Canvas Photo Transfer DIY


I have seen a few different tutorials for photo transfers on canvas, and I thought I’d give it a try. The process was easy, however, I chose too detailed of a photograph, and it lost some of it’s contrast in the process. I’ll just call it ‘rustic’. 🙂


  • Photo printed on regular paper using an inkjet printer; print the photo mirrored horizontally, as it will flip when transferred
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Canvas
  • Sponge brush or other large paint brush
  • Acrylic paint if you wish to paint a border (optional)
  • Masking tape to tape off the area which the photo will cover (this is only necessary if your photo is not as large as your canvas)

Begin by taping off the area that your photograph will cover, if necessary. If you use an 8×10 canvas, you shouldn’t need to do so. Spread a generous layer of Matte Gel within the area the photo will cover. Immediately place the photograph ink side down on the matte gel. Smooth the surface of the paper so that there are no bubbles underneath it. Allow to dry overnight.


Once the gel has dried, using a spray bottle, spray the photo with water until soaked. Begin peeling the paper off. The ink should stay and the paper should easily peel away. If the paper isn’t pulling away, spray it with more water. After peeling all of the large pieces of paper off, rub the image so the small bits of paper fall away as well.


If using a canvas larger than the photo, you can leave the outer edges white if you like. I chose to add a border. I simply taped off the area and then painted those edges with acrylic paint.


Allow it to dry completely before removing the tape.


This is a fun craft. It was an experiment that turned out better for me than I thought it might, even if my photo didn’t turn out as crisp as I’d like. The next time I try it, I want to use a photograph without faces. Maybe even a silhouette. I hope you try this out and enjoy 🙂


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