Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Subway Art DIY (My First Attempt at Laser Printer/Mod Podge/Canvas Image Transfer - kinda fail)

This was my first attempt at transferring a laser-printed image onto a canvas.  I had an oops moment, so this is kind of a fail post, but I figured out what I did wrong, so my next attempt should be cleaner.

Here's the supplies I used:

Mod Podge
Acrylic Paint
Water (in a spray bottle)
My Laser-Printed Image (mirrored-see below)
Paint brush
Foam Brush
Rolling Pin

First, I created my image.  My canvas was a little smaller than two sheets of 8-1/2 x 11 (standard) printer paper, horizontally.  So I created my image using word in the "landscape" orientation.  I used a new text box for each separate word (that's the easiest way to mirror them and place them exactly where you want them in Microsoft Word).  After you've created your text box and typed in your word in the font and size you want, just right click on the edge of the text box and go to Format Shape.  There you can remove the border line by going to Line Color and selecting No Line.  Then go down to 3-D Rotation and type 180 into the "X" box. 

After your image is just the way you want it, print and double triple check your spelling.  Then have your 4 year old paint your canvas!

After the paint is completely dry, slap on a generous but even layer of Mod Podge to your canvas.  I also brush a layer onto my image.  The I carefully placed the image face down on the canvas and rolled out any bubbles.

This is where I'm supposed to tell you to wait until your image dries overnight!  I was lil' miss impatient (as usual), and I started rubbing off my paper after only about 3 hours (but it felt dry!)

So after an OVERNIGHT drying, use your spray bottle to mist over the paper.  Then gently (very gently) rub the paper with a sponge or a soft towel.  It (the paper, not the image!) will start to peel off at you rub.  If it starts to feel dry, add a little more mist.  The first time I tried this (after my 3 hour dry-time), the image started to come off with the paper.  So I got frustrated and left it overnight.  The next morning, I could still see a thin layer of the white paper, so I misted again and rubbed.  This time it worked much better and my image stuck.  Yay! 

I'll probably try a do-over on this one...


  1. You know, I don't think you did a bad job on this at all. Although all the letters didn't take, it gives it a worn & distressed feel which I actually like.

  2. This is really cute! I like the distressed look too! I think Jared might need one of these for his new apartment!

  3. I agree - the worn look adds to the finish!

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  6. I tried this myself. I followed the directions and it didn't work. When I started to spray the paper it started to bubble up in places and the letters came up with it. I don't have microsoft word, but I used google docs and I was able to mirror the image and print it off. Any suggestions on what I can do to fix this? My email is if you would like to email me. I'm doing this as a project for mother's day and don't have much time.

  7. Ashley - I read somewhere on the internet (don't remember where now!) that you HAVE to use laser jet printing (like office supply stores offer), otherwise using an ink jet print requires many more preparations in order for the mod podge to come out correctly (and even then, it's not as fool-proof as using laser jet). Just thought I'd add that tidbit! Not sure what type of printer you have that you used, but hopefully this helps, or at least provides some insight for others. =)

  8. I tried this and I had too much mod podge.. since I am doing a white canvas, should I cover the whole canvas instead including the paper section or just the section I need to paste? help.

  9. when you add the images face down did you put the whole sheet or cut them by section?

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  14. Your first attempt is s nice one

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