How to Transfer a Photo to Wood

In anticipation of getting my wedding photos back from our photographer I've been dreaming up creative ways to display some of our photos around the house. I've always wanted to try transferring a photo to wood so I looked up a few tutorials online to see how it's done. I learned pretty quickly that not every tutorial out there will result in a beautiful transfer. But what I learned I'm happy to share with you!How to get a photo to transfer onto woodThis project is part of our collaboration with Canon USA. We used a MG6320 printer to create this transfer. Among the many tutorials I researched the one I found most useful was from C. MonckHow to transfer a photo onto woodIn the video above you can watch me make the wood transfer pictured here from start to finish. Here are the instructions along with additional tips and a few peeks into the numerous failed attempts:Supplies to make a wood transferSupplies needed: Shipping label sheets (I used these), Krylon clear sealer, Elmer's glue, Liquitex matte gel (medium), small sponges. Not pictured: ink jet printer, paint roller (or rolling pin), 8x10 inch untreated wood (lighter colored wood is preferred). 

Note: If you do plan to use a photo you didn't take yourself (like a wedding photo) be sure you have the photographers permission.How to make a wood transfer with elmers glue1.) Remove and discard the labels. You only want the backing paper. 2.) Spray on a thin coat of the Krylon clear sealer and allow to dry. 3.) Use a small sponge to apply a thin layer of Elmer's glue to the paper. Allow this to fully dry.Best way to make a wood transfer using an ink jet printer image4.) Print your photo onto the paper, on the side with the dried glue. Be careful not to smear the image once it has been printed. 5.) Use a small sponge to apply a thin coat of Liquitex to the wood. While it is still wet apply your photo, image side down, to the wood. Use a roller to flatten the paper onto the wood. Allow this to dry for 1 hour. 6.) Carefully peel back the paper from the transfer and seal with another thin coat of Krylon clear sealer. Once that dries you could add another coat of sealer, like Mod Podge.Wood transfer DIYNow you are ready to display your transfer in your home. I just love the rustic look of wood. :) 

I bet you want to see the failed attempts huh? Yeah, I would too. Here they are along with what I learned and any additional tips that might help you if you are planning to make your own wood transfer.Trouble shooting wood transfers using ink jet printersThis one... kind of transfered. Sort of. It's very faint as you can see and also quite a mess to work with as you try to remove the paper. The tutorial I followed for this attempt was very similar to the one above except that it didn't use clear sealer and it suggested using Mod Podge instead of Liquitex. In my opinion the Liquitex, although a little more expensive than Mod Podge, was well worth the investment.What to do if your wood transfer has streaksOh dear. This attempt was done doing the exact technique taught above, except that instead of using a sponge to apply the Elmer's glue I used a paint brush. For me, the paint brush left a lot of streaks and uneven coverage. I recommend using a sponge. Sponge for the win!What to do if your wood transfer has bubblesThis one is pretty good, huh? Not too bad. The main issue here was that there was some bubbling in the paper, and it showed in the transferred image (in the area below our hands). This is why it's important to use a mini paint roller or rolling pin to help flatten down the paper onto the wood as the image transfers over. Say no to bubbles. 

If you have any additional questions let us know. Or if you have also completed a wood transfer project before and have any tips you'd like to share feel free. :) Thanks! xo. Emma

Wedding photo by: Arrow & Apple

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