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Inkjet Photo Transfer to Wood with Mod Podge

Did you know you can transfer INKJET printed images onto wood? Yes . . . this inkjet photo transfer to wood is easy with Mod Podge and regular school glue.

Skills Required: Intermediate Beginner. You should have prior crafting experience before attempting this craft; preferably with Mod Podge. It’s not necessarily hard, but it can get tricky so it’s best if you have experience with the materials.

Inkjet Photo Transfer to Wood with Mod Podge

Yep, you heard right! You can do an inkjet photo transfer to wood with just Mod Podge. I love transferring images to wood – they make these personalized rustic little pieces that are perfect to just sprinkle around the house or to give as a small personalized gift.

You don’t need a laser printer or photo transfer medium either for this tutorial. It’s different from the Mod Podge photo transfer medium in that it gives your image a clear background.

Transfer Inkjet to Wood

You might be wondering how the image goes from the inkjet printer/whatever you print out, and onto the wood. It’s magic! It’s actually not magic though.

The basic process is that you will print an image onto a stencil sheet (not photo paper) that has dried glue on top. You will apply Mod Podge to wood, then place the photo/stencil sheet face down into the Podge. 24 hours later, you’ll peel the stencil sheet from the wood and the photo will be left behind!

And this is how you transfer inkjet images to wood using Mod Podge.

Mod Podge Formula to Use

There are several Mod Podge formulas you can use – I recommend sticking with the basic formulas of Gloss, Matte, or Satin. It really doesn’t matter which, it’s all about the finish you like.

Stay away from the Outdoor and Fabric formulas, or any Mod Podge that’s a bit thicker. You want regular consistency medium for this project.

In addition, don’t get confused by the photo transfer formula. It’s not the same thing at all. That uses laserjet images, and that Mod Podge version isn’t used for decoupage. That’s a specific formula with a specific use, and this just uses original Mod Podge.

Are you interested to see how I did it? I know you’ll use this technique for transferring photos all the time after I teach you. So read on!

Inkjet Transfer to Wood

Supplies: 

Sanding a wood block with sandpaper

Step 1. Sand the wood block – you want the surface to be as smooth as possible for better photo transfer to wood. Wipe away any dust with a tack cloth or wet cloth.

Paint two thin layers of glue onto the shiny side of your stencil sheet

Step 2. Paint two thin layers of glue onto the shiny side of your stencil sheet. You can use transparency films as well if that is what you have on hand.

Once fully dry, print your image onto the glue covered stencil sheet with your printer. Black and white photos work well, but so do color. I’ll leave that up to you.

Note: you’ll need to reverse the image if you want it to show up the way it is on screen OR if there’s text.

inkjet transfer to wood

Step 3. Allow the printed image to FULLY DRY before proceeding onto this step – paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the wood block and carefully lay your image on top.

Using the stencil sheet will allow you to align it much easier with the wood edges. Smooth slightly with your hands.

transfer print to wood

Step 4. Wait until the Mod Podge is dry on your photo transfer to wood (I let mine dry overnight – 24 hours is the recommended dry time).

Lightly run the tip of a craft knife onto the sides of the wood before peeling to separate the image from the rest of the glue that dried. Peel carefully, again making sure your image is fully dry or it won’t transfer perfectly.

Stain the edge of a wood block with a sponge brush

Step 5. Stain the sides and the back of the wood block. Let dry.

transfer inkjet images to wood using mod podge
Inkjet transfer of a photo

This simple tutorial photo transfer to wood does take time, but it gives fantastic image transfer results without the hassle of wetting the image and rubbing the paper off. The stencil sheet can also be used again!

What image would you transfer? Have fun crafting and don’t forget to follow me on social media or my blog for more ideas, freebies and tutorials!

Yield: 1 project

Inkjet Photo Transfer to Wood

Inkjet transfer of a photo

This inkjet photo transfer to wood is easy with Mod Podge and regular school glue. Do it in five simple steps!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 25 minutes
Dry Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • Plastic stencil sheet
  • PVA glue (normal school glue)
  • Mod Podge Matte or Gloss
  • Wood block
  • Wood stain

Tools

  • Sponge brush
  • Printer
  • Sandpaper

Instructions

  1. Sand the wood block - you want the surface to be as smooth as possible for better image transfer.
  2. Paint two thin layers of glue onto the shiny side of the stencil sheet. You can use transparency films as well, if that is what you have on hand. Once fully dry, print the image onto the glue covered stencil sheet with the printer. Allow the printed image to FULLY DRY before proceeding to the next step.
  3. Paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the wood block and carefully lay the image on top. Using the stencil sheet will allow you to align it much easier with the wood edges. Smooth slightly with your hands.
  4. Wait until the Mod Podge is dry on the inkjet transfer to wood (I let mine dry overnight - 24 hours is recommended). Lightly run the tip of a craft knife onto the sides of the wood before peeling to separate the image from the rest of the glue that dried. Peel carefully, again making sure the image is fully dry or it won't transfer perfectly.
  5. Stain the sides and the back of the wood block and let that dry to finish.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

This inkjet transfer project was inspired by another inkjet photo transfer we spotted at Photojojo!

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Margo DiPatri

Thursday 6th of May 2021

I wanted to ask, if when I transfer the picture (I’m doing a flower) to a wooden house, with the exception of the flower, will the glue on the non-printed area of the paper transfer to the wood as well? Also, they are 12x12 sheets, do we cut them down to letter size? Thank you!

Sheryl

Monday 26th of April 2021

Will this work on reverse decoupage onto clear plate?

Amy

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Hi Sheryl! I think I have seen this done on glass but I have not tried it personally. If you give it a try let me know!

Amanda

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

Hi! Love this idea, thanks so much.

Quick question, when printing, what paper type setting should I use? Since my printer doesn’t have a “dried glue stencil” setting. 😆

Thanks so much!! Amanda

Amy

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

Hahaha! Just the regular paper setting is what Aki used in the tutorial. You may need to play with the settings but that should work.

Stephanie

Saturday 17th of April 2021

I'm a little confused on how to print the photo. Your instructions say to print onto the stencil once the glue has dried, but on Amazon through the link you gave says the stencil cannot be put through an ink jet printer. Am I misunderstanding that step? Thanks! 🙂

Amy

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Hi Stephanie! The reason it says that on Amazon is because the ink wil smear if you just put the stencil in by itself. BUT you want the ink to be able to be released off of the stencil sheet! So if you were trying to print directly onto the sheet and wanted it to stick . . . it wouldn't work. In this case we want to print onto the glue on the stencil sheet and have it come off. So honestly we're using these in a way that they aren't intended, but it works :)

M

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Will clear acetate sheet (from Michaels) work? 🙏🏼

Thank you.

Amy

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

Hi M! I'm thinking it would work though I'm not for sure. But I don't think the ink would stick to it and that's the important part. What I would do is take one for the team and try it out. :D Thank you!

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