I have been meaning to frame some pictures snapped during various walks with my dogs. I wanted to do something a little different, and I figured transferring the pictures to wood would be perfect as it reinforces the natural element to these outdoors-y photos.
Wood (I cut up a 2 x 2 oak plywood from Lowe’s that I had on hand)
Saw (if needed)
Gel Medium (Matte)
Pictures (printed mirror image on regular printer paper)
Wood Stain (Optional)
Hanging hardware (Optional)
Since I had one large 2 x 2 plywood on hand, I cut it into four pieces. So this step can be skipped if your wood is already cut to size.
Print off your picture onto regular printer paper (make sure to print the picture off as a mirror image so that when the photo is transferred to the wood it will maintain the original configuration). I have seen this method used for black and white photos mostly, but I really wanted some antique-looking color transferring to the wood. So I choose to print my photos off in color. Apply the gel medium to the wood in an even, thin coat.
Flip your photo over so that the ink is facing the wood, and carefully place the photo where you want it on the wood.
Press lightly to smooth out any air pockets and ensure the picture is adhered to the wood.
Set aside and allow to dry for a full 24 hours. Then comes the messy part! Apply some water to the paper and start to rub the top layer of paper off of the wood. This is difficult to describe, but hopefully the photos below help to demonstrate the technique. You can also use a soft sponge for this step instead of your fingers if you wish. Lessons learned- I used an inkjet printer, and my pictures did transfer. However, it you rub too hard, you can start to peel off the photo so you have to be careful. I have read that printing with a laser printer fixes this issue.
Once you have gotten all of the paper off, you can stain the wood if you so choose. Once dry, seal by applying a thin layer of Mod Podge. Lessons learned- cut the photo before transferring, so you don’t get a white border as seen below.
I did apply hanging hardware to my pictures, but I haven’t quite decided where I am going to put them yet…
There are a lot of great online tutorials for transferring pictures to wood you can also check out:
This video tutorial found on diyncrafts
This tutorial found on mykitchenescapades