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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 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 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 and let that dry and you’re done!

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!

Inkjet transfer of a photo

Inkjet Photo Transfer to Wood

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

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

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!

what is modge podge
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Jennifer

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Is Elmers regular school glue? I am 68 and the regular school glue I had in school was a small brown glass bottle with a dark dark red slanted rubber tip on it and the glue clear. I know showing my age. Another question, do you absolutely have to use laser printer? I practiced with inkjet printer and it seemed to work okay.

Amy

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Hi Jennifer! The brown glass bottle was usually rubber cement but I'm not sure? Regular school glue would work too. And for this particular tutorial, you do use inkjet!

Lean van de Laar

Friday 10th of November 2017

Can I use glue spray on the stencil or is it better to use children's glue?

Amy

Friday 10th of November 2017

We've never tried with glue spray. You'd have to do a test!

Marcie

Sunday 5th of November 2017

I have a question about printing the photo onto the stencil sheet. Does the stencil sheet go easily through your printer with dried glue on it? I'm worried about it getting caught and jamming.

Amy

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Hi Marcie! I think you are definitely taking a risk putting paper painted with glue into any machine, but . . . I've never seen it "not" work. The glue just has to be dry enough and it won't clog up or ruin your machine.

Cynthia winter

Saturday 4th of November 2017

Can this be transferred onto metal surfaces?

Amy

Sunday 5th of November 2017

Hi Cynthia! It's not going to transfer well onto a smooth surface with a coating - so if the metal has a coating, it won't work.

Elaine Ward

Saturday 4th of November 2017

INKJET PHOTO TRANSFER TO WOOD WITH MOD PODGE

Do you have Video how to do this it would much easier following a step by step video on how to do all that thanks Elaine

Amy

Sunday 5th of November 2017

Elaine, I think that's a great idea! I'll do one before the end of the year.

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