I’ve always been intrigued by wood transfer projects.  I’ve experimented with several different applications:  cutting scrapbook paper, using vintage images from books,  and transfers to fabric, but my favorite is transferring personal pictures.  I love the rustic, vintage look it creates.

My Photo to Wood Transfer tutorial has been so popular that I decided to make a video tutorial to show exactly how the process is done.  This short video will teach you all the little things I’ve learned along the way about how to achieve a perfect finish for your photo transfer.  (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the answers to some FAQs.) Enjoy!

Supplies used for this project:

Commonly Asked Questions:

Do I have to use Mod Podge Transfer Medium?

No.  I’ve linked to some other transfer mediums in the first paragraph of my post.  THIS VIDEO shows you how to transfer using Mod Podge Transfer Medium.

What is the difference?

Many other mediums, like regular Mod Podge and Gel Medium, leave a clear background.  Mod Podge Transfer Medium creates like an “iron on” effect, where the background is a white sort of film.  The wood grain will not show through.

What kind of paper did you use?

This is regular copy paper.  NOT PHOTO PAPER.  I took my photo to a copy store and asked to make a color copy.  It cost around 50 cents.  You can also check your local library for a color copy machine.

Can I use my ink jet printer at home?

NO!  The ink will smear.  Here’s the test I use with images I’m not sure about (ie. vintage papers, etc.):  drop some water on a corner of the image.  If the ink starts to smear then stop.  If the water soaks in and does not distort the image, you should be fine.  If the water beads up and does not penetrate the paper (this will happen with glossy paper or photos) then stop…the transfer will not work.

Does this work with laser printers?

I have not personally tried this but several commenters on the video say that yes, this will work.

I originally published this post at Crafts Unleashed.


  1. What kind of photo paper can ya use when you do the transfer photos onto wood can you use the glossy photo paper like a
    reg photo or do you need to use the photo paper that is like reg plain printer paper

  2. Hi Morena I have one more Question to ask my printer is a hp desk jet 2510 series it is a printer scanner and a copy can i use this print to print my photos to do the transfer photos onto wood thanks

    • I believe that is an ink jet printer. The problem with ink jet is that the ink, when it gets wet, will smear and run. The way you can test it is to print an image with your printer, drop some water on it, and see if the color smears or not. If the color stays put they you should be OK. The safest thing to do, though, is to take it to your library or to a copy center and have them make a color copy for you. That uses toner which works best with the transfer of color. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Morena and Elaine. You can use an ink jet printer, you just have to add an extra couple of days to the process. Print your image on your inkjet, then leave it for at least 24 to 36 hours to dry completely. This allows the ink to stabilise so it doesn’t run when you add the mod podge. Generally the colours might be a little less vibrant than with toner, but it does give a lovely vintage effect. I’m not kidding about the drying time, though – 24 hours absolute minimum!

        • Thanks! I have used ink jet and I always end up unhappy with the way faces look. It works with florals but when eyes and lips get even the teeniest bit of blurring it just ruins it for me. ????


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