DIY Canvas Photo Transfer

Hello! I have a last minute Valentine’s gift idea for you all. (or, any gift, really!) I was inspired by Elsie Larson’s tutorial over on A beautiful mess and motivated to actually make one by the Pinterest Challenge.

After a trip to Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon, I had a pack of 2- 11″x14″ white canvases and some gel medium… all for about $15. I printed out a large black and white image from our wedding on a laser printer at the school where I work. (Elsie said to use a laser image… my printer is an ink jet printer so I wasn’t sure that would work. I’m not 100% sure what the difference is but I played it safe and followed her instructions!)

I painted a thick layer of the Liquitex Gel medium onto my canvas:

And then pressed my picture face down on the canvas… trying to get it as smooth as possible:

And then I let it dry overnight. Β It felt like a long wait!

When it was finally completely dry, I used my fingers to spread a little water on the paper- one section at a time- and started rubbing the paper off. This was the longest, most tedious part of the project and my finger tips definitely felt smoother afterwards! πŸ™‚ It also makes a mess (lots of wet paper pieces!) so you’ll want to do it on a table you can easily clean… not on your couch or something.

And here’s what I ended up with:

It’s not a perfect transfer… and I wasn’t expecting it to be but I’m happy with how it turned out!

For reference, here’s the pin that motivated/inspired this project:

Elsie Larson's Photo Canvas from A beautiful mess

It was a fun project- and Zach likes it too- always a plus. Oh, and I would recommend NOT using a super detailed photo… or maybe even a photo with a face. Here’s what happened with the second canvas I tried:

I will NOT be using this a gift for my mother-in-law’s birthday… but, it was worth a shot! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? πŸ˜‰

Hope your weekend was a good one- we met a friend’s new baby, got some projects done, had a great time at church and spent some time with good friends. Now I’m going to go make some chocolate mousse so that I can post it here tomorrow! πŸ™‚


I am linking this project up at:




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Categories: Tutorials


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