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! Scroll down to see a video of the process in action!
Have you ever used Mod Podge photo transfer medium? It’s a great formula – one of my Mod Podge-y favorites (I use it to transfer photos to wood!).
It’s also one of the formulas that I get the most questions about, so I thought I’d share some tips about using this medium to do a photo transfer with you.
Mod Podge in general is really easy to use, however, the photo transfer medium takes a bit of practice. This isn’t meant to be discouraging – it’s actually meant to be the opposite!
It’s not nearly as hard as knitting, another one of my favorite crafts. I learned to knit at age 15 and messed up like you wouldn’t believe. Yet I kept at it, and now I love it.
And that’s the way I feel about Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
Mod Podge Photo Transfer Tips
So here’s the point: you’re going to master it, I promise! With a little practice and patience, you’ll be a photo transfer ninja. Here are some of my most important tips to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
1) Remember that the medium isn’t clear.
When people ask me “why should I use Mod Podge photo transfer instead of regular Mod Podge?” Well . . . this is one big reason.
This isn’t just Mod Podge in a different bottle.
It’s a product meant for photo transfer only, and it will produce an opaque, white background. This means you can use it on dark colored items too. Plan your project accordingly.
2) Print your image on a dry toner printer; don’t use real photographs.
Both inkjet and laserjet will work, it just has to be a dry toner printer. So how to tell if your printer is dry toner? It’s hard to say. Laserjet will work 99% of the time. Inkjet . . . it just depends.
My HP works very well because it has a very dry ink. There are about 10,000 different printers out there, so I’d say your best bet is to do a small test if you’re unsure. This will help you practice too! Grab a small scrap of paper and print out a small image – let’s say 2″ or 3″ square.
Expert tip: if you are printing an image with words – reverse the image on your computer before printing! The words will come out correctly when you do the transfer.
3) Make sure to use enough medium on top of the image.
So here’s my process. I cut the image down to size, and then place it face up on my Mod Podge silicone mat. I use a foam brush to apply the transfer medium over the top of the photo until the image is obscured completely – meaning, I can’t see any of the photo.
Then I use a fingernail or tweezers to pick up the corner of the image, flip it over, and place it down onto the surface. I use my Mod Podge brayer to roll out the image.
If you used the right amount of medium, not much (if anything) will come out the sides. If it does, wipe away, as it will dry and be stuck there if you don’t!
Leave your photo transfer to dry for 24 hours.
4) Take a lot of patience and care when rubbing off the paper.
This is probably the hardest part of the whole thing. You will need to wet your item and rub the paper off, revealing the image below. It’s a little weird to wet your craft project and you’re going to be thinking, “am I doing this right?”
Start lightly and rub off the paper backing – let dry to see what you’ve done. If your image doesn’t look right, wet again and repeat. As you get more experience, you’ll start to see exactly how much you can rub to reveal the image without ruining it.
Because if you rub too hard, you will rub the image away . . . and we don’t want that! I rub with medium pressure, then I typically let dry and rub again if necessary. These days I’m good enough to get it on the first try! You can get there, too.
5) Expect a vintage-style image.
This (to me) is an advantage over just Mod Podging an image down. Well, this and the item is now washable (if it’s fabric). But I do love the vintage-y look that a photo transfer gives you.
It’s a less sharp version of a real photograph, and it has its own unique look that I appreciate. Once you do try it, you’ll see exactly what I mean. The soft, vintage-y look is really nice in home decor. I think you’re going to like it!
NOTE: This medium is hand washable only. Keep that in mind! No machine washing, my friends.
Now that you know my tipes, I’d also love to know what questions you have about Mod Podge photo transfer medium in the comments! And if you’re ready to watch the video of the process, all you have to do is click “play” in the center of this post!
Are you ready to try it?? Visit our Mod Podge photo transfer craft ideas! I’d also love for you to visit the following projects:
Thursday 30th of March 2023
Can you mod podge with a page that's double-sided? Will the other print come through over the one I really want?
Sunday 2nd of April 2023
It depends on how thick the paper is. You're commenting on a photo transfer post, so if you're doing a photo transfer, no it can't be double sided. If you're just Mod Podging, it should be at least 80 weight paper. So way heavier than regular printer paper. I can decoupage doubled sided scrapbook papers without the other side showing through, and those papers are 80 - 100 lb weight plus. So thicker papers :)
Tuesday 28th of March 2023
Hi. I spilled a large amount of laundry detergent on my finished product. It’s messed up my image so I rubbed the image away completed leavening me with the white background. Can I try laying the image on that same spot using the transfer medium again?
Sunday 2nd of April 2023
Hmmmm . . .. I think you could layer it just fine. I'm not 100% sure because I never have, but I think you could. This is a disclaimer though that it might not work . . . I'd try it personally though :)
Saturday 4th of March 2023
Do we have to print on a certain type of paper when transferring to metal? I'm looking to transfer designs onto metal to use in jewelry.
Saturday 4th of March 2023
Hi Marcia! Just regular printer paper. You want something that you can rub away, so no coated papers (like photo papers). The idea is that the photo transfers to the medium and that goes on the surface, while you wet and wipe away the paper. :)
The Crafty Girl
Wednesday 9th of November 2022
Is it machine washable, or only hand washable? I’d like to make a garment for someone, but want to ensure that it’s something that lasts…and that I give them proper care instructions.
Saturday 26th of November 2022
Machine washable cold and hang dry :)
Friday 7th of October 2022
I am going to transfer photos to a metal tin initial for a wedding and it KS going to be a collage of pictures all grouped together. What is the best way to put the pictures all together and mod podge it at once?
Wednesday 26th of October 2022
Just put all the pictures together, make a laserjet copy (or have Kinkos do it for you) and then Mod Podge that. You need a laserjet copy anyway for the transfer: https://modpodgerocksblog.com/metal-photo-transfer-art/