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Don’t you just love a “wow” crafting moment when a finished project is even cooler than you imagined?

I’ve had a lot of those recently as I’ve been playing around with transferring vintage graphics and photos to all kinds of surfaces using Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

If you've ever wondered how to transfer photos to wood, here's a great tutorial. You can transfer photos, vintage graphics and other images you print to onto wood, metal or lots of other surfaces, too.

This stuff is the coolest, and I’m not just saying the because Mod Podge provided me with a sample of its photo transfer medium and other products to play around with. I’ve already used up my sample bottle, and I’m heading to the craft store to buy more. If you’ve ever wondered how to transfer photos to wood, you won’t believe how easy it is.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Compost Bucket

I’ve already decorated an enamel compost bucket for the kitchen.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Cutting Board

And I made this cool wooden cutting board with a vintage livestock image from The Graphics Fairy.

Photo Transfer Lazy Susan

And my pretty little lazy susan, which would be perfect for the bathroom or bedroom.

I have a little bit of experience with transferring images to surfaces. I’ve used the wax paper transfer method, and I’ve also created napkins and tea towels using iron-on transfer paper. But those techniques definitely have their limitations, namely that you can only transfer to certain kinds of surfaces.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer works easily on a variety of surfaces, including fabric, wood, metal, canvas and glass. It really is easy to use, and the results are amazing.

You can use any photo or graphic you like. You just need to make a photocopy or print your photo regular paper using a dry-toner printer.

I plan on doing transferring some photos to canvas and fabric soon. But for these projects, I chose some vintage graphics from The Graphics Fairy.

vintage graphic mod podge photo transfer

When transferring images with words, be sure to print a “mirror” or reversed image so the words won’t be backwards on your finished project. (I’d recommend reversing your photos, too. Sometimes you call tell that something is “off” if you don’t mirror them.)

How to Make a compost bucket
For my compost bucket, I created my own label in Photoshop Elements using a chalkboard background I downloaded from PhotoBookGirl.

French enamel compost bucket

Can you believe this is what it looked like before? The yellow Caterpillar wasn’t exactly the look I was going for, so I decided to transfer right over it. I wasn’t sure if the photo transfer method would cover it, but it worked like a charm. You can’t see a trace of the tractor, or whatever it is.

Now, I’ll show you step-by-step how easy it is to transfer graphics and images using Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

Transfer photos and graphics to wood with mod podge

Step 1: Pick your image and print it in mirror or reverse. Size the image to fit your surface, in my case a wooden cutting board I bought at a yard sale. Trim as close to the edge as possible, as any white edges will show in the finished project.

wooden cutting board photo transfer project

Step 2: Coat the image with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium. You’ll need to apply the medium about 1/16″ thick to get a good transfer. You don’t want it to be translucent. You should not be able to see most of your image through the transfer medium.
applying mod podge photo transfer medium

Step 3: Carefully apply the coated paper to your transfer surface, being careful not to tear the paper. Try handle only the edges of the paper. Starting in the center, gently press down on the image, working out any air bubbles. Tap the edges to make sure they’re sealed, as well. If any photo transfer medium smooshes out of the sides, gently wipe it off with a damp cloth.

This video provides a great demo of how to use the photo medium.

Now comes the hard part. You have to wait 24 hours for the magic to happen. (Why do I suddenly feel the need to break out into song? “The waiting is the hardest part…”)

Step 4: Once your project has dried for at least 24 hours — longer in humid climates — use a sponge to wet the top of your image. You want to saturate the paper pretty well. When you do, you’ll see your image reappear. Wait two minutes.

transferring vintage graphics to wood with Mod Podge Photo Transfer

Step 5: After waiting two minutes, wring out your sponge and start gently rubbing in a circular motion over your image. The paper will start to pill off.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer removal
Continue until all the paper has been removed. But be gentle. You don’t want to remove your image along with the paper.

Once the image is dry, you can brush off any paper residue. Let it cure for 72 hours and seal with regular matte Mod Podge or gloss Mod Podge.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Cutting Board

I finished my cutting board by painting it a chalky gray color and tying a ribbon through the handle. I love how it turned out.

You can use the Mod Podge transfer medium over a painted surface, but if you’re a messy crafter, you may need to do some touch-up painting.

For my lazy susan, I applied the vintage French soap label graphic over a surface I had painted with milk paint.

vintage soap lazy susan graphic transfer project

The photo transfer medium didn’t remove the paint, in my case, but I did a few touchups to cover my messiness.

I really love how all my projects turned out. I can’t wait to experiment more with Mod Podge photo transfer on fabric, glass, canvas and other surfaces.

How to make a soap label lazy susan with mod podge photo transfer

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  1. Gorgeous projects!! I love them all!
    Karen – The Graphics Fairy recently posted..Printable Wall Decor – Botanical LeafMy Profile

  2. Hi Atta Girl – so cool to see what you’ve done with the chalkboard background! Looks awesome! :)
    Photobookgirl recently posted..Third Anniversary MyPublisher $100 Giveaway Winners Plus Exclusive Canvas and Photo Book Coupon Codes 2013My Profile

  3. Wow Amy…those are fantastic pieces!…I love this project…!

  4. Love them! I want one of each, pinning :)
    Debbie refresh recently posted..Green Giant Surprise~My new DIY Finger FoodMy Profile

  5. GORGEOUS! I may “borrow” this idea for some projects for my son’s birthday party! Nice work!

  6. Great projects! I can’t decide which on I like best! I have been making a list of things I would like to accomplish over the next several months…. playing with a little mod podge is fixing to make the list!
    Jennifer recently posted..Zesty Dijon Marinade for BeefMy Profile

  7. I can’t ait to get some of this! Your projects turned out great, and you made it look so easy (except the waiting part-I’m so not good at waiting. When I start something, I want to see immediately how it’s going to turn out.) Thank you for sharing this product and showing us how to use it. I’ll definitely be trying it. I don’t know what I’ll do while I’m waiting though! laurie
    laurie recently posted..COME WITH ME TO WORTHING COURTMy Profile

  8. OMG love all these projects!! My favorite is the compost bin 😀
    Amy Anderson recently posted..Simple shoe refashion.My Profile

  9. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of this! Looks like such fun, and I love transfers! Your projects turned out great! Love the Compost Bucket! …belated Congrats on your Blog’aversary! I saw snippets of your daily give-aways on FB, but didn’t make it to Blogland. I enjoy your blog and are glad you’re here! :)
    Rhonda ~Ramblings of a Southern Girl recently posted..Savvy Silverplate Tray Updo & A Springy VignetteMy Profile

  10. Can this be used on injet printer images, or are you using lazer printer images?

    • I love your ideas! I was wondering what kind of printer is a dry toner printer? I have an inkjet colour printer. Will the mod podge photo transfer work if I print from that printer?

  11. What happens if you print out a graphic that has WHITE as part of the graphic? Does the image transfer white color? Or would it be translucent?

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    The best online shopping recently posted..The best online shoppingMy Profile

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    Extremely useful information specifically the last phase :)
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  14. So much fun, been wanting to do this for years. One can also apparently use gel medium, which is what i have waiting for that some day project! Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday, great to reconnect in 2016!

  15. I love your projects and the tutorial which make it look easy. It reminds me a bit of decoupage which I did years ago.

    I am confused about what dry toner is. Is this like a laser printer? I have a laser printer and an ink jet. I’m assuming the ink jet wouldn’t work because the ink runs when it gets wet. So, I’m assuming the laser printer would be a better alternative.

    Can you clear this up for me? I’d love to get some of this stuff and make some things…but am a bit afraid without knowing if I have the right kind of printer.
    Laurie recently posted..Sunday Freebies For January 10, 2016My Profile

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Hi Laurie, I would use the laser printer or a photocopier that uses toner instead of wet ink. You’re right about an ink jet printer; the ink would run when it got wet.

      When the photocopier or laser printer, you just want to make sure that the machine uses machine use the dry powder cartridges, not ones filled with liquid ink. (You probably can tell by gently shaking one of our cartridges.)

      The “dry toner” language is straight from the manufacturers’ instructions; I’ve tried to find more clarification on the Plaid Crafts website site and if you read the comments on the following post, you’ll see some discussion about it: https://www.plaidonline.com/blog/post/2015/04/14/mod-podge-photo-transfer-medium-how-to-use-it-and-create-a-project

      BTW, the printer I have isn’t technically a laser printer or an ink jet. It’s the Epson WP 4530, and it has powdered ink cartridges.

      Hope this helps.

  16. This is too clever! I didn´t think you could do that! Super stoked to try it myself :-) :-)
    ps. hi from the Creative Muster link party :-)

  17. I love what you created with the Mod Podge Amy! It is so fun when we can find a new way to create things more easily :) Thanks so much for linking this up to the Bewitchin’ Project Block Party last week. You are one of my Featured Picks over at Recreated Designs tomorrow. Hugs, Lisa

  18. I LOVE this! I haven’t done any crafting for quite sometime, but now I’m inspired! Believe it or not, one of my first ever crafting projects was with mod podge WAY back in the early 70’s! Thanks so much for bringing this by to Throwback Thursday. We love having you link up to us and can’t wait to see what you’ll bring next week! Of course, I’ll be pinning to our board! :)

    Frugal Hausfrau recently posted..Cranberry Bread PuddingMy Profile

    • Atta Girl Amy

      The best crafts are always the throwbacks! I keep joking that I’m going to bring back candlewicking. Do you remember that craft? I think I did it back in the 80s, but I bet it is centuries old.

  19. I love this! I have a lot uses for this method for sure. Thank you for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday, this will be featured at tonights party, we hope to see you there.
    Alli recently posted..Sweet and Sour Chinese ChickenMy Profile

  20. Christy says:

    I’m trying to figure out how to get the black lines on a topographic map onto glass… without the white part of paper showing. I’ve been searching all over the place. I know it can be done because I have seen it and it wasn’t someone just tracing it with a sharpie. Any ideas?

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Christy, you’re right that my method won’t work this way. The photo transfer medium will transfer the white part of the paper, as well.

      You’ve stumped me with this request. I’m not sure exactly how to accomplish what you want to do. My first thought was that you could use a vinyl overlay, but I’m not sure that’s exactly the look you’re going for.

      My friend, Angie, used a different method — http://knickoftime.net/2015/03/image-transfer-on-glass.html — but again, I’m not sure that’s the look you’re going for. I also found this video class online. https://www.bullseyeglass.com/education/lessons/gum-image-transfer-170.html

      It looks like this would probably work for you, but the video is available as part of a paid subscription, so I wasn’t able to preview it. I’ll keep thinking, and if I come up with a solution, I’ll let you know. If you figure it out, please let me know.

      Good luck!


  1. […] out how to use one product on several different types of surfaces. That’s exactly what Amy from Atta Girl did. Amy recently created several projects on different surfaces using Mod Podge Photo Transfer. […]

  2. […] to other surfaces. The product is from Plaid and it’s called Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium. This post from Atta Girl Says is a beautiful example of what can be achieved with it. I’ve had the opportunity to try it […]

  3. […] any other type of container. You can also get creative with your compost container. Check out this link to find out how to make the cute compost decal on the right, or this link for another small compost […]

  4. […] another cutting board sign I made using a free printable and Mod Podge photo transfer medium.But back to the project at hand. […]

  5. […] Here is another fun project if you are looking to add a little something to some outdated pieces in your home.  A little Mod Podge and some graphics and voila! Transferring Vintage Graphics to Wood & Metal with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium by Atta Girl … […]

  6. […]  Co-Host Pick by Christine Ryan of A Sprinkle of This and That // Oh My Creative  // Frozen Yogurt Hearts Granola Valentine Co-Host Pick by Susan  of Susan B Mead  //Strength and Sunshine // Slow Cooker Macadamia Chicken Host Pick by Karren of Oh My Heartsie Girl  // Bombshell Bling // Stitched Heart Garland  Host Pick by Karren of Oh My Heartsie Girl  // Atta Girl// Transferring Vintage Images With Mod-Podge […]

  7. […] Co-Host Pick by Christine Ryan of A Sprinkle of This and That // Oh My Creative // Frozen Yogurt Hearts Granola Valentine Co-Host Pick by Susan of Susan B Mead //Strength and Sunshine // Slow Cooker Macadamia Chicken Host Pick by Karren of Oh My Heartsie Girl // Bombshell Bling // Stitched Heart Garland Host Pick by Karren of Oh My Heartsie Girl // Atta Girl// Transferring Vintage Images With Mod-Podge […]

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