Introduction: DIY Wooden Picture

how to transfer your picture onto wood-


Jenniedavis71 (author)2016-03-10

I only use mod podge medium (^^^the yellow bottle in the video) with photos printed to paper on laser printer only. And you have to let them dry 24 hours, longer if its humid. Everyone has turned out beautiful. do have to watch placement if there are knots in the wood.

MarciB9 (author)Jenniedavis712017-05-17

you should try acrylic gel medium - picture comes out much much clearer than mod pdoge.

SamL111 (author)Jenniedavis712016-08-03

hi I enjoyed your comment. My laser printer ink is waterproof. Is that what I'm supposed to use? Thanks in advance

CindyC8 (author)2015-07-06

Not trying to step on any toes. Everything she said is correct. But for those experiencing problems, I've done this a few times and you really need to make sure you get acrylic gel medium. There are different brands, but I think most have both matte and gloss... not sure. Mine is matte. Anyway, this step is critical. The trick is to not put it on too thin or too thick. You want it nice and even, fully covered with the same thickness all over without it being globby. Too thick and it's hard to get the paper off. Too thin and your image won't stick in places, leaving white spots. And of course you have to get the bubbles out like she said. I love the old gift card idea. I used a ruler, but I like your idea better. Now to seal it you can use the mod podge, or, and I personally think this works best, there's a product called Soft Wax. The brand I have is Annie Sloan. You will need a separate brush for this, and you will brush it on, let it dry, and then just rub it off with a rag, just like car wax. This stuff has a nice smooth look that is not too gloss and not too matte. Now you can also get a little more creative and use a light wood stain if you want a more vintage type look. You brush it over the entire surface, but only leave it on for a few seconds before you wipe it back off because the longer it stays on the darker your wood and image will be. If you want to add a vignette look you can use Craft Smart Pigment around the edges using a small piece of sponge. It gives it a grungy, distressed type effect. This is much darker than stain so use it sparingly. You'll know once you get started but just start off by gently dabbing a small amount on, and then you will see how you want to go with it. Of course the stain and/or pigment would be done before sealing it. And there are probably other things you can do with it. Just get creative and have fun. I hope this helps for those having trouble. Keep calm and craft on!!?

AnitaH25 (author)CindyC82016-11-17

Do you have any pictures of the staining projects you mentioned, would love to see the effect. And how durable is the soft wax finish

Tashy washy (author)2015-06-02

Does the picture need to be printed out on regular paper?

Fredy21 (author)Tashy washy2016-05-23

80g regular office paper worked just fine for me.

Cofan1 (author)2016-03-29

So mu daughter in her infinite wisdom
Places the picture face down then dod the medium gel. And it is drying. HOW can i save this picture.. it is stuck well to the wood. Will this image rransfer ? Or shoukd we toss it n start over ..

steve.garey.9 (author)2015-05-05

My ink started stripping off the wood. Any tips?

mkyde (author)steve.garey.92016-03-19

mine too. That is why I am here looking for tips. Not all over just here and there but I do not like the way it looks after. Tips?

CatherineG19 (author)2016-01-08

Can I speed up the drying with a hair dryer?

AgataB1 (author)2015-12-20

I used acrylic gloss medium the first time I did this simply because it's what I had, and it worked just fine. Most tutorials recommend gel medium, but if you have some other acrylic medium lying around, I'd say try that first before going out to buy a different one.

A friend of mine tried it with some matte medium she had, and that also worked fine for her. Seems the type of medium is not that critical. I think the most important aspects of this method are 1.) Make sure you use a LASER printer 2.) Let dry completely and 3.) Don't rub too hard or you may accidentally remove parts of the image.

TIP: If you only have an inkjet printer, perhaps you want to give this method a try:

dragonflydazd (author)2011-12-12

what exactly is this gel medium? i'm not sure i understand that part. if i am going to michael's craft supply store, what am i looking for?


Just ask someone who works there for gel medium and thy will know what it is and help you find it.
It's called liquitex, a matte gel

bpat (author)2011-12-13

is there any alternative for mod podge?

tikikitchen (author)bpat2015-04-01

I would also try something like a spray shellac or varnish as long as you do a couple of experiments first.

L.A.Woman (author)bpat2013-05-22

Try an acrylic sealer. Golden acrylics has great mediums. Mod Podge tends to dry to a gloss, with Golden, you can find a satin finish or a matte finish. A little pricey but looks amazing.

kellihogg (author)2015-02-06

Would appreciate tips from anyone...I used a gel medium gloss and my photo turned out super dark. I've been practicing my technique and when I use the Mod Podge brand photo transfer, it's bright and true to color. (It dries white though so if you miss adhering the photo anywhere, you have a white spot.) I splurged on the Liquitex gel and was so disappointed to see it turn out so dark. Any ideas?

tikikitchen (author)kellihogg2015-04-01

I've used matte gel medium, and gloss gel medium. Before you print your photo, you may consider lightening it on the computer first. Also, I highly recommend using FedEx/Kinkos. I've notice that colors come out better.

rachel.baldwin.526 (author)2015-03-28

I couldnt find gell medium at my local walmart wondering if acrylic gloss medium will work?

RhondaW1 (author)2015-03-04

Please help me. I have tried this many times and I keep getting red areas. I have tried different transfers and different woods. What am I doing wrong? Could it be the printer? Please please please help.

ahmed.okasha.5688 (author)2015-03-01


this is great work

i need to know if there is any Alternative of Gel Medium

thanks in advance

DeidreB (author)2015-02-25

The picture which is better for it to be on, printer paper, or an actual picture, tried a picture and it got stuck and i couldnt get it to come off? now im trying a picture printed from my printer on regular paper, ? But what is better? what do you find that works?

marjorie.davidson.9 (author)2014-12-20

Can i use mod podge instead of the acrylic gel medium

I don't think you can use plain mod podge to do the transfer, no. Though they do have their own photo transfer gel. See my comment above.

Elianyd (author)2014-11-14

I am making a photo to wood transfer and I have the modge podge and all the other materials, except the medium gel and instead I got loctite spray adhesive could this work in replace of the med gel????

Ferd64 (author)2014-10-26

I've had the best results having my pictures printed at FedEx. I only have a toner printer at home. Not sure what kind of ink they use but it works and doesn't look washed out.

WilbertWay Creations made it! (author)2014-05-19

Great idea! I made it and love it! I combined my image transfer with another ible to create a baby stat board to hang on the wall in his room! I love how it turned out, now I just need to hang it!

Dpeden03 (author)2013-12-25

Mine keeps coming up with areas that have a red tint to it. Is this because I used my inkjet printer? Also seem faded.

nreed4 (author)2013-07-15

Does it work with inkjet printers?

lrohret (author)2012-12-27

The only improvement would be to add a description listing the materials. I love the video.

bigbirdk77 (author)2012-11-16

This is really cool! Thanks!

gwe (author)2012-04-13

I love this idea, although i had a really hard time after i put the paper on and it started to warp creating bubbles which then became creases when i flattened them. Any suggestions? I tried to push out from the middle but didn't help. I noticed with small pages it wasn't as much of a problem.

lcragun (author)2012-04-10

This is really cool! Can you still see the wood grains behind the pictures?

artmasterpiece (author)2012-03-01

Since you'll be looking at the back of the printed image, use a photo editor to flip the picture horizontally before you print it. Then it's not a mirror image when you finish scraping off the paper.. This is cool, I bet it will work on any hard surface.
Thanks for a great idea.

EverydayKiki (author)2012-02-20

Been seeing these wooden pictures around lately, but never knew how it was done.
I tried it with a few pictures, and now im hooked. I know what everyone will be getting for gifts this year!

Had a few mistakes on the first one.
It also helps a lot if the picture is really dark, after my first one was done, the picture looked washed out.

Thanks for this instructable!

anne_estefany (author)2012-01-11

What what is this song, and another of your other video? Thank you

The song in her Stamp making video is Sympathique by Pink Martini

Thank you very much! Gracias!

Belle and Sebastian ~ Step Into My Office Baby.

love2die100 (author)2012-01-18

great idea for a gift!! wife made 2 pictures of these in Egypt when she had gone there on a vacation but on a different basis I will upload the Picture here to show you the result.

LeonaMevek (author)2012-01-01

great idea for a gift!! thanks

tfitzger (author)2011-12-13

Hi there! I've been working on this! Love the idea!! I'm having a problem getting all of the paper residue off....when I wipe it and it's wet, it looks like it's all gone, but when it dries, it has some white spots still. Have you run into this? Do you let it dry before putting the mod podge on? I'm wondering if just putting the mod podge on would make it "disappear". Please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible. I'm trying to make them for Christmas gifts. Thanks for your help!!

crystalshea (author)tfitzger2011-12-17

you'll want to get as much as possible off, but it's inevitable that some will still show even after much patience. when you reach that point, get it damp again- so much that you can't see the "peach fuzz"- and then, apply the modpodge. it should make it disappear to some extent :). hope this helps!! merry christmas!

tfitzger (author)crystalshea2011-12-29

Thanks! I got most of it off. My husband did end up sanding for me, though I don't know if I really noticed a difference. I was wondering if anyone has experimented with various gel mediums. Maybe some are easier than others. I used a semi gloss.

woodsmith (author)crystalshea2011-12-29

Hello, Really impressed with your wooden picture. One thing I`d like to mention is that when a piece of wood is sealed with its 1st coat, the wood fibers will rise, which in turn can cause problems. It would have to be cut down (sanded) with either fine steel wool or fine grit sandpaper, then the piece of wood should be super smooth, making it easier to rub off in your 2nd step.. which some people are having problems with. Hope this helps.. Fellow wood worker..

vikinggoat (author)tfitzger2011-12-14

Did you sand the wood you used, I didn't and I'm having the same problem and wondering the same thing.

tfitzger (author)vikinggoat2011-12-14

I did not sand the wood. It didn't seem to need it. I went back and wiped the paper off a total of 3 times....there was a little left, but I did the mod podge anyway, and the paper doesn't show up. I did another and only wiped it twice. There are a couple of white spots that show through on that one, so I will be meticulous with the rest....

zaphodbeblebrox (author)2011-12-04

Would an Artist Gloss Medium work or does it have to be gel??

l8nite (author)2011-12-02

great project, it would make a great step by step instructable

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