Create your very own photo prints with just a few items you likely already have at home. Then get really creative with it—transfer images to notebooks, t-shirts, and anything else you can think of! 

All you need is a laser printed photo (either an image you took, or one you love), acetone (found in nail polish remover), a spoon, and your medium of choice. Here’s exactly how to do it:

What You Need 

  • Laser printed photo
  • Acetone
  • Spoon
  • A surface of your choice

How to Create a DIY Photo Transfer

Step 1: Choose an Image

While you don’t have to be a budding photographer to make this photo creation, you do need a photo. Choose one that you love, obviously. It could be one from your own collection, a friend’s, or a royalty-free option you found online.

Here, we’ve chosen a photo of a French bulldog and printed it in black and white.
Here, we’ve chosen a photo of a French bulldog and printed it in black and white.

Step 2: Print With a Laser Printer

Print your selected image onto white paper with a laser printer. Remember to flip your image on a vertical axis prior to printing so when you turn it facedown onto your surface, it will face up the correct way.

Step 3: Select a Surface 

You have so many options to choose from. You could go classic and transfer your image to a larger piece of paper, or try a t-shirt, tote bag, notebook, or wood. Any dry surface will work!

Here, we’ve chosen a plain notebook cover.
Here, we’ve chosen a plain notebook cover.

Step 4: Tape Down Your Image

Put your image with the ink-side down onto your selected surface and tape it in place.

Step 5: Apply Acetone 

In a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of nail polish with acetone. With a paper towel or other cloth, wet the back of the photo with the nail polish. Rub the wet area with the back of a spoon to ensure the image fully transfers.

Wet the entire photo and press down firmly so your image transfers in full.
Wet the entire photo and press down firmly so your image transfers in full.

Step 6: Lift to Check on Transfer

When you think the image has fully transferred, slowly lift one corner to make sure it’s to your liking. If it’s not, keep rubbing with the spoon. 

Before you remove all of the tape, ensure the image is to your liking.
Before you remove all of the tape, ensure the image is to your liking.

Step 7: Let Dry

Once you’re happy with your image transfer, let the surface dry completely before touching it to avoid smudging.

Photo transfers can be done on any dry surface, like a piece of wood shown here.
Photo transfers can be done on any dry surface, like a piece of wood shown here.

Now that you know how to create DIY photo art, why not try using your very own images? 

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