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​Transfer Inkjet-Printed Images to Wood with Almost No Extra Tools

How To Transfer An Inkjet Photograph Onto Wood

Learn how to create custom vintage looking photo ornaments at home with a few supplies and your inkjet printer.  We will show you how to transfer a photograph onto wood to create one of a kind ornaments, gifts and keepsakes. These are perfect to give as gifts to friends or family members or to decorate your own tree with special memories.  Let’s get started!

Sizing The Image

Start with your wood ornament and measure out it’s width and length.  This will be helpful to know when choosing which images you want to use and how you will crop those images.

I  kept my image a little larger than the size of the ornament so there are no harsh lines and the image appears to go run off of the top of the piece of wood.  If you are adding text to your image, you will need to flip it horizontally or “mirror the text” so it will show up correctly when you transfer the image to your ornament.

Everyone’s printer will be a little different.  Mine had a very difficult time using black ink.  It seemed to bead up more on the waxy paper and not transfer well onto the wood.  If you’re using an older black and white photo  you might want to try printing it in navy or sepia tone if you’re having the same issue.

You can include more than one image on each sheet

You can include more than one image on each sheet of transfer paper but make sure to leave yourself room around the edges to handle the paper and cut out the image.  The ink just sits on top of the waxy paper surface and smudges as soon as it’s touched.

You might want to print the image out on regular paper first and see how it lines up on your ornaments.  It is a lot easier to make adjustments on regular paper then using up all of your waxy label paper.

Prep The Wood

Prep The Wood

Before you print out your images, let’s get the wood ready.  Get your fine grit sandpaper and gently sand the top layer of the surface in the SAME direction as the wood grain.  Try to do it as evenly as possible since the ink from your image will highlight any imperfections in the wood, but that adds character and more vintage flair so don’t stress about it. 🙂

Print The Images

Get your label sheets ready by removing all of the sticky labels.  You are going to print on the waxy side of the paper so load it into your printer accordingly.  We fed the sheet into the tray of the back of the printer where you load different sized media.  I was worried about it getting stuck in the rollers if i put it in the cassette.

Print one at a time.  Remember that the ink will be sitting on top of the waxy surface and will smudge as soon as it touches anything so you don’t want multiple sheets stacking up in the tray.

Press Image Onto Wood

Press Image Onto Wood

The colors will look slightly more muted when you take it off the printer, but that’s ok.  Carefully cut around the edges of your image.  Flip the paper over and lay it on top of your sanded ornament to transfer the inkjet photo to the wood.

Being extremely  careful not to slide the paper ar

Being extremely careful not to slide the paper around.  Hold it down in the center with a couple of fingers and gently start pressing and smoothing out the paper.  Move from the center where you are holding it down toward the edges of the ornament.  You can carefully lift the edge while holding down the center of the paper to check on your progress and see which sections need to be rubbed more.  If there is a perforated seam in the paper you might want to pay extra attention to this area and use your finger nail to transfer a little harder.  But start gently, then check and try again.

Add The Topcoat

Add The Topcoat

Once you’ve transferred the image to your liking, it’s time to add the top coat.  Take the ornaments into a well ventilated area and put a piece of cardboard or paper bag down to protect the area around your workspace.  Spray the topcoat according to the directions.  We did two very thin layers of topcoat, letting it dry in between layers.

Let the topcoat dry completely before handling it. Be sure to also check out our DIY Glitter Ornament Tutorial. 

We hope you enjoy!  Happy crafting!!




Step 2: Apply Mod Podge Image Transfer

All I did next was to paint a thick (but not too thick) layer of Mod Podge image transfer onto the image itself. I could barely see the image through the white Mod Podge when I was done.

I could then apply the image to the piece of wood. I had split the wood to show the difference between laser & Inkjet versions. I placed both images face down and smoothed them out using my fingers to make sure they were flat and had no creases or bubbles. I could leave them to dry overnight.

What is the best way to transfer a photo to wood

Answered By: Diego Bryant Date: created: May 05 2021

4 Easy Steps to Transfer a Photo to WoodPrint out your image or photo. You want to make sure of a few things before you print out your photo/image. … Gather your supplies. You’ll need a wood surface. … Adhere your photo/image to the wood with Mod Podge. … Step 3.5. … Rub away the paper with a damp cloth.

Asked By: Nicholas Ross Date: created: Aug 09 2021

Can you use a regular printer for transfer paper

Answered By: Fred Cooper Date: created: Aug 26 2021

Transfer paper allows you to print images and text on most fabrics and other suitable surfaces using an ordinary inkjet printer. … Most types of Inkjet printers and inks would work with the transfer paper. You do not need to change anything or modify your printer in anyway.

Asked By: Sebastian Lewis Date: created: Dec 16 2020

Blender Marker Print Transfer Onto Wood

I had seen somewhere that you can transfer laser prints onto wood with a blender marker, so I grabbed my Prismacolor blender and got to work.

The joke was on me, cause nothing transferred. So I took to Google and learned that you need a blender pen with Xylene in it, and this is the only one I could find that contained that substance.


  • Laser print, preferably black and white
  • This blender marker, or another with Xylene
  • Smooth, unfinished wood surface

To transfer an image onto wood using a blender marker, you must, first of all, use a laser print, then you basically just color over the face-down image onto the wood.

Tangerines photo courtesy of my husband’s co
Tangerines photo courtesy of my husband’s commercial photography studio in Chicago – Hartland Digital Yes, this is a plug for his studio. 🙂

It helps to make some practice transfers, because if you’re overzealous with the amount of marker you use, the ink can smear. I used my plastic scraper to give my images a final little burnishing before I peeled them up, also.

The color ones didn’t look as good as the black and white ones, so I’ll stick to B&W from now on with this technique. Can’t wait to try this on paper!

‘Thrills’ wording is part of my Art Th
‘Thrills’ wording is part of my Art Thrills T-Shirt I sell in the shop.

Pros and Cons of Blender Marker Transfer

Pros: It’s fast and easy to do.

Cons: The Xylene in the marker smells hella atrocious and you really need to do this in a well-ventilated area. Also, the ink can pool if you use too much marker.

Get my free SVG files to create beautiful Transfer Photo to Wood Projects

I love seeing what you make with my designs and how you use them! Please share a photo of your Transfer Photo to Wood project in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.


Mag’s Books

  • We’re All In This TogetherBased on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag’s unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • How Hard Can It Be?Mag’s quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

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