DIY Canvas Photos (On the Cheap!)

DIY Canvas Photos

If you’ve been active in the home and garden or DIY blogoshpere as of late, you’ve probably seen a few of these DIY canvas photo tutorials around. I wanted to do something a little different, a little easier and a little cheaper, so just before Thanksgiving, when I was set to have a bunch of guests (literally, the night before Thanksgiving, thats how easy this was!) I threw this together… And I LOVE the way it turned out… I plan on painting the wall that’s behind these in the final photo, and I think it will show them off better, and will update you then. In the meantime however, this was a tight budget project that gave me an expensive look with DIY canvas photos for less then $15 for the whole project! (That’s for five canvas photos!)


Canvas value packs from Hobby Lobby

Mod Podge (matte)

Foam Brush

Black and white prints (no border)

I just used black and white photo prints from Walmart… and low end canvases that were on sale for $5.99 a two pack. I chose to make my prints a little different than a lot of the bloggers out there in that I used standard 4×6 prints on larger canvases, and allowed a lot of white space around the edge of the print. A cool and more modern look. I prefer a matte finish as I think it makes it look more like real canvas and therefore higher end, but use glossy if you prefer. Remember, these are a DIY dupe… not meant to be viewed at extreme close up or given as expensive gifts…but up on a wall, I can’t tell the difference between these and paying a whole lot more to have theses prints put onto canvas at the photo shop!

Step One:

Using a foam brush, coat the back of the print with Mod Podge.

DIY Canvas Photos


Step Two:

Apply your print face up onto the center of the canvas. I just eyeballed it… Smooth it down with another coat of glue over the face of the print.

DIY Canvas Photos


Step Three:

Now apply a coat of the glue to the entire front of the canvas. Not only does this seal in the print, it also makes sure the entire canvas is the same finish.

DIY Canvas Photos

DIY Canvas Photos


That’s it! Let is dry, and hang, or as I prefer, lean and layer them on a shelf or mantel. DIY canvas photos for a fraction of the cost, and this is fast and easy! Let us know how this project turns out for you!

DIY Canvas Photos


  1. Margarita says:

    Yesterday I did this!!!! Fantastically nice and very easy to do!!!!! Couldn’t help saying thank you!!!!

  2. WOW!! What a fantastic idea!! I can not wait to try this!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. You must have known there was a new crafter out there struggling to find her first project. The struggle was it being simple and something that interested me too lol. This will be perfect to finish up the big family tree decal I have on the wall. Thanks a lot for sharing your awesome ideas. I really enjoy reading your blogs!

  4. We just bought a smaller home and this is going to go on a big blank wall of the newer high ceilinged house we bought! Thanks for the how to!!! I may try spray painting the canvas black and seeing what that looks like since the walls are canvas colored.

  5. hi Kathy thank you so much for sharing this idea. I went to Hobby Lobby today and got everything to make this. I just wanted to know if you had an idea on how to wrap it (without it sticking to the mod podge) to give as a gift.

  6. Instead of using photo prints, I made them after printing my photos from those I had on file on my computer on regular printer paper…set my print to black ink only. They were fabulous and I taught a class in it for my craft guild! This way, the canvas texture comes through. Even did the same thng but used scraps of wood cut to the size of my photos! Ta Da!

  7. Is there a reason why black and white prints are used instead of color?

  8. Chelle mckinnon says:

    Please can you tell me what Mod podge is. Im dure its something simple but as im Scottish it may have a different word to describe it. Really want to try these lovely canvases out. Love your page x

  9. I just painted my canvases black, I got glossy photos this time, so do I use glossy mod podge and do I cover the front of my photo with mod podge as well? Or only the back? Do I cover the black painted edges as well??thank you

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      We covered the entire surface with Mod Podge so the finish would be consistent… Glossy or satin is up to you!

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