When I saw DIY projects on transferring photo to canvas, I thought “oh I have to do this.” I tried a few of the methods that I found, but was never happy with the outcome. In one of the methods, the photo was pretty much just mod podged to the top of the canvas. The other method left a white residue from the photo paper all over your picture. Additionally, both methods resulted in the photo basically laying on TOP of the canvas, giving the look of a photo just glued on. I wanted the picture to be directly on the canvas, giving it that textured look, almost like a painting. After some trial an error, my husband and I discovered a technique that seems to work best, using transfer paper and an iron!
DIY Photo to Canvas Tutorial
- iron-on transfer paper (we found this same brand iron-on transfer paper at Michaels)
- high resolution pictures that you will be printing on the Iron-on transfer paper
- staple gun
- screw driver
- needle nose pliers
- mod podge clear acrylic sealer
Step 1: print out your picture on the Iron-on transfer paper. Make sure you flip the image horizontally in a photo editing program such as Photoshop BEFORE you print it out, as when you iron on the picture it will reverse it. We tried a few different transfer papers and we found that this one worked the best. Avery Iron-on Transfer Paper. Keep in mind that if your canvas is larger than 8.5″ x 11″ (standard paper size), then you will need to print out an additional section and “stitch” them together. We will be going over that later, as in the example our canvas is more than 11″ in width.
Step 2: remove the staples from the back of the canvas, by using a screw driver. (the staples can be difficult to remove, we found the best way to remove them is to go underneath the canvas in-between the wood.) Then use needle nose pliers to pull out the staple.
Step 3: once all the staples are out, remove the canvas from the wood. Using your hot iron, iron the back of the canvas to remove any kinks and make it flat.
Step 4: place your image face down on to the front of the canvas.
Step 5: in step 1, I had mentioned that if your canvas is larger than 8.5″ x 11″ you will need to print out the rest of your image on another sheet of paper and then “stitch” them together. By “stitch,” I mean use clear tape and tape the two together. Then using your really hot iron (have your iron on the highest setting) iron the image on to the canvas. You will want to do this for about 5 min or so.
Step 6: slowly start pulling off the transfer paper by starting at one of the corners. Make sure to not pull up. While you are pulling off the transfer paper, if you notice that some of the image is still on the paper and not on the canvas just lay it back down and iron it again.
Step 6: using your staple gun, staple the canvas back to the wood.
Step 7: spray with Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer. Wallah! You are done! Now you can sit back, relax, enjoy your favorite beverage and admire your finished product!
Here is our finished product. As you can see, my husband being the artist that he is, painted over the seam from the 2 “stitched” together pictures, and also added some brush strokes with acrylic paint to give it a more painting like feel. If you want to do that, paint first and then spray the image with the Mod Podge.
We did a whole layout of these in our basement family room. We decided to go with a vacation theme. We took images from some of our favorite vacation destinations and composited them into one larger design. We also did a cool effect where they are black and white with Pops of color. I am also going to update this post soon with a link to my husbands blog, where he will have a video tutorial of how to achieve the effect in Photoshop. Enjoy!
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts!
I’m linking to: Lil’ Luna Link Party Palooza, Super Saturday, Strut your Stuff Saturday, Best of the Weekend, Home Stories A to Z, Share it Sunday, Do Tell Tuesday, Share it Link Party, Link It or Lump It, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, The Inspiration Board, From Dream to Reality, Lovely Ladies Linky, DIY Sunday Showcase, Turn it up Tuesday, Work it Wednesday, Inspiration Monday, Bouquet of Talent, That DIY Party, It’s Party Time, Block Party, Create Link Inspire, Mad Skills, Whimsy Wednesdays, Link’n Blogs, Freedom Fridays, DIY Inspired Party