of any bubbles.

Step 3: Wipe away any excess medium from around the photo, and let dry at least four hours, if not overnight.


Step 4: Dampen a rag with warm water and lay it over top of you photo. Leave the rag on for at least 5 minutes.

Step 5: Remove the rag, wet your fingers, and *slowly* rub away at the top layer of paper. Moving in small circular motions, continue to gently rub off the top layer, constantly wetting your fingers and blowing away the excess paper bits. Here’s the secret to making it work: Once the top layer is off, the photo will still be cloudy. Let it dry for another hour, and repeat the rag / finger “sanding” process again. And again. It may take 3-5 times of gently rubbing off the paper for the photo to become less cloudy.

Step 6: Once everything is dry, and you are satisfied with the level of cloudiness in your photo, put a layer of Mod Podge on, and enjoy!

Have you tried this project before? What are your helpful hints and tips? Let us know in the comments below!