Print Photos on Wood

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Have you ever wanted to create a gorgeous rustic looking sign or family photograph? Did you know that you can create such a sign using just a piece of old wood, some parchment paper, and your inkjet paper? No, you don’t need expensive transfer gels or pastes, special paint or glue or anything else, here’s how to do it…

print-photos-on-wood

This project is perfect for creating old-time photographs to share with friends and family members, rustic signs (in our case for camping!) or as unique decor in the home.

You’ll Need:
a piece of wood that is fairly smooth (lightly sand it if you need to)
a printer
Non Stick Parchment Paper
a High Resolution Graphic

Cut a piece of non stick parchment paper to match the size of a sheet of paper 8.5’x11′.

Once you have chosen or created the image that you like, Reverse it. This can be done a number of ways, if you’re not familiar with how to reverse an image you can google it for directions. It really all depends on which program you’re using to design your image.

print-photos-on-wood

Place the sheet of parchment paper into the printer and print the reversed design.

print-photos-on-wood

Place the image EXACTLY where you want it onto the piece of wood. Once you have set it down you Cannot move it or it will smudge.

print-photos-on-wood

Hold the transfer tightly to the wood without moving it, gently rub over the top with a credit card (or one of those little store savings cards that inevitably get left at home during those grocery shopping trips!) and push the ink into the wood, rubbing gently to transfer the entire design.

print-photos-on-wood

This technique works great on any smooth, unfinished wood. Try it on tables, chairs, wooden crates, etc. Let it sit for about an hour then spray it with a clear matte finish sealer or wood sealer of your choice.

If you’d like you can very very lightly dampen the wood with a well-wrung sponge to get a slightly darker image transfer, but make sure you practice a bit first as this has a tendency to cause the ink to “bleed” a bit and will smudge or blur easily.

Other Tips:

Although you can technically use wax paper, it’s entirely dependent on what type of printer you have. I was using an Epson printer and it would “Jam” using wax paper. I attempted to tape a piece of the wax paper to a piece of cardstock (a technique that works great for printing on Tissue paper), but no go, the stickiness of the wax paper causes an instant “jam”. Luckily the printer does not attempt to print unless it feeds through properly so no ink was wasted in the process.

The parchment paper technique works well, but you must work VERY quickly to transfer the design as the ink will absorb into the parchment if you don’t.

If you really dislike how your first attempt came out, simply lightly sand the piece of wood and start again, no harm, no foul.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

About Liss 3983 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

15 Comments

    • Is there a place that we can print the graphic?

      No, you just design your own with whatever programs you have, like publisher, elements, adobe, etc

  1. this is a fabulous christmas present for grandparents make the transfer on some wood blocks like 3-4 inch blocks! With g-kids pics stacked Christmas done for the g-parents ��������

  2. i was going to try this project. but it does not tell or show you how to tape the parchment paper. can i get some help with this please?

    thanks turkeyhunter

    • I was going to try this project. But it does not tell or show you how to tape the parchment paper. Can I get some help with this please? Thanks Turkeyhunter

      That’s because you don’t tape the parchment paper, you cut it out the same size as a sheet of paper and run it through the printer as is. 🙂 You only tape wax paper, IF your printer supports it, our epson does NOT.

      • That’s because you don’t tape the parchment paper, you cut it out the same size as a sheet of paper and run it through the printer as is. 🙂 You only tape wax paper, if your printer supports it, our epson does not.

        i’m confused. the directions above say to tape the parchment paper to the cardstock before putting it into the printer. but here you say don’t??

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