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Photo Transfer to Canvas with Mod Podge

A photo transfer to canvas gives your photo and your project a slightly vintage feel – it’s a beautiful twist on a traditional decoupage craft!

Skills Required: Intermediate. Photo transfer takes a little practice, particularly with learning how much of the paper you can rub on. I’d try a sample project first in case there’s a learning curve for you.

Photo Transfer to Canvas with Mod Podge

Doing a photo transfer to canvas – this is a project I get asked about ALL the time. Making a project like this requires one of my favorite Mod Podge products, the photo transfer medium!

If you haven’t tried it, it’s kind of amazing. And that’s what Laura used to create this fabulous DIY canvas.

I know what your question is going to be. Why would you do a photo transfer as opposed to just decoupaging the printed image directly to the canvas?

Well, my friends, Mod Podge photo transfer medium just gives an image a different look.

I love the vintage, (slightly) faded feel, and you also don’t have to worry about wrinkles, which is pretty nice since canvas isn’t the easiest surface to Mod Podge a sheet of paper to.

If you’ve been holding off on trying the photo transfer medium, give it a go – it’s pretty fun. Give this transfer a few tries and I promise you’ll be good to go! Learn how to make this canvas idea below.

Yield: 1 canvas

Photo Transfer to Canvas

A photo transfer to canvas gives your photo and your project a slightly vintage feel - it's a beautiful twist on a traditional decoupage craft!

Learn how to do an image transfer to canvas using Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 45 minutes
Dry Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 55 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Estimated Cost $10


  • Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Acrylic paint
  • Canvas
  • Laserjet printout to fit the canvas
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Small bowl of water
  • Sponge


  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes


  1. Lay out a piece of parchment paper. Using your foam brush, cover the picture with an even and thick coating of the photo transfer medium. You should barely be able to see the image.
  2. Place the image face down on the canvas and smooth out any bumps. Wipe away any medium that comes out the sides.
  3. Leave overnight (at least 12 hours) to dry.
  4. Once dry, begin removing the paper with water and a sponge. Wet and slowly begin rubbing and removing the paper.
  5. You will begin to see the image appearing. Continue but don't rush, until all the paper is removed.
  6. Once idry, using the craft paint to layer in colors and create your desired image (optional).
  7. Cover the canvas with a coat of Mod Podge Matte. Let dry.
  8. Paint the sides to finish; let dry before displaying or hanging.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

Painted canvas: Mod Podge photo transfer at Finding Home

Love this home decor idea? Check out these other photo craft ideas here:


Sunday 15th of October 2023

Is it possible to rub off some of the transfer if you rub to hard? If you do how do you recommend fixing it??


Monday 28th of August 2023

Hi Amy. I used the transfer medium to transfer a photograph onto a sheet of A4 Cranford card. When I wet the print after letting it dry for 24hrs, the the card stock, warped, and didn't look very good. Should I have used a different material to transfer image onto. I found canvas to be quite expensive to make mistake with.


Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Hi Anthony! The reason is because the water was only applied to the one side, which warps when you do that to cardstock. And it's hard to get it back. You can try to flatten it with a book. But honestly it's hard with cardstock because it's not meant to be exposed to that much water. What about using a piece of wood?

Diane Kelley

Sunday 11th of June 2023

I’m so confused about too many different kinds of Mod Podge


Thursday 15th of June 2023

I have a formula guide!


Tuesday 10th of January 2023

Hi. I Trusted Google To Advise Me Which Product Was Best For Sticking Gloss Photos To A Canvas Which Might Sound Weird, I Ordered A Very Big Canvas From A Company And It Was Printed Wrong So There Is A Massive Amount Of Blank Canvas And It Looks Horrible. I Printed Out A Few More Photos To Fill Out The Empty Space And Tried To Find A Product To Stick Them To The Canvas And A Site Said Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium. I Have Found After Buying It That Its Not For Sticking Photos,Its For Transferring Them According To Instructions Can Anyone Help Plz.I Need To Know What Product Would Stick Gloss Photos To A Canvas


Wednesday 11th of January 2023

Hello Steven! I used Mod Podge and printouts on canvas here: You don't want to use photo paper. It has a coating that doesn't work well with acrylic products. I'd color copy them at Kinkos on laser jet, so you can decoupage them with no ink bleeding. Yes you would use the Gloss in the orange bottle. Not the photo transfer medium. Get a guide here to the formulas:


Monday 28th of February 2022

Can you use this technique with a poster?


Saturday 5th of March 2022

@Amy, Thanks so much for your help. I have a girl's craft weekend coming up, so I want to give this a try.


Monday 28th of February 2022

@Darlene, the poster would need to be printed on laserjet. You can just put a poster directly on canvas with this tutorial:

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