DIY Photo Canvas


I love the look of a canvas print, so much that I’d love one in every room but that isn’t always cost effective. Thankfully, there’s a way that I can just make them at home vs dropping $100 everytime I want one. This is one of my favorite DIY’s (and most shared) DIY’s; it’s such a quick and easy way to display your photos and artwork and makes an awesome gift for any occasion. Let’s get to the instructions:

This is what you need to make one :

  • Blank Canvas
  • Mod Podge (Matte Finish)  
  • Foam Brushes
  • Craft Paint (optional) 
  • Photo/Print cut to the exact size of the canvas. I print mine on photo paper or you could use cardstock. I’d advise not using regular printer paper, it doesn’t hold up as well in my opinion.

Other ideas: Use this same technique to display artwork, including scans or reprints of your child’s drawings or paintings Or you could find a cheap print/paper/fabric to create your own cool canvas art!


This is how you do it:

  • First, paint the edges with the craft paint. (If you don’t plan to frame it) You could also mod podge some cool scrapbook paper on the edges.  Let dry completely.
  • Put a layer of mod podge on the blank canvas
  • Then place your photo/print on the canvas and let it dry. Note: Make sure it’s square & the edges line up. This step is important for making sure this looks as authentic as possible.
  • Finally, you’re going to mod podge the top of the photo/print. I apply some horizontally strokes first and let those dry. Then, I apply a layer vertically so that it will have a brushed canvas look when dry. Pay attention to your brush strokes, how you paint them on is how it will dry. Then you just wait for it to fully dry in a room where there isn’t much dust.

If you completed the first step & painted the edges or applied paper to the edges, you can hang it up as soon as it’s dried OR you can just place it in a frame.

Updates: Please Read  This post has been shared thousands of times, and since then questions from readers have come up so I wanted to clarify I few things.

  • What is ModPodge & where can I find it?
    ModPodge is decoupage which is basically permanent white glue/PVA glue (not school glue) that has been watered down. Any craft store should have this & if not, something similar if you just tell them what you’re looking for.  I purchased the matte finish because I wanted it to look as much like an authentic canvas as possible.
  • Can I use printer paper?
    I wouldn’t, even the printer paper at staples doesn’t work quite right. You can try it but I personally prefer photo paper or thick construction paper because it holds up SO much better. I actually ordered an engineering print so that I could make a very large canvas for super cheap but the paper is super thin & harder to work with in my opinion, it tends to leave some bubbles. In summary, spend just a tad more to get it printed on photo paper vs paper.
  • Do I need to seal it?
    You don’t have to but if you want to add yet another barrier, you can use some polyurethane. I created my first canvas about 3 years ago & I have never had an issue with using ModPodge only; it’s still stuck on there & looks the same as it did on day 1.
  • Where to you buy your supplies?
    Most often at my local craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics) but you can also find many of these supplies at Walmart also. Honestly, I go wherever I can find the items for the best price, so just watch for sales. The last time I made a canvas (for Fathers Day) I watched the ads & found a 2 pack of canvases at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off. If they aren’t on sale that particular week, I know that most craft stores usually have a 40% off coupon on one item, so just use that!

Check out my video tutorial; I’ll show you exactly how to make your own DIY canvas at home.

This post has been featured on:


Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 8.38.03 AM


 JumbleJoy Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 10.26.55 AM

3 Comments on DIY Photo Canvas

  1. krystie
    May 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm (4 years ago)

    I am going to try this in the near future, I hope the process is as easy as you make it seem! Thanks

  2. Anyonita
    May 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm (4 years ago)

    You clever clogs! Pinned to my I Wish I Had Time to Craft board! As one of the co-hosts from the My Favorite Posts Weekend SHOW OFF Party! I wanted to personally thank you for linking up with us. Also, I’m hosting a Facebook like party on my blog where you can link up and increase your Facebook likes! I’d love it if you joined in too! It’s here:

  3. Wendy @ EffieGirl
    November 14, 2013 at 12:21 am (4 years ago)

    So happy I found this on your blog! I have canvas and want to do this for my sister and her babies. Hope it works as well for me. Thanks!