DIY Canvas Photos

If you’ve ever made an investment in professional photography, you want to showcase it in a manner that really allows viewers to appreciate the full quality and detail of each photo.


After investing a pretty penny in our engagement and wedding photos, I thought ‘what now?’ I didn’t want to spend so much time and money for the photos to sit in a gallery online or an album in some cabinet. I’m not a huge fan of picture frames either -quality frames are pricey (particularly for the sizes I wanted to display detail) and can draw focus away from the pictures themselves. You also may have to hunt around for frames that coordinate well together.

DSC_0029-01Photo canvases became the obvious choice to fit all of my wish-list, photo-displaying needs.


After doing a little research, it became quickly apparent that there would be no way we could afford professional photo canvas prints on a newlywed budget. Or possibly even a big, fat retirement budget. Those things are expensive. I used a gift card to order one 9×13 professional canvas print and it was $80. A few more clicks of a calculator revealed for what I wanted to do, I would have to shell out roughly $1,560. Furthermore, I was underwhelmed with the quality of the professional print for what I had paid.


It was then I realized my only options were to either get rich or get crafty. Since I’m clearly of a higher materialistic moral ground, I chose the latter option. (Just kidding. We’re poor.)

These DIY canvas photos are incredibly simple to put together, even for the most craft-challenged of individuals. You can swing by your local craft store to find all of the necessary components and crank a bunch of these babies out in no time. The final product is a gorgeous collage that you will be proud to hang on your wall.


All you will need is:

  • Mod Podge
  • A foam brush
  • High-quality, enlarged photo prints
  • Blank canvases in the same measurements as your photos
  •  A spare canvas or scrap of fabric

DSC_0017-01Begin by adhering your photo to the front of the canvas with the Mod Podge and smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles.

DSC_0027-01Give the glue 15-30 minutes to dry securely to the surface of the canvas. If you want to get fancy, you can flip the canvas over at this point and use an X-acto knife to trim the photo edges to align perfectly with the edges of your canvas. I thought about it. But then decided I am entirely too lazy an individual to exert that kind of effort at four o’clock on Sunday afternoon.

DSC_0029-01Now here comes the scary part, for non-crafty DIY adventurers like myself. Take a deep breath, then cover the surface of the photo in Mod Podge. It looks bad, I know. But I promise everything is going to be okay. You’re not an epic crafting failure, like that little voice on the inside of your head screaming “you’ve ruined the engagement photos -this house will never be a home!” might be saying.  Not that I’m speaking from personal experience.

DSC_0035-01Next you want to immediately take either your spare blank canvas (I had a couple extra laying around, so that’s what I used) or scrap of fabric and press it over the surface of the wet Mod Podge. It’s okay if you have to give it a few goes to get the right texture pattern, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. This stuff is going to dry clear as a whistle.

DSC_0041-01This layer of Mod Podge is what’s going to give your photos that realistic canvas texture and protect the photo from the elements since it won’t go behind a frame.


And after giving it about 15-30 minutes to dry,  tah-dah! Crystal clear finish, just like I promised.

DSC_0049-01The Mod Podge pattern really gives it that gorgeous canvas texture that takes your DIY to the next level. If you want to get fancy with it, you can paint the edges of your canvas to go along with your decor or color scheme. Since we are just starting off in a cozy little apartment and will probably be moving in a year or two, I wanted to leave them open to possibility for the years and homes to come.

DSC_0008-01 There you have it. A simple, beautiful and budget-friendly way to display family photos in your home for years to come.


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