how to transfer a magazine image

Hi Friends!

I have been experimenting with photo transfer again and this time I discovered how to transfer a magazine image to a canvas.

In case you aren’t well versed in photo transfer, I love this process and have transferred photos onto wood, glass, canvas and done reverse transfers with watercolor.  Each time I transfer an image I am in love with the result, and feel like a real artist.  If you haven’t tried to transfer an image yet, it’s time!  You don’t have to be particularly artsy or crafty to have amazing results with this project!

For a long time now I have wanted to transfer an image from a magazine–I’ve tried it many times and failed.  You see, to transfer a photo you need an image printed with a laser printer, not your usual ink jet.  And, it seems, that most magazines are printed with some sort of non-laser printing.  Every time I tried to transfer a photo it would end up rubbing off or spearing.


But, I finally figured it out and I am so excited to share it with you!  Here are the details.


Once you have your supplies together, here is what you have to do.

First, pull out some beautiful magazine images and trim them to the exact size of your canvases.  I got my images from Bon Appetit because what is more beautiful than pictures of food, right?

tutorial for transferring an image from a magazine

Next, using the foam brush, spread the transfer gel evenly over the top of the canvas, making sure not to miss any spots and that you don’t have any huge globs of gel.

Press you magazine image into the transfer gel face down.  Use the pads of your fingers to get out any air bubbles or transfer gel globs.  Do a good job with this step, it’s super important!

Allow to dry for 24 hours.

When it is completely dry, begin to work on removing the paper.  This part takes a little time and patience.  Start in the center of the image, rubbing gently with the damp rag until the paper starts to roll up.  Be careful–don’t use too much water as this will make the image smear.  And, don’t rub too hard, as this will make the image rub off.

I found the the best way to remove the paper was to start with only a slightly damp rag and rub until the paper was just starting to peal off.  Then I used the pads of my fingers to get the paper off.

Continue until all of the paper is removed and you are left with only the image.

As a final step, spray with clear glaze and allow to dry completely.

how to transfer images from magazines

Pretty cool, right?

Now, if you are at all unfamiliar with photo transfer you should know that you will not get a perfect transfer.  That’s not the point.  Parts of the image will transfer (most of it)–and little bits of the image won’t transfer.  What is more, using magazine images is an even more imperfect process.  For this reason I do not suggest using pictures of faces–and everything will be backward so don’t use words.

In the end you are after something artistic, not perfect.

how to transfer images from magazines onto canvases

I am super pleased with my little mini canvases that I transferred.  They are so colorful and vibrant!  I can’t wait to display them in my kitchen!

Are you ready to give this a try?  Have you done a photo transfer before–if not, what’s holding you back?  Let’s do it–I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have along the way!

All the best,

Name Picture


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