DIY: Photo On Wood

Several years ago, I saw a cool example of a photo printed on wood on Pinterest. While I was thinking of a cute hand made present, this came to my mind again. So I gave it a try! Although it was quite difficult and not exactly as nice as I wanted it to be, I feel like it’s still a cute thing to give away. Check out my tips on how to do it yourself!

What do you need?

  • A (mirrored) picture, printed with a laser printer
  • Mod podge
  • Gel medium
  • Varnish
  • Wood
  • Sponge
  • (Customer) card or something similar
  • Bowl with water
  • In case you want to measure where to print the photo on wood:
    • Ruler
    • Paper
    • Pen
    • Tape
    • Scissors
  • 2 days

How to prepare?

Since the photo is going to be printed on the wood mirrored horizontally, for some photos it is necessary to mirror them before printing. However, it is up to you if you want to do this. I chose not to mirror my picture on forehand, so my picture on wood is different from the original photo.

I used old pieces of wood to print the photos on. I succeeded with 2 out of 4 photos in the end and I think that is because of the wood I used. When using wood with more grooves, you will have a bigger chance of losing some parts of the printed photo while trying to get the paper off the wood. I would suggest buying new wood without many grooves for a better end result!

Mod podge, gel medium and varnish can be found in basically any craft shop.

My printed photos were a bit smaller than the pieces of wood that I had. I wanted to outline the picture in the middle, but was too scared for using a pencil and eraser (possibly damaging the wood). If you choose to print your picture smaller than the wood, then you might need to be a bit creative and use a ruler and some paper on the sides to measure where to stick your picture on to the wood.

How to do it?

First day

  • Put enough gel medium on the wood and spread this equally on the surface.
  • Glue the printed picture with the picture-side to the wood.

Let it dry overnight for at least 10 hours

Second day

  • Carefully use a wet sponge to rub over the photo. Piece for piece, the paper will get off. Be careful: when rubbing too hard you will damage the picture. You can also use your fingers or a paint brush.
  • Let it dry. After drying you will probably see a paper layer appear again. If so, use the wet sponge to get those bits off as well.
  • Repeat these two steps until there is almost no paper layer left after drying.
  • Apply a layer of mod podge and let this dry too.
  • After the layer of mod podge dried, I chose to apply another layer of varnish too.

Good luck and enjoy!!