DIY: Transfer Your Instagram photos to Birch Tree Slices

Since clients (and I) are always looking for fresh ways to display photos, this project is perfect. You'll also end up with some unique wall art that really means something and you made yourself. By making this photo transfer, you are creating a really artistic and distressed version of your selected photos. It's a beautiful alternative to a framed print, and the wood grain even comes through in the image. The art of the photo transfer is definitely something to be patient and flexible with the results, knowing that this process is transformational to your image; no two will ever alike. For these images, I used some of Lytlefoto's Instagram images.


  • birch tree or other wooden tree slice (the ones pictured were purchased at Michael's Craft Supply)
  • a printer and regular printer paper
  • PHOTO TRANSFER or Matte Mod Podge
  • your digital photos printed on regular printer paper (NOT photo paper)
  • foam brush
  • old towel
  • sandpaper
  • Old English furniture polish

On a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty, this one ranges from a five to eight, depending on the materials you use, so specifics on this DIY are important to the success of the project.

Step 1: Take your selected images, and lay them across a piece of wax paper on a surface that can be easily cleaned. 

Step 2: Apply a liberal coat of Photo Transfer or Matte Mod Podge to each photo. 

Step 3: Turn each wet photo face down onto the slices of wood. 

Step 4: Use a credit card to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles. Allow to dry completely (approx. 1-2 hours).

Step 5: Once completely dry, cover with a wet towel and allow paper to soak for approximately 10 minutes to soften the paper for removal.

Step 6: Gently peel the paper backing from the photo surface leaving a slight layer of paper.

Step 7: You can use the towel to gently rub and remove remaining paper in small sections. However, you may remove the ink of the image if you rub too vigorously on the paper. Adjust the pressure of your pressing as you break through the last layer of white paper. 

*Tips and Tricks* 

You can use sandpaper to distress and smooth the edges of your image around the slice of wood. Use a little Old English furniture polish to gently remove that last tough little layer of paper.

Step 8: Once the slices are dry again, after removing the paper back, cover the image exposed with a slight layer of Mod Podge again. 

Once that top seal of Mod Podge is dry, you have your photo art ready to hang with ribbon, velcro, or even double sided tape. Use them as coasters or stack them on a coffee table. 


I would LOVE to see your photo transfer projects! #campmakery and #campmakerywoodphoto on Instagram or post pics on our Facebook page! xo