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Pinterest Fail: Canvas Photo Transfer

With Fathers’ Day around the corner… it was time to get my rear in gear. I needed to show the man who has meant the most to me just how important he has been in my life. Now how could I do that with words? If I wrote something the chances of plagiarizing a Hallmark card were just too great, so my only options were to craft or to sing. I only know one song really well and My Heart Will Go On hardly seemed appropriate.

Seeing as I was going to be crafting something for one of my heroes, I decided to incorporate one of his Heroes: James Dean.

Canvas of James Dean

Jimmy Dean was my first choice of his heroes, but just to be on the safe side I went ahead and made some backup portraits of his other heroes in case James didn’t work out.

While surfing the web, a friend and I stumbled on several tutorials for how to transfer printed images onto canvas with Mod Podge. We simply used regular paper and a regular printer, just like most of these sites explained, and brushed the Mod Podge onto the canvas, placed our pictures face down, let them dry, and then tried to carefully peel the paper off to leave the image fully intact on the canvas – just like the many websites said we could…¬† This was our “best” outcome. Now all I need is to find the right Celine Dion Karaoke track and then… hey… maybe I’ll have another Fail to post!

Canvas Portrait Transfer

Top Photo from Bottom Photo courtesy of Kortney & Erin

-Thank you Kortney & Erin! Your failure is our inspiration.

9 Responses to Pinterest Fail: Canvas Photo Transfer

  1. Noadi says:

    I think this may have been more an instruction failure. I’m assuming you used an inkjet printer not a laser printer or color photocopier. Inkjet ink is water soluble while laser/photocopy toner has plastic in it which is waterproof. I’ve used laser prints for transfers onto polymer clay which is how I’m familiar with the technique, never thought of doing it on canvas.

  2. canvas photo says:

    What a fabulous post this has been.I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thanks for putting this up.

  3. Didn't work says:

    This project was a bust…. had the same problem, except the faces came off the people in the picture. It was a great idea that never worked.

  4. aimee says:

    You don’t use Mod Podge for this project, you use gel medium.

  5. Rachael says:

    I did this exact project for Mother’s Day. Definitely not as perfect as the one pinned, and took much longer to do, but it was still good enough to gift. I followed all instructions and cross-checked the idea with other blogs and in the comments. The biggest pain is rubbing the stupid paper off without scratching the image off the canvas, which I did. Several times. I spent almost 2 hours making two 8×10 canvases. Love the idea, but it was entirely too tedious for me.

  6. Emily says:

    I agree–must be an instruction fail. This project actually worked great for me! As long as you actually follow the instructions from A Beautiful Mess, it’s quite simple and cheap. Mine are lovely and hanging in my living room :)

  7. Heather says:

    I tried this too! I followed the instructions and ingredients exactly. I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed – rubbed my fingers raw, for 4 to 6 hours – and still got barely any of the paper off. It looks like some faces emerging from the fog.

  8. I tried this too this week with Matte Gel Medium (which I found at a craft store in the UK for £10 for 250 ml), some canvas we got cheaply and were BOGO. My husband photocopied the images mirrored, I slapped on gel medium with my fingers over the mirror image (color) which he printed, gently slapped it onto the canvas, let dry about 2 minutes and carefully peeled off. Came out perfect!

    Rest assured, this can be done much cheaper than is done by your local Walgreens, CVS or whatever the UK counterpart shop is and it can literally be done in minutes. Don’t loose the faith!

  9. Ekta says:

    I mod podged a picture on canvas using mod podge but even after drying it for 24 hrs the picture didn’t transfer to canvas. M not able to understand wht went wrong.
    Please suggest a better way

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