How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial

Tutorial: How to Transfer Photos to Wood

How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial

Tutorial: How to Transfer Photos to Wood

This month was our 4th wedding anniversary and I needed a gift quick. I should also mention that we are on a “no spend binge” while we are trying to pay off our ridiculously massive (law school) student loans in a short amount of time.  We have set a strict budget, and while I would normally just Amazon anything I wanted, I am dedicated to this cause so I needed to make a meaningful gift with what I had on hand.

Being crafty, I was lucky to have everything but the wood slabs on hand.  All of the products can be purchased at a craft store, like Michaels.  I also only had a few days to try out a project and make it work.  I have seen a few tutorials for this, but needed a simplified version that was quick and cheap.  Let me tell you that I used trial and error to figure out what worked and what didn’t!

How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial

Supply List:

  • Wood slab
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium (or photo transfer kit)
  • Photo last printed on copy paper
  • foam brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Starbucks Card for smoothing out bubbles
  • Tea Towel
  • Water



  1. Print a photo with a laser printer onto plain copy paper. {You must use a laser printer (toner) not inkjet}. I went with Black and white, but you can use color too.
  2. Apply gel medium directly to wood with foam brush.  Make sure it is thick but not globby.
  3. Place printed photo face down onto the wood and adhere to gel with a credit card (or a Starbucks card!).
  4. Let dry overnight.  Yes, all night.  I  tried this with lesser time and results vary.  To make sure the glue is dry, let it dry all night.  Your patience will pay off.
  5. Soak a tea towel with water and lay it over the paper.  Let the paper saturate and then peel off the paper.  It will leave a lot of paper residue.
  6. Carefully and slowly roll off the paper reside with your index finger, by rolling it back and forth.
  7.  Once all paper is removed, the wood slab will feel smooth.  You can use the tea towel again to soften any remaining paper.  Make sure to remove all of the paper.
  8. Seal with a thin layer of Mod Podge.  I used matte, but you can use matte or gloss.
  9. Give it away, gift it, or enjoy it!



I have had a lot of questions about which products to specifically use so here is my quickest that can be ordered from Amazon to complete the project.


Other Sample Projects

Here are a few other transfers I made this week:

How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial

How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial

Here I went for a distressed look and only spot added Gel Medium.  It gives it a worn look.  I also sanded the wood after I removed the paper to leave “bald” spots on the wood.

How To: Transfer Photos to Wood Full Tutorial



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