DIY, Education, Mental Health, Resources

Wood you like to transfer a photo?


Wood therapy….gotta love it.

So you have a piece of wood and you’re interested in transferring a photo onto it. …but how?

Welp, you will need:

A LASER printed, reversed copy of a photo -not printed with an ink-jet printer and not printed on photo paper, just regular paper. Kinkos uses laser-jet printing. Make sure the photo is reversed. Notice how the “G” on Aaron’s helmet is the wrong way? Or the number at the bottom is reversed? Whoops. I probably should not have been in a hurry printing the photos off…

Mod Podge Photo Transfer– it’s called exactly that. Otherwise, others have used regular mod podge or gel medium. Both can be purchased at Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics or most craft stores. I even saw a small mod podge container for $1 at a Dollar Tree last week. Depending on what size you get, one container is usually around $10-$15.

A sponge or credit card– used to remove any bubbles after the photo is placed on the wood. You can get creative and use almost anything but those items seem to be the most recommended to use.

Time– about 4-8 hours. It depends on how long it takes for your photo to dry.

A rag– that you will eventually soak and you put on the piece of wood.

(Optional) Sandpaper- I used 100 grit.

Before beginning this fun little project, I read this article from Sewcreative and talked to some friendly staff at Michael’s to make sure I somewhat knew what I was doing. You might want to as well.

Starting the project…

1. Have the piece of wood you want to put the photo on. I used a small scrap piece of wood to practice on and then used one of these cutting boards for my project. Sand it, and remove any materials (i.e. dust) on it with a dry rag or a vacuum.


2. Place the mod podge photo transfer onto the colored/ink side of the photo OR on the piece of the wood. You can use your fingers or a sponge. I used my fingers; worked fine. I put the mod podge on the sample photo and then put the mod podge on the cutting board- they both transferred the photo onto the wood the same and one did not have a better photo quality than the other. Make sure to apply a thin, even layer of mod podge so when you flatten the photo not too much podge will bulk and dry around the edges.


Above is the scrap piece of wood and a resized version of the cutting board photo. Notice how I put the mod podge on the ink side of the photo and then flipped it onto the wood- ink side down.

20150109_194016This is the board covered in mod podge. Again, apply a thin, even layer. I would recommend not going to the edges of the wood like I did.

Before I mod podged the cutting board, I made a collage of different GB colors & photos that I wanted to transfer. I didn’t have a specific idea of what I wanted the board to look like so I just put a bunch of pieces of paper down.  Again, remember to reverse your photos 🙂


Since Wisconsin is not a square I had to create a collage in a reversed-shape of the board. I flipped the cutting board over and made the collage on the back to get the right shape with the photos.

After your photo/collage is ready, place it on the podged wood (unless you put it on the photo), ink side down.

3. Use a sponge or credit card to remove any bubbles. I ended up rolling the mod podge container over it since I didn’t have a credit card or sponge near me. When you see the podge come out of the edges, remove as much as you can.

4. Let the project dry– for at least a few hours. Since the sample wood was small it only took an hour to dry but I let the cutting board dry overnight.

5. Soak a rag with water and place it over the wood for 5+ minutes. This will get the the mod podge and photo wet to ready to be rubbed off.

6. Remove the rag

7. Rub the photo with your index finger– sounds weird but just do it. Gently rubbing your finger in circular motion works the best. If you see a white film still over the picture, you can still rub more podge off. The photo should be fairly clear. I recommend doing this over a trash can or sink since clumps of the photo will be coming off the wood.

If you want…sand the edges with the sandpaper. I knew I didn’t want a very “clean” look so I sanded the edges and  a small layer over the top of the collage. It gave the board a scratched, rougher look. It seemed appropriate to add to the tough look of Rodgers…am I right?

Questions, issues, etc.? Email me at I will reply within 48 hours.

Thanks for reading,


Twitter–> @InPower Coach

I will be posting how to create a WI cutting board within the next week.


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