Add a photo directly on a wooden plaque to create a memorable Dad’s Day DIY gift!

Finished Photo art project

One of my favorite holidays has always been Father’s Day because I just love to celebrate my Dad.  I used to always give him handmade gifts from paper crafted cards, a recycled denim dopp bag, personalized frames, or even homemade meals, he loved them all whether they were made well or not.   So, as I remember and honor my Dad today, I am always thinking of new ideas for you to make your Dad on his special day.  Here’s the deal, I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on Father’s Day, the simple idea of something handmade is so special because you made it, with your hands, and your brain, with Dad in mind.  This year, my favorite DIY idea is to give the gift of memories.

You’ve heard of photo transfers to fabric, ceramic, and canvas but did you know you can also add your favorite photos to wood?  Well, it’s simple and easy to transfer your favorite photo to a wooden plaque so let’s get started.

Supplies used for wood photo transfer project


Laser printed photo

Wood plaque (same size as your photo)

(2) Foam Brushes

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

Damp Rag

Wood Stain or Paint (optional)

Clear Acrylic Sealer

Make it:

Start by cutting your photo to fit the size of your wood plaque.

Cut the laser printed image

Use Photo transfer medium

Next, add a generous layer of Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium to top of the wood plaque and then to the  front side of your printed photo.

Brush the wood with transfer medium

Use the foam brush to spread it all over the printed photo until it’s completely covered. It’s going to seem odd covering your beautiful photo with glue but trust me this is how it works!

TOP TIP: if you image has words be sure to reverse your image before you print it. The transferred images will be reverse of the printed image.

Brush the right side of the photo with transfer medium

The image should be completely covered with transfer medium

Lay the photo on top of the wood plaque face down – with the image side down on top of the wood – smooth out any air bubbles using your fingers or the edge of an old plastic card. You could also use a rolling pin or empty bottle.

Smoothing out the photo so there are no bubbles using a plastic card

Be sure to wipe up any glue that oozes out of the edges. You can see the oozing in the photos above.

Wipe off the edges with a damp towel

Now, walk away! Let it sit and dry for a full 24 hours. It will be hard not to mess with it but it needs to fully dry and cure for 24 hours.

Let it sit and dry for 24 hours.

After the time has passed, use your damp rag to wipe away the paper on the top of the photo.  Gently rub the paper away to reveal your image.  Do this slow and control so you don’t accidentally rub off the image.

Gently rub off dried paper with a wet towel

Paper begins to rub off revealing your photo

After you remove the first layer, let it dry a bit and do it again to get any left over fuzz or smaller spots missed. You will need to repeat the wetting process to remove all the paper.  It’s like MAGIC, your photo is now transferred to the wooden plaque.

repeat the wetting process to remove all the paper

the image is transferred to the wood plaque

When the project is all clean and dry, carefully stain or paint the edges of your wood plaque. Let it dry. TOP TIP: You can also stain or paint the edges of the wood plaque before you add the image.

Stain or paint the edges of the wood

When the edges are dry, sprat the project with clear acrylic sealer.

Use acrylic sealer to finish

Let that fully dry and then sign the back with your sentiments and signature.  And there you have it, a beautifully artistic wooden photo plaque!  We all know memories are the best things in life and they also make a great gift for Dad.

A wooden photo transfer makes a great Father's Day Gift or home decor item using any image

You can also use this technique to make home decor ideas and gifts for other friends and family.  It is also a great way to preserve your social media photos!

Happy Making!


Start typing and press Enter to search