DIY Photo Canvas


I love gifting homemade gifts, it means so much more and they often have a personal touch. For my best friend’s birthday this year I decided to make her a personal gift that I knew she would love, that she could hang in her home and admire everyday and photo transferred to canvas was the perfect option. These DIY Photo Canvas were the perfect match!

I received some of my supplies from Oriental Trading free of charge to create this project. As always, all my opinions are my own. 

First of all let me so that if you’re creating several gifts for holidays, I found that it is best to order in bulk. Purchasing items from Oriental trading makes it all the better, it’s a one-stop shop and you don’t have to leave the house! I have several other items to create other projects coming up, so stay tuned for those!

This project is easier than you think. Here are the supplies you need:

1 Box of 12 x 12 DIY Canvases

Gel Medium

Laser Printed Photos (you may want to flip your photo in a photo editor if words are on it, otherwise it will be backwards)

Sponge Brush



Gloss Spray (optional but I recommend it)

You simply lather the canvas with the gel medium, like every little nook and cranny needs to be covered. You can also cover the sides if you’d like or paint the sides, whatever your preference is.

Now take your printed photo and place picture side down on the canvas, but make sure that it is being placed exactly like you want it because you shouldn’t move it once it’s placed.

Now let the canvas(es) sit for 24-hours.

Once they’ve sat for 24-hours, take a slightly damp sponge and wet the canvas.

Once wet, you’ll now start to peel away the picture (like in the image above). Make sure you’re lightly peeling it away, as you can remove the photo entirely if you’re not careful. However, being a little more aggressive in some parts of the canvas can add a distressed look, which can be charming too.


This particular canvas got a little more distressed than I would have liked, but my friend loved them and that’s all that matters. But that just goes to show how light handed you need to be when peeling the paper away. To protect the canvas, I highly suggest using a clear gloss spray, which made the huge difference in the look of the canvas. I already had a can of Rustoelum Gloss Spray.

In the photo above you can see the shine that it gives the canvas. I really liked it, it made some of the color so much more vibrant.


Here are the four that I made for her. I’m thinking of making my mother-in-law some of her with each of her 4 grandchildren. I’m sure she’d love them.


I also want to transfer onto wood, so tray tuned for that technique too!


If you liked this post, then you may like:

DIY Burlap Fall Wreath

Valentine’s Printable For Bubbles


I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Get a weekly update straight to your inbox on travel, food, diy and what's going on in Atlanta!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Hi, I'm Stacey, the face behind Seeking The Weekend. I was born and raised in Michigan, currently reside in Atlanta. I'm a full-time working mother who loves to travel and explore my city, of which often only happens on the weekends. Follow along if you're trying keep life going all the while trying to enjoy it.

Related Article


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Stacey

About Stacey

Hi, I'm Stacey. Welcome to Seeking The Weekend! If you're like most working parents, your time off is the weekend. Follow along to see how I pack my adventures into a weekend. Here on Seeking The Weekend, I'll share tips to weekend/ short trip travels, good eats, projects and Atlanta area events and activities! Want to connect? Email me at