Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Photo Canvas

Pinterest is a beautiful thing!  For example, I am learning that you can print just about anything in a home ink-jet printer!  As it turns out, even tissue paper!  But I am getting ahead of myself.

Awhile back, I posted this tutorial on how to matte your own photos for around $40.  To be honest, this is still my preferred DIY for printing and mounting photos because of the scale--the ones in that tutorial can made large enough to hang over your fireplace, etc. 

However, I have another method for hanging photos with a DIY Photo Canvas.  I will show you how to mount your favorite photos to canvas, like the one below, for super inexpensive.

I am so sorry, but I do not have all the step by step photos because I am so extremely busy today.  But I cut last week's DIY because Mia was sick, so I wanted to squeeze in a DIY.  So, again, sorry about for the lack of photos.

Getting started, here is what you need:

canvas {must be the size of US paper or smaller}
modge podge
tissue paper
brown acrylic paint {or latex/house paint}
1 sheet of card stock

A few notes on canvases: I stretched my own.  I really like the look of a canvas that is at least 2" depth on the sides, and a lot of the ready-made canvases are only 1/2" depth.  So, for this project, I stretched my own.  I actually stretched it around a box, then covered the back with brown paper.  It looks very much like how you would see purchased art canvases in a store.  Anyhow, whatever you use, you will need one canvas the size of US paper or smaller.  You might be able to make it work to piece sheets together if you are extra, extra careful and go larger.  But, you will probably see the seams.

Select your photo that you want to mount.  Then, take your sheet of card stock, and wrap your tissue paper all the way around the paper, taping the corners on the back like a present.  The tissue paper needs to be very tight and wrinkle free.  If it's not tight, you will get wrinkles and smudges in your image when you print it.  {I had to print this picture 3 times, and finally I got one without smudging.}  It looks like this coming out of the printer--see how the tissue paper can wrinkle so easily.

After you have your photo printed to tissue, cut it off the card stock with at least an inch of overhang.  Next, brush a very think layer of modge podge all over the top of the canvas.  While the modge podge is still wet and being very careful, lay your image on the canvas, and work very quickly to smooth out wrinkles.  Be careful because the tissue will tear if you move the image a lot or press too hard.  This is what mine looked like before I started smoothing:

After the image is all smoothed out, trim the edges with scissors.  Then, cover the entire picture with a thin layer of modge podge, using care to smooth down the edges.  If you are slow, the colors will smear, so work fast and don't be too liberal with the modge podge.

Lastly, using acrylic paint, paint the edge of the canvas in whatever color coordinates with the image.  If your canvas was really tiny, you could even wrap the sides with the photo and skip the painting part.

And, voila--15 minutes later--your own photo canvas!  I will caution you, it's almost impossible not to get a few wrinkles, but the texture of the canvas really comes through!  Also, I think this would also be great to print your own artwork {like still life} for a kitchen or something because then wrinkles could add to the image; whereas with photos, wrinkles are not as desirable.

Hope you enjoy!  I think this would make a wonderful Christmas present for grandparents! ;)


maxcomputer said...

Great post! Blogging is actually a work and I like very much your blogging

crf6adv said...

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Baby's Breath Handmade said...

I LOVE DIY Wednesday! :-)

Anonymous said...

as i transferred photos to canvas per your instructions, I sat listening to your AWESOME playlist.... decided to just minimize your page and listen to it through out my work day!
Thank you!
mom of 7

Print oncanvas said...


This is jonesdrumanThis blog was simply great post byb you. I really appreciate your blog. Really awesome blog I would like to know more about this. Please give some ideas about your blog. Thanks…………………………………….

Canvas pictures

Julie Christopher said...

I love this! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing. P.s....AWESOME Playlist as mentioned above. I think I may, too, use it as background music for my project. Lol

Anonymous said...

Love this idea!! Thank you so much for posting! Anna

robbinpetter said...

Hi, I agree with you. Really this blog is very informative.

Photos canvas

Photos on canvas said...

Hi, this blog is really instructive. I would like to know more about this.

Photo on canvas

Robbin Petter said...

so nice....

I agree with you. Really this blog is very informative.

Photo on canvas

Russel Petter said...

I would use a picture I took of my son's family at a recent wedding.
Canvas printing

michelle said...

love this tutorial! your canvas turned out great. i was just wondering how you smoothed the tissue paper? i was able to get out the big air bubbles but when i tried to smooth out the fine wrinkles it ripped. any help you could give would be greatly appreciated as i was hoping to make some for gifts for mothers day. thanks!

Russel Petter said...

What a post here . Really this blog is very informative.
Canvas prints

Anonymous said...

My paper turns green! I put the mod podge lightly and then I put the paper on top quickly. Am I supposed to wait for it to finish drying and then go over it with the mod podge?

Kristin huds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CDO_superMAMA said...

i love this! this is much, much clearer than the one i read on pinterest. thank you! i cant wait to make mine.

Steven said...

This is an amazing do it yourself gift idea. I will be taking this and using it! The picture of the two kids is amazing. I work for a company called WoodSnap and we print your pictures onto beautiful wooden canvases. I think the picture used in this post would look amazing. Check it out at

Kristin Dean said...

There is a product called "Workable Fixatif" you can use to keep the ink from smearing.Just print out, allow to dry a few minutes, lightly spray with the fixatif and let that completely dry. You should be able to mod podge without it smearing. I have also used clear gloss spray to "set" the ink when I couldn't find my WF.. Hope this helps.

Australian Canvas Prints said...

It seems to be informative post. Thanks for the share. Liked reading it.

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Kristin huds said...

Wow, great and easy tutorial for making canvas print, any photograph can get extraordinary look to canvas print, i have a painting and i want to convert it in a canvas, i will follow your tutorial for making canvas print, thanks for sharing the tutorial.

read more on canvas art prints

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stuhr727 said...

Great article and definitely one of the better DIY Photos to Canvas pages I have seen. Try using a single photo and printing it across multiple panels,. it takes more time and can be somewhat daunting but totally worth it in the end. Three piece prints are my favorite

Photos to Canvas

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