How to Photo Transfer

Learn how to photo transfer with this DIY project so you can use favorite photos in your home decor.

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To give a treasured photo a more permanent place than even a frame, transfer it onto another surface! This easy technique works on both wood and canvas. Make a series of family portraits for your living room, commemorate a beloved pet, or give one as a gift to a friend. They'll be so touched by your thoughtful keepsake.

What You Need

  • Flat wood block or canvas
  • Image laser printed in reverse (you can get one at a copy shop)
  • Gel medium
  • Foam brush
  • Small brayer or spoon
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Clear sealer

Step 1: Apply Gel Medium

Brush a thin, even layer of gel medium over the front side of your photo, making sure it covers the whole surface.

Step 2: Smooth and Dry

Gently place the photo face-down on the wood. Smooth out any air bubbles with a brayer. (If you don't have a brayer, the back of a spoon works just as well.) Now for the waiting: Allow the gel to sit and dry overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Step 3: Wet Image

It's time to soak the transfer. Press a wet rag against the back of your photo, making sure the entire image is soaked.

Step 4: Remove Paper Backing

Carefully rub off the paper fibers with your hands. Be sure not to dig too deeply, or you might scratch the image.

Step 5: Seal and Finish

Once your masterpiece has fully dried, protect it with a layer of sealer.

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