Your photos on canvas

I’ve been researching a lot recently about how to transfer my photos onto canvas and today I gave it a go. The results were mixed but I was not disappointed. I’d recommend giving this ago especially if you like a vintage feel, in fact I would go as far as to say, you gotta try this. These canvases would make lovely gifts for family as they’re all handmade.

Photos onto canvas

What you’ll need

  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic gel, I used one by Winsor Newton but there are lots available
  • Stretched canvas, a cheap one will do to start
  • A laser print of a photo onto normal copy paper, not photo-paper. Remember the photograph will appear as a reverse on the canvas so if you need to, use photo editing software to reverse the image first, or ask for it to be done for you at the printers.

Transferring images to canvas

What to do

  1. Use the paint brush to paint the canvas all over with the acrylic gel.
  2. Smooth the your laser print onto the canvas making sure all the corner are stuck.
  3. Once it’s dried a little the paper will crinkle, smooth out any large bubbles to ensure the paper is touching the canvas.
  4. Dry for several hours, if you can leave it over night.
  5. Once it’s fully dry, wet the paper with a sponge. Wait a little for the water to soak into the paper and then start to rub the paper away.
  6. Don’t be tempted to peal off the paper, you must rub the paper gently until it starts to rub away. The harder you rub the more chance you will have of taking the image too so be careful.
  7. Once you think you have removed all the paper leave it to dry, you may find it will dry dull which probably means there is some paper still on the image. At this stage it is probably best to just wet your finger and remove the paper layer, you may find you have to do this a few times before the image appears clear.
  8. To finish off rub hard around all the edges to remove some of the picture and create a distressed look.

Transferring images to canvas
Transferring images to canvas
Transferring photos to canvas
Transferring images to canvas


These are how may attemps of transferring images of the children onto canvas worked out, not bad I’m sure you’ll agree.
Transferring images to canvasTransferring images to canvas

What not to do

Do not pull off the paper

Pulling the paper off will lift the image too, make sure you rub gently.
transferring images to canvas

Don’t rub too hard

I actually love this picture but you can see the white marks where the image has been removed from rubbing too hard. This effect looks great on a vintage style image.
Transferring images to canvas

Have a go and have fun, we’d love to hear how you get on.
Tracy x


13 thoughts on “Your photos on canvas

  1. Pingback: I’m getting into signage « Made in the desert

  2. Pingback: Little Lobster prints « Made in the desert

  3. Wow – I definitely want to do this. They are amazing.
    One question though. I’ve seen some places that you can do it with mod lodge instead of acrylic gel. Do you know if that’s possible?
    Thanks got sharing this great tutorial!

    • Yes I think you’re right. The acrylic is great though and seems to be quite easy to get hold of even here in Dubai. I’ve had some great results with it, also have a look at ‘I’m getting into signage’ and ‘the kids rule’ all done using acrylic. You’ll have to let us know if you done a project yourself. Thanks for the lovely feedback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s