Save BIG By Making Your Own DIY Photo Canvas – It’s Easier Than You’d Think!

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making a DIY photo canvas

If you’re a fan of photo canvases, check out this smart DIY idea!

Did you know that it’s surprisingly so easy to make your own photo canvases at home using some Mod Podge decoupage and blank canvases?! This also happens to be one of my very favorite crafts of all time, so I’m excited to share how to make them today.

I used to make these all the time when my kids were younger to give to their grandparents, as well as to have them for display in my home. ❤️

holding DIY photo canvas of 2 kids

After you follow this easy method with inexpensive supplies, the result is a beautiful matte photo canvas you can keep for yourself or give away as a thoughtful personalized gift idea!

supplies to make DIY Photo canvas on the counter

Grab some blank photo canvases and let’s go!

You can pick up blank canvases in craft stores and most big-box chains, I think I’ve even seen some at Dollar Tree. Of course, Amazon.com is a great option for shopping from home too. I picked up a pack of white blank ones available in-store at Walmart, and also a pack of black canvases too.

The cool thing about using black canvases is you can skip the painting step, although painting the sides black works also.

creating a DIY photo canvas using mod podge

Tips for making the BEST DIY photo canvas:

    • I like to grab 8×10 photo prints from Walgreens.com and pick them up in-store as they are usually ready in less than an hour. This is also a great opportunity to take advantage of the 8×10 photo print freebie Walgreens offers frequently!
    • You can use color photo prints or consider using black and white! I love the look of how my black and white example turned out here.
    • To mimic the texture of a photo canvas, I apply the matte finish Mod Podge and then used a rag to gently blot and add texture. This will hide any paintbrush marks.
    • You can definitely go larger with this idea. You’d just need to grab a bigger sized canvas and photo print, but the sizing options are nearly endless!
    • Use this as an idea to repurpose a decorative canvas you no longer want! The thicker canvas of the family photo I have here was a piece of decor I was ready to donate, and just made it into a photo canvas instead!
pile of diy photo canvases on the counter

DIY Photo Canvas

Print

Directions

1

Paint the sides of the canvas using black craft paint and let that dry. (If you’re using a black canvas then bypass this step.)

2

If your photo is slightly larger than the canvas, trim it to the same size as the canvas. Paint a layer of Mod Podge over the front of the canvas.

3

Apply the photo over it, and press out any bubbles.

 

4

Turn the canvas upside down and continue to press out any bubbles.

5

Paint a layer of Mod Podge over the photo. Dab with a cotton rag so it hides the brush lines. You can also stamp the top with another canvas to mimic the same texture. Let it dry. Repeat this process two more times, letting it dry in between coats.

6

Let the canvas dry overnight to cure, and then sand any rough edges gently using sandpaper. That’s it! Your masterpiece is done. 🙌


diy photo canvas on the mantle

Hooray for a fun and easy money-saving craft!

I love that these are also inexpensive because you can make a bunch and change them out often. You can make your own for under $5, or even less if you use a free 8×10 print Walgreens sometimes offers. An actual 8×10 photo canvas is $39 full price from Walgreens, so that’s an 87% savings!

hanging diy photo canvas in gallery wall

I love decorating with personalized photos!

Photos are such a beautiful way to curate memories and you’ll have a blast styling with these DIY photo canvases! You can style them on shelves, on a mantle, on photo ledge shelving, or hang them on a photo gallery wall. I hope you enjoy this craft as much as I do and are able to turn some photos into pretty photo canvases for yourself or as gifts! 🎁

My dad has some DIY photo canvases in his office that I sent him years ago and they still look the same as the day I made them. In fact, I’ve found that actual custom photo canvases I’ve ordered in the past have faded over time a bit and these DIY ones have not!

displaying diy photo canvases on a picture frame ledge



Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  1. Brittany

    Love this! I used to do this when I was broke and in college using the free (or cheap) Walgreens photos. And it is even more cost effective if you buy the bulk pack of canvases at Michaels or even the dollar tree these days!

  2. Babymair

    Thx Collin and team ,I love this idea. I am always trying to find a special and personal gift for people that comes from the heart. Keep up the good work and God bless.

  3. Rebekkah

    Don’t forget to check out your local Dollar Tree for supplies. My store usually has small jars of Mod Podge and sometimes even small 5X7 canvas. The small jars are perfect for a one or two projects depending on size and then you are not left with a lot of stuff.

  4. Sara

    Thanks for the tutorial. This is my favorite way to use the free Walgreens 8x10s. Paired with a canvas from the Dollar Tree (I even get my Mod Podge there) you can’t beat it for $1 but I was never happy with the brush strokes. I’ll definitely try the tip to use cloth to blot out the brush marks!

    • Jim Evers

      Great idea.

  5. Jim Evers

    Great idea.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Jim!

  6. Sarah Cruz Photo

    Love this! But printing at Walgreens, colors aren’t always as reliable as a place like MPox which is a tad pricier. Anytime a people print photos it’s a win. Don’t let your memories live on your phone!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip! I agree, get those pics printed! 🙂

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