DIY Roundup: How To Transfer Photos to Wood


Is your mantle beginning to get cluttered with frames? Do you have piles of photo prints lounging around, waiting to be displayed?

Time to get creative and transform those pictures into pieces of art that will drop jaws. How is this possible, you ask? By transferring them to a chunk of wood, of course!

Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds. We’ve rounded up the best tips from tutorials around the web to create an easy-to-follow, DIY guide just for you!


Image: fp-julia/Free People

Image: fp-julia/Free People

What you’ll need: 

Hang on just a second before you dive in! If the direction of your photo is important (it contains text, for example), flip the photo horizontally in an editing program first so that it doesn’t end up backwards once you transfer it.

Image: Jamie Lott/Southern Revivals

Image: Jamie Lott/Southern Revivals

Now you’re ready to start: 

  1. Trim your photo to fit the surface of the wood.

  2. Brush a coat of the transfer medium onto the photo.

  3. Once it dries completely clear, apply a second coat and let that dry. Third time’s a charm, so add one last coat for good measure.

  4. Place the photo face down on the wood.  Use a credit card or gift card to smooth out any bubbles.

  5. It’s time to play the waiting game. Let that bad boy (or girl, you choose) sit for at least 8 hours!

  6. Wet your towel and place it over the photo, making sure the entire surface gets wet.

  7. After your photo has soaked for a few minutes, it’s time for the big reveal. Use your fingers to gently scrape away the paper backing until you can see your image. This part can get a bit tedious depending on the size of your photo, but take a few deep breaths and practice patience to avoid scraping away the actual image.

  8. As the photo dries, you’ll be able to see any bits of paper you missed. Wet the photo a little more to get all of those pieces off safely.

  9. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to your finished piece!

That’s it! You’ve created a beautiful piece of art, sure to have your friends saying, “Oooo.” Hang it high as a testament to your awe-inspiring talent!

Image: Emma/A Beautiful Mess

Image: Emma/A Beautiful Mess

Featured Image: Photojojo/

Leah is a freelance writer, photo junkie, and avid traveler. When she's not chipping away at a story, you can find her exploring the outdoors or planning her next adventure. Read about them on her blog, Relentless Adventure.

Be first to comment

Leave a Reply