How to Transfer Ink to Wood


If simply framing your favorite photos doesn't quite do them justice, try transferring your best prints onto wood. This creative display will showcase your picture perfect moments in a manner that's worthy of their greatness.

Transfer your favorite photos onto wood.
(Photo: Cameron Oden)

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Inkjet printer
  • Shipping labels
  • Matte finish sealer spray
  • Matte gel medium
  • Clear drying glue
  • 2 foam brushes
  • Credit card or gift card (to act as a squeegee)
Step 1

Gather your materials so you have everything you need on-hand before you begin.

The materials you'll need to transfer an ink print onto wood.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 2

Remove and discard the labels from the backing of the shipping labels. You'll use the backing in order to transfer the ink from your chosen image to your piece of wood.

Peel the shipping labels from the backing.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 3

Tape any perforated seams on the back of the paper so they do not accidentally break during the printing or application processes.

Tape any perforated seams on the backing.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 4

Spray the backing with a thin, even coat of spray-on clear sealer in a well-ventilated area and let dry completely.

Spray the backing with sealer.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 5

With a foam brush, apply a thin layer of glue evenly over the backing and let dry.

Apply a thin layer of glue to the backing.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 6

Select the image you would like to print. If your image has text, be sure to flip it using the photo editing software of your choice, otherwise it will come out backwards when applied to the wood. Print your image onto the paper, on the side with the dried glue, and be careful not to smudge the image once it's printed.

Crop and flip your image as necessary.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 7

Prepare your wood surface for the transfer. Be sure to sand the surface and wipe clean, if necessary.

Prep the surface of your wood for the transfer.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 8

Apply the matte gel to the wood with a foam brush, making sure to throughly coat the surface.

Apply matte gel to your wood surface.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 9

While the gel is still wet, apply your image face down on to the wood. Starting from the center and working towards the edges, push out any air bubbles using the gift card as a squeegee. Let dry for an hour and a half.

Smooth out the bubbles.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 10

Slowly peel the paper from wood, revealing the transferred image, and finish with a coat of clear sealer.

Peel the paper from the wood.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 11

Proudly display your wood print on your desk, mantle or anyplace that will allow you to show off your favorite photo (not to mention your DIY prowess).

Show off your wood print.
Photo: Cameron Oden
Step 12

To watch the video tutorial on eHow's Youtube channel, click here

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