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Mod Podge Photo Transfer to Glass Vases

Use Mod Podge to do a photo transfer to glass! The decal method is the most successful way to get transfer on glass that I’ve found. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see a video of this method in action!

Skills Required: Intermediate. You should expect some trial and error with this project. The decals are somewhat thin and it takes some practice to learn how thick to make the medium and how much paper to rub off. It helps if you’ve used Mod Podge or photo transfer medium before.

Vintage Mod Podge Photo Transfer to Glass Vases

Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than pictures of friends and family. I especially love collecting and displaying old photos that family members haven’t seen.

Here is an interesting way to display vintage photos using a Mod Podge photo transfer process – it’s call the decal method.

Photo Transfer to Glass

It’s the most successful way of doing a photo transfer to glass that I’ve ever found and I highly recommend it.

Let’s dive into the decal method and into a few frequently asked questions you might have about transferring photos to glass before I share the tutorial with you. I’ve done this a lot and have failed a lot, so I’m excited

The Decal Method

I’m sure you’ve noticed that glass is a slick surface. You can Mod Podge a photo directly to glass, but can you photo transfer to glass? The answer is no – not directly. You’ll need to use the “decal method.”

In the decal method, you’re going to print out photos on printer paper (not photo paper) and then paint them with Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

You’ll let that dry, rub away the paper, and a decal of the medium will be left behind. You’re going to use this as a decal to place on the glass. The nice thing about this method? It’s basically a glass cling, and you can (typically) remove it and reuse as necessary.

(Another related method is the packing tape image transfer if you want to check that out! It works on glass too but has a different effect).

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

Inkjet or Laserjet?

Typically you’d do this photo transfer to glass with laserjet copies. But the rule isn’t that you use a laserjet – the rule is that you use a dry ink toner.

My point is, I actually used my HP inkjet printer for this photo transfer, because the ink that HP puts in their cartridges is very dry.

If you have any doubts as to whether your inkjet printer has a dry ink, you can go ahead and try this first with the photo transfer medium and see if it works. If it doesn’t, go to Staples or Kinkos and get laserjet printouts. Remember to use regular paper – not photo paper.

Transferring Photos – Tips for Success

What are my most important tips for a photo transfer to glass? Here they are:

  1. Use a medium layer of the transfer medium – obscure the image entirely so you can’t see any portion of it. Thicker is better than thinner, otherwise your decal will be too thin and tear easily.
  2. Reverse any images with words so that they appear correctly when the transfer is complete.
  3. Use thinner printer paper. You are going to rub away all the paper, so nothing too thick – 20 lb or less is good.
  4. Don’t rub too much in one place or you’ll tear the decal. Wet, rub, let dry a little, then repeat. The decals are slightly fragile.
  5. Understand that the images are always going to have a vintage look. This is the case when you transfer any image to wood, canvas, etc. as well. That is the result of using this medium.

Ready for the project? Let’s get to it – and learn how to transfer photos to glass using the decal method.

These vases are a great way to showcase some of the great times you’ve had with your family and friends over the summer. I’d recommend keeping some and giving others away as gifts. Add fun fall items, like pine cones, for ambience.

Transfer a Picture to Glass

Gather These Supplies

Cutting out a vintage image with blue handled scissors

Print out your images on your printer and cut them out with the scissors. Leave approximately a 1/2” – 1” border around the image.

TIP: If there is any writing or text in the photo, reverse the image before printing to make it readable.

Apply Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium to the paper

Lay your photos face up on wax paper. Spread Mod Podge in a thick layer using the foam brush until you can no longer see the photo. Then place on wax paper (keeping the photo transfer medium and photo face up).

Photos with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium drying on the front

Let your photos completely dry overnight on the wax paper.

Rub paper off of the image

Once dry, turn your photo over, dampen in the sink (or with a spray bottle) and start rubbing away the paper. You can use your finger and medium pressure.

TIP: Don’t rub too long in one place or you will tear the image.

Images created using the Mod Podge photo transfer decal method

Let the photos dry and see if there are additional areas where you need to rub away paper. Continue to be gentle when rubbing.

Cut out the glass picture decals

Cut out the images and adhere the photos to glass. They will stick if you rub, so rub carefully. If you don’t press them down too hard, they can be peeled up and reused. 

Vintage Mod Podge Photo Transfer to Glass Vases

I love the idea of doing this photo transfer to glass on recycled mason jars, glass bottles or any other containers you can get from the thrift store.

Surprise your family with old photos when they come over – you can even ask them to guess who is in the photo!

See how to make these photo transfer decals in the video in this post! Just click play to learn how.

If you love this photo transfer to glass, be sure to create your own version and share with me in the comments! Be sure to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Vintage Mod Podge Photo Transfer to Glass Vases

Photos on Glass

Yield: 3 decals
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Dry Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $2

Learn how to do a photo transfer to glass with the decal method and Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

Materials

  • Glass vases of various sizes
  • Mod Podge photo transfer medium

Tools

  • Printer and paper
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Wax paper or a silicone mat

Instructions

  1. Print out the images and cut out with the scissors. Leave approximately a 1/2” - 1” border around the image.
  2. Lay the photos face up on wax paper. Spread Mod Podge in a thick layer using the foam brush until you can no longer see the photo. Then place on wax paper (keeping the photo transfer medium and photo face up).
  3. Let the photos completely dry overnight on the wax paper.
  4. Once dry, turn a photo over, dampen in the sink (or with a spray bottle) and start rubbing away the paper. You can use your finger and medium pressure.
  5. Let the photos dry and see if there are additional areas where you need to rub away paper. Continue to be gentle when rubbing.
  6. Cut out the images and adhere the photos to glass. They will stick if you rub, so rub carefully.

Notes

TIP: If there is any writing or text in the photo, reverse the image before printing to make it readable.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!


And if you want more articles about Mod Podge photo transfer medium, check out the posts below! Just click on the image to go to the post.

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!

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Sandra Cole

Monday 18th of January 2021

Love this.I'm anxious to try.thank you What's the best modge to use for picture's on wood,so i can still see grain of wood after i finish?

Amy

Monday 18th of January 2021

I would use Gloss, Satin, or Matte for this depending on the finish you like best (shiny, kinda shiny, and flat). All will dry clear so if there is a wood grain, you'll see it!

Diane Hopkins

Thursday 19th of July 2018

I have tried to find this Photo Transfer Medium and I can not find it anywhere. I do not have access to a Hobby store for living so far in the country. Please help me find where to purchase this product, A S A P!!! Thank you!

Amy

Thursday 19th of July 2018

Diane, does Amazon deliver to you? That's the best way to get it if you are rural: https://amzn.to/2LxseP6

Penny Singer

Sunday 15th of July 2018

I am an activity director in a nursing home. My resident's love crafts. Unfortunately they struggle with complicated projects. So, Modge Podge is my favorite go to. They can create beautiful projects that they can display proudly! Thank you for such a wonderfully, magical product!

Penny Singer

Adriana contreras Esquivel

Wednesday 31st of August 2016

Muy completo el proyecto de transferencia....me encantó... Gracias.