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Photo Transfer to Metal with Mod Podge

Embrace the copper trend with this metal photo transfer art! You’ll use Mod Podge Transfer Medium – it’s very easy to do and makes unique decor.

Skills Required: Intermediate. I would have prior experience with photo transfer medium before attempting this project. Try it on a scrap piece of wood or metal first.

image transfer onto metal

It looks like this copper trend is here to stay, and I’m not complaining! I love decorating with copper accents! When I walked by copper coated aluminum sheets at the hardware store, I immediately knew what to do.

Did you know Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium works on metal too?! In addition to wood. Well, it does, and the final product is fantastic.

(see more photo transfer projects here!)

Using any of your favorite laser printed photos, you can create unique metal photo transfer art. It requires very little effort and produces metal photo transfer art that’s perfect for displaying in your home. You can even give as a gift.

Image Transfer to Metal

Gather These Supplies

  • Sheet metal, cut to size
  • Laser printed photo in desired size, color or greyscale
  • Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium
  • Paintbrush

First, a note about sheet metal. You can purchase sheets of aluminum at most hardware stores. In this case, I purchased one with a copper coating – and they can most likely cut it to your desired size for you.

Otherwise, you can cut it to size using a jigsaw or similar machinery at home. Do so very carefully and according to machine instructions.

Also note, Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium is unique in that it keeps the white portions of images white.

Similar brands may be clear, which means any white sections of your photos will take on the color of the background metal.

Supplies to make a photo transfer to metal

Step 1: Cut the photo print to size so that no border remains (unless that’s what you want).

Copper metal, photo transfer medium, and an image with the photo transfer medium painted on top

Step 2: Use the paint brush to spread on a thick layer of Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium on the image side of the paper. It should be even and entirely cover the image so that you can no longer see it.

transfer photo to metal

Step 3: Immediately place the image down on the sheet metal and use your hands to smooth out the paper and remove any air bubbles.

You don’t want to press so hard that the medium seeps out the sides but just enough that it is completely adhered to the metal and no bubbles remain.

Set aside to dry overnight. Depending on the temperature and humidity, it will be ready within 24 hours.

Step 4: Once completely dry and hard to the touch, use your fingers to add a little water to one corner of the paper. Press lightly and move your fingers in a circular motion to remove the layer of paper.

Go slowly so that you don’t accidentally remove the image. Continue all over the paper with wet hands until all of the paper has been removed.

transfer image to metal

Step 5: Set aside to dry for about 10 minutes. If a white layer dries over the image, you didn’t remove enough paper and will need to repeat the last step.

image transfer to metal

Set the final metal photo transfer on a shelf, mount on a wall or wrap as a gift!

Yield: 1 transfer

Photo Transfer to Metal

Embrace the copper trend with this metal photo transfer art! You'll use Mod Podge Transfer Medium - it's very easy to do and makes unique decor.

Learn how to do a metal photo transfer with Mod Podge! It makes such unique home decor.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 45 minutes
Dry Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Difficulty Intermediate
Estimated Cost $3

Materials

  • Sheet metal, cut to size
  • Laser printed photo in desired size, color or greyscale
  • Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

Tools

  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Print the photo and cut to size so that no border remains.
  2. Use the paintbrush to spread on a thick layer of Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium on the image side of the paper. It should be even and entirely cover the image.
  3. Immediately place the image down on the sheet metal and use your hands to smooth out the paper and remove any air bubbles.
  4. Set aside to dry overnight. Depending on the temperature and humidity, it will be ready within 24 hours.
  5. Once completely dry and hard to the touch, use your fingers to add a little water to one corner of the paper. Press lightly and move your fingers in a circular motion to remove the layer of paper.
  6. Go slowly so that you don’t accidentally remove the image. Continue all over the paper with wet hands until all of the paper has been removed.
  7. Set aside to dry for about 10 minutes. If a white layer dries over the image, you didn’t remove enough paper and will need to repeat the last step.
  8. Display after drying.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!


If you need image transfer tips, just click the image below:

If you are wondering how to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium, here are all of my top tips. Learn how to be successful with this article!

Franco

Friday 15th of October 2021

Has this been tried on metal mesh? Specifically the mesh of a fencing helmet?

Shauna

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Does this technique also work on smaller projects( metal tags for a pet)

Amy

Thursday 15th of April 2021

It does!

Michael Bakalor

Saturday 20th of March 2021

On transferring to metal it states sheet metal. Can you transfer it to aluminum?

Amy

Saturday 20th of March 2021

I'm thinking as long as it's not coated you would be able to!

Craig

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

I have a quick question. Does the phot have to be printed on photo paper or does regular paper work?

Amy

Friday 4th of December 2020

You want regular paper! Laserjet printed. OR if your inkjet printer has really dry ink, like my HP, you can give it a go.

Michelle Nettles

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

Will this technique work with a inkjet photo instead of a laser printed photo? I am having trouble finding somewhere to print a laser photo.

Amy L.

Saturday 13th of March 2021

@Miochelle Nettles, I am not the blog writer. But, here's my two cents anyhow:

I am pretty sure that inkjet copies CANNOT be used in place of laser copies for doing photo transfer projects. The reason being,that inkjet printer ink smears A LOT when it gets wet. However, that being said, I have successfully decoupaged projects in the past using inkjet copies. Except, first it was necessary to seal the ink on the paper, so it wouldn't run when it got wet. To seal the ink, I spray 2 to 3 thin coats of a clear lacquer or acrylic spray paint on both sides of the paper and let it dry. So, maybe try out that method (using a sealed inkjet photo) on a piece of scrap metal to check whether or not it could work for doing photo transfers too. good luck!!

Amy L.

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