Monday, March 7, 2011

The Genius of Mod Podge - Transferring printed images using Mod Podge

This post is for all you crafters that have yet to discover Mod Podge which should not be missing from any crafters supplies.

I have been using Mod Podge for a couple of years now for regular glueing jobs; particularly for adhering images onto scrabble tiles to make pendants. I also use it as a sealer to seal the surface of the image before I resin over it - otherwise the resin seeps into the image and ruins it.

Why it is better than PVA I do not know, but it is :)

I cannot remember where I first heard that you can use Mod Podge to transfer printed images onto surfaces such as canvas and wood, but I have been itching to try it for AGES!!

With my daughters at their dad's this weekend and rain falling sideways in sheets, I decided there was no better time....

I dug out a canvas I had lying around and set to work. I had to choose a small canvas as my printer will not print on paper any bigger than A4. For this piece I chose an 8"/20cm square canvas that was about 3cms deep.

First things first. I chose one of my favourite images - a vintage botanical print of a bird in a branch of blossom layered over the reverse side of an old photographic print that has a gorgeous border on it which I knew would finish off the edges of the canvas beautifully.

I printed it off as a MIRROR IMAGE on cheap printer paper.

I then brushed a generous layer of MOD PODGE over the entire surface of the canvas and lay the print on it, face down. I then used my trusty breyer to smooth out any bubbles. A good way to do this is to turn the canvas over on a hard surface and apply pressure from underneath also. When I was happy that most of the bubble were out, I did the hardest part - I waited!!! Ideally one should wait overnight to move onto the next stage, but I am waaaay too impatient for that so I left it for just a few hours until it felt dry to the touch.

Now the fun bit. I sprayed the entire surface of the paper with water and let it soak for a few moments. Then I started peeling!!! The top layer of paper came away quite easily but it is then quite a painstaking job to gently rub off the remainder. I wasn't sure how heavy handed I could be with this so I took it slowly with a dry soft cloth and ultimately my fingers. Once I was sure most of the paper was removed I let it dry. By doing so you can easily see areas you have missed as they appear whiter than the rest. To remove them repeat the steps above - spray with water and rub away gently with your fingertip.

What you are left with is a printed canvas - only it looks so much better than a 'printed' canvas. It almost has a fresco like quality to it with little bits of canvas showing through in certain areas. I am not sure how durable the artwork would be if left as is, so I used a few coats of matt polyurethane varnish over the top just in case. I also painted the edges of the canvas a colour to match the background of the image. Et Voila!!

I love how my first one turned out and depending on how my customers take to it, I have intentions of doing many more :)

If you haven't got a pot of Mod Podge in your stash of supplies - run out and get one!!!

For the chance to purchase this or any of my other designs visit my online shops. At present this canvas is only listed here:


  1. Hi Claire

    I saw your blog address on your Etsy announcement and came to visit. :)

    This is a great post - it's almost a tutorial. Very inspiring. And such a pretty result.

    Thanks for the advice re Folksy and NOTHS. I want to try and grow my sales so I appreciate what you've said.

  2. I love the print! Where did you download it from?

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  4. So you used regular Modge Podge? I looked all over Walmart and they don't have the photo transfer kind anywhere!!! ��

  5. Maybe a silly question (and a late one), but what's a Breyer, I googled it and it came up with horses. I have a picture in my head from a horse running over the Mod Podge :)