Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Photo Canvas Laser Printer on Paper Method

I have seen many different ways to put photos onto a canvas. 

I put my purple power photo onto a canvas before by mounting a photo print directly to the canvas and then using Hodge Podge and paint to give it texture and a bit of a canvas art feel. I was happy to sell this to someone who loved it as much as I did at last month's (and my first) Last Thursday in Portland! 

With a Miniature show coming up at Side Street Gallery, I was moving forward with several small photo canvases with this same method when I realized there was a different way that I wanted to try! Thanks to Ilene over at the "Come on Ilene" blog for sharing your wonderfully simple tutorial:  Make Your Own Canvas Prints. I followed her directions last night and came up with this new version of "Purple Power": 

So if you want to give this a try, I might suggest starting small and working your way to larger sizes of canvas when you get comfortable with the technique. Right now I'm specifically making ones that are small (mostly 2.5" x 3.5"). 

You will need: 

  • Blank canvas
  • Photo printed with a laser printer on regular paper
  • Gel medium
  • Water spray bottle
  • Foam paint brush
  • Option sponge
If you aren't a fan of mess, then you should probably cover your work space with a garbage bag (as Ilene suggests) or newspaper or wax paper. Then take your canvas and give it a thick coating of gel medium (I got mine at a local art store called Blick's). I would say thick but not TOO thick otherwise in my brief experience, I end up with more air bubbles to push out and glue oozing out the sides. 

Make sure you have cut your image down to the size of your canvas (or maybe just a bit smaller on all sides). When you print, maybe SURE you reverse your image if you want it to appear correctly once you've transferred it to canvas. I made this mistake last night and think I've learned my lesson. Gently place your image photo side down onto the gel on the canvas and then carefully push out all air bubbles and make sure your image is flat on your canvas. 

Let your project dry for 5 hours to overnight. Then the fun begins! 

Fill your spray bottle with water. Spray your canvas until the paper is saturated and give it a few minutes to soak in. Then you want to start gently rubbing the paper off with your fingers. Be especially careful around key elements of your image so that they don't get rubbed off -- such as faces. You will probably have to do this step multiple times until your image is completely paper free. 

When you are satisfied with your image (and lack of paper on it), allow your canvas to dry thoroughly. Give it a final coat of gel medium and voila -- you have a gorgeous photo canvas! 

Unfortunately for you (or me maybe) all of my little canvases are down in my studio drying for a few more hours before I can finish and share with you. Maybe tomorrow on "What a Shot" Wednesday! Stay tuned. 


  1. How cool Sue!
    I must try this, sounds like experimenting must commence at Webbitup!
    Looking forward to" What a Shot Wednesday"... Today!

  2. Thanks Tom! I am having tons of fun. I am about to post a partial review since I have to go to work this morning... full reviews later on the blog and if you are lucky... at your place! I gotta figure out a price?

  3. this turned out great! thanks for linking back to my site! -ilene :)

  4. Of course Ilene... I don't want to take credit where it isn't due.

  5. Anonymous12/09/2013

    would this work?


  6. Master Framing are the experts in framing in Sydney.
    We specialize in memorabilia framing, custom picture framing, canvas stretching and photo mounting.
    We have grown into one of the most competitive picture framers in New South Wales,
    offering a large range of picture frames and picture framing services.

    acrylic photo mounting