Rustic Wood-Transferred Photos

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This is a unique, rustic take on traditional photographs that will spice up your living room, bedroom, or office.

Step 1: As Missy Elliot once said, “flip it and reverse it”…Use any photo editing program, either online or computer software like iphoto or photoshop, to reverse your image so when you transfer it face-down onto the wood, it will actually show up in its original direction. Think of it as a kind of mirror-image. Also be sure you’re printing your image the correct size to fit your wooden panel.

Step 2: Print your reversed, correctly sized photo with an ink-jet printer onto the thinnest paper possible (think normal printer paper, not cardstock).

Step 3: Trace the panel onto your photo so it’s the exact right size, then cut out your picture.

Step 4: Brush an even coat of matte gel over the printed side of your photo, making sure to get all the edges. *Maybe lay a piece of scrap paper underneath so you don’t get your table dirty.

Step 5: Lay the wet surface of your photo on your wood panel, smoothing out any bumps with a credit card. Let dry for 6 hours.

Step 6: Press a wet towel onto the photo transfer until it is completely soaked through.

Step 7: While the transfer is still soaking wet, use your fingers or the towel to rub away the excess paper to reveal your image.



  • liquitex professional matte gel available at craft or art stores
  • wood panel the lighter the wood, the more your photo will show up
  • simple photo editing program
  • laser printer
  • Scissors
  • foam brush can also use bristles but foam is smoother
  • towel or dish cloth
  • water