Turning Photos into Canvas Prints! Mod Podge Tutorial


Are you like me and have 4358437534895433530 projects tucked away on Pinterest telling yourself that one day you’ll do that? I keep seeing all the canvas prints project ideas where they turn their photos into canvas prints and said I wanna do that!!! Well, I finally did one! I was talking about it on facebook and you guys were all so interested I thought I’d share how I did it.

Turning Photos into Canvas Prints! Modge Podge #Tutorial #MomSpotted

I went to Michael’s Crafts and bought this pack of 8×10 canvases for pretty cheap. I plan on making a mural with all different sizes and have a few projects over the summer these will be handy in.

I also grabbed a small tube of black paint and a foam paint brush.


I forgot to get something to put paint in but just grabbed a lid the boys lost the container too.

Hubby insisted spray paint would do a better job and did one his way.

At first, he rested in on a can. He put mine on one too. Those rings did luckily come out.

In the end, I finished this project with the one I did with the paint but they both worked. Gave each one a bit of a different edge. The spray paint kept the canvas texture better but make sure to get in the canvas corner folds.

Next, grab some Matte Mod Podge and use it as your glue to attach the photo to the canvas. Don’t be skimpy.

Here’s where I changed the rules. It said to let fully dry but I was getting impatient so I just did this all at the same time. Coat the entire project over once you have it positioned where you want it.

Β See mine below. I used a lot and it was white. It’s okay. It will dry clear.Turning Photos into Canvas Prints! Mod Podge Tutorial

See πŸ™‚ You can see the texture the mod podge left but the photo is all now one piece.

Then hang on the wall.

Turning Photos into Canvas Prints! Mod Podge Tutorial

Doesn’t it look great? You could do all 10 of these for $20! I can’t wait to finish the rest of them. I just need to figure out what to make the big center photo at 16×20. Any ideas?

Materials Used:

8×10 Canvas
Mod Podge
8×10 Photo Printed,
I often use Shutterfly (Get FREE Prints just for signing up!)


  1. Liz says

    Did you just print the image in black and white on regular paper or was this a print from the store?

  2. shay says

    Great question Liz also do you know how long it will last (10 years etc….)?

  3. That turned out great Jennifer!

  4. Jennifer says

    I used photos. I got enlargements and just used those as is. I have no clue how long they’ll last but it will be yearS.

  5. Christine says

    That is so neat! Def adding it to my list of summer projects

  6. jenny says

    Wow….this is a great and inexpensive way to do canvass photos but thse instruction are totally confusing and not helpful. I don’t even get what i’m suposed to do. Is it only black and white photos? Or can you use color photos too? Why are we painting the canvass black? Does the black paint have to dry? Are we then laying a photo face down or face up and the modge podge goes over the top of the photo or between the photo and the canvass? Please help?

  7. Courtney says

    I’m wondering if somehow some steps have gotten deleted…. it doesn’t explain anything at all about how you set up the photo or anything at all about the paint?

  8. Jenny says

    Wow, that is so cool, and not too difficult! Will definitely give this a try as much cheaper than the professional ones.

  9. Sarah says

    Jennifer, you don’t really explain very well, so how about you stop being a bitch and just answer her questions.

    • Colin says

      OK! If you read the listings under each photo, all your answers are there! Very simple (unless you are a young baby that shouldn’t be using this stuff anyway), paint your canvas (use paint ) apply mod Pog to the face of your photo and place it in position! Is that to difficult for you?

  10. Ginger says

    I am confused as well, like Jenny. I re-read the post and it didnt say weather the photo was face up or down and it didnt say if you removed the photo after you mod podged it. Also was it a black and white photo or a color one?

    • Frank says

      How cold does it have to be out?

  11. Kari says

    I agree with Jenny that these directions are confusing. Is it just a coincidence that the paint is black and the photo is b&w???

    Is the black paint just to make it look finished?

    Is the pic just glued to the canvas, or does it “melt” into the canvas and look like a painting?

    Sorry, I don’t really get it.

  12. Shvetha says

    You can get big size black and white pics from staples. It’s called engineering prints. They are around $3 or so for a 16×20.

  13. Ila says

    I have a couple of helpful tips for you. If your canvases were still a bit floppy – not tight like a drum – which most pre-strecthed canvases are, if you paint the back with water it will re-activate the sizing in the canvas and pull it taught. So, should your husband try to dry your canvases again on top of another can (I cringed so hard) and it seems like all hope is lost, fear not! In my experience, this trick will work at least two times if you are careful with your water application before you have to get into taking it off the bars and and re-stretch pre-primed canvas (a pain in the fingers and a two person chore without canvas pliers when you get into larger sizes). You should NOT spray the back or saturate it to puddles of water, just lightly and quickly apply the water with a bristle brush or foam brush to the back including under the bars to the best of your ability and let the canvas dry flat, stretchers down, picture side up for about an hour -longer if you have the patience. (I usually let mine set for about two hours depending on the humidity) If you do not dry them flat – especially with larger canvases – unintended warping/stretching can occur. Most pre-stretched canvases are poorly stretched and primed, and doing this trick will make your pre-stretched canvases look more pro.
    I usually do this to my pre-stretched canvases as soon as I’m ready to paint on them, and once more when the painting is done.
    As for how long these print canvases would last, Modpodge is archival, MOST pre-stretched canvas is archival and acid free, most crafty paints are also archival/acid free. This means, that aside from house hold staining (just being in a non humidity controlled environment with dust, cooking -if in your kitchen-, and or cigarette smoke) the prints made with craft supplies should impress at LEAST your grand children, if not your great great (that’s right, three generations later) grand children with their retained quality over time. Spray pain IS USUALLY NOT either of these things- acid free or archival. Also, you have to be careful of using an oil-based spray paint when crafting anything, as using a water-based medium (modpodge) on top of an oil base will lead to bubbles, peeling, flaking, sometimes some yellowing and generally distressed looking prints usually within a decade if not two (if you are lucky and they don’t ‘fall off the canvas” in the next five years).
    Hope this helps, sorry to be so lengthy, I hope it was at least informative.

    • mouse says

      SO very helpful. Thank you. I also wanted to stress that one should let the picture dry to the canvas before top coating, Perhaps the canvas was able to breathe so her pics did not bubble. I have had problems when not completely letting the glue dry. before top coating. Also, it is best to use laser prints. I print my own photos on workforce printers (color jet). If I do transfers I have to have them done at an office supply store. If you print your own and it is not on laser printer, the print could smear. Just a warning.

  14. Kristen says

    LOVE this project…can’t wait to try it πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Susanna says

    I’m afraid I have to (hopefully more politely) agree. While it’s more or less clear from the photos what you’ve done I’d suggest making your instructions a little more clearly worded.

    I did this in an art class in high school, it really is a lovely touch! And very simple to do πŸ™‚ Your photo looks great.

  16. Sophie says

    you can use modge podge on anything and over any photo, color or black and white, you can use it over stickers, magazine cutouts etc… and you can use it on any surface, canvas, plastic, glass, wood, etc…
    I believe she spray painted the canvas black, because that was her color of choice, you dont even need to spray the canvas any color you can leave it white.

    All you need to do is pick your picture, apply some modge podge to the back of the photo, or even glue stick, just so the image sticks to the canvas or what ever material you choose to use, apply the image face up, smooth it down with your fingers so its good and stuck, and then take a small paint brush, or even one of them foam paint brushes and dip it in the modge podge, apply it over the intire picture, it will look all white but it dries clear, and let dry…thats basically it, once it is dry hang it up or whatever.

  17. Joelle says

    I think it is a great project! For your middle picture I think you should do one of your family or something that resembles your family. (:

  18. Jennifer says

    I was on vacation when this post went crazy and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help but swearing at me isn’t the way to get help. Be nice or I’ll block your IP from my site.

    The paint is black but it can be ANY color you want. The photo can be too. I just wanted it to be black and white. The back of the photo was laid upon the canvas. It went canvas, paint, modge podge, photo, modge podge.

    The picture is more glued then ‘melted’. It does get the brush texture from the modge podge but not the canvas texture. On the wall is still looks great and shows texture that a regular photo wouldn’t.

    If I missed any questions just let me know and I’ll be happy to try and answer them.

    • Linda says

      I didn’t have any problem understanding your instructions, but then I’ve used modpoge for years and years. Thank you for posting and it’s a great idea!

  19. CannC says

    Wow , what a great idea. Thanks for the post. I feel sorry for people who post comments and show their ignorance by using profanity.

  20. Brandie says

    This is cute!! I will have to do this as a project with my 8 yr old son. He has tons of airplane pictures (my future pilot lol) he wants to hang in his room so instead of buying frames for all of them I think we will do this instead. Your directions were pretty clear to me πŸ™‚

  21. i love this! found you via stumbleupon


  22. Sheila says

    Were all your pictures ones that were done at a place that processes pictures or did you print any off yourself and use them for this project on photo paper using a 3 in one printer , not a special photo printer, but on photo paper ?

    I am just curious if it can be totally done at home the printing of picture on a normal 100.00 printer rather than from a photo processed photo or on a photo printer.

    • Alison says

      Hi. I know of some people who have printed from their printer on standard printer paper and photo paper and they have come out great. I personally am getting matte prints done at Walmart. They have amazing pricing on photos and even with poster sizes like 11×14, you can get them the same day!

  23. Jennifer says

    Mine were printed at CVS but I really don’t think it would make a difference πŸ™‚

    • Belinda Gonzalez says

      We’re your photos glossy it non glossy? I want to make a picture on canvas for a lady with Breast Cancer at work.

      • Jennifer says

        I always get my photos in Matte but that’s just personal preference. I don’t think it should matter in the long run.

  24. Jessica says

    Love, love, LOVE this! I’m planning to take photo prints of Hipstagram photos I’ve taken of the beach and make a huge, 16 x 20 collage. Thank you for this!

  25. Jessica says

    I definitely said Hipstagram. I meant Hipstamatic. Whoops! πŸ™‚

  26. Becca says

    I really want to try this…do you think colored photos would look ok? Your b&w looks awesome!

  27. such an awesome idea! and easy too! i think i’ll make this as a gift for the next baby πŸ™‚

  28. Alison says

    Wow…that turned out beautifully! I am so excited to be going to Michaels crafts today to get my supplies, especially because there is a sale! Your page here is so helpful and I am so excited to get started. I ordered matte photos. Do you feel matte is better or is glossy better? I am thinking matte, especially if using matte mod podge. Walmart is an excellent place to get photos as they are inexpensive and great quality. I paid about $12.50 for 2 (11×14) and I would have paid $20 with Walgreens or CVS. Wish me luck!

    • Jennifer says

      I like matte better because the light doesn’t glare off them. It is really just personal preference.

  29. Erica B. says

    Beautiful picture! Sorry no ideas for a 16Γ—20 at the moment. O and what is it with husbands and spraypaint? LOL πŸ™‚

  30. Debe says

    I have done a few of these and always get bubbles that come up and ruin the project!!! I apply the Modge Podge to the canvas and then position the paper on, then smooth it all out, THEN it starts bubbling up…what am I doing wrong?? Any advice??

  31. Jolyn says

    I have also done this canvas project but instead of Modge Podge I used white(it has to be white)wood glue. Spread an even coat onto the canvas positioned the picture on top. To eliminate bubbles I flipped the canvas over and used a small plastic scraper to smooth. It worked perfectly the scraper can fit under the wood frame so you can get a nice smooth surface. No bubbles Then I coated the top of the photo with a sponge rolled so it dried looking like canvas. As for the spray paint I just used acrylic paint and painted the edge and a bit around the top Just to give it a finished look. I did not have any problem understanding your tutorial. Thank you for your post

  32. Heidi says

    I love this idea! It’s such a great way to display pictures!


  33. Karen says

    Did you use a normal printer inkjet?

    • Jennifer says

      No, my photo was printed for me.

  34. kimi says


  35. Ruth says

    I think your 16x 20 should be a family picture

  36. cassie says

    Okay, just tryed this for the first time, should work fine. Ive done photo transfers in years prior with modge podge never to a canvas, but I work at a staples and ppl come in all the time to do so; Figured id give it a shot. One quick question though since I have extra canvases to use up… Do u think photo paper printed on a laser copier would transfer ????

  37. Charlotte says

    Did you use the regular mod podge or did you get the special mod podge photo transfer kind. All the photo transfer to canvas projects I read say to use the mod podge photo transfer kind. Thanks

  38. Sunny says

    this idea or proceess can be used also on wood. I was in a home not long ago where the owner had about 8 pics of her home being built in different stages.

    She adhered them with the glue/modge podge product to peices of wood used in the building of the house. She cut them either 5 by 7 or 8by 10, sanded them and stained them ( she said she could have painted them-either way)

    Prints were from drug store printer kiosk. Color matte. Glued them with wood glue . Let them dry completely making sure of no air bubbles. Did several rounds of smoothing with an old credit card and when dry enough to see no bubbles she put some heavy coats on with mod podge.

    They were interesting to keep around in her home office because they built the house themselves with a 4 year time frame. They made note of contractorand difficult issues they overcame. She plans on letting these prints always bewith the house if the next buyer wants th em as a history that many people never think to keep. The photos with the wood backing made them look professionally done
    Her smoothing

  39. shannon says

    Thank you for this idea. I have been looking for a long time wanting to display photos but so tired of the frames. I have a lot of large photos and can’t wait to try this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Pam says

    I made some smaller canvas prints for our camper and hang them with command strips-I made some with family, and I’m wanting to make a few with scenic photos from different vacations, beach, Grand Canyon, etc.

Add Your Comment