That Mom Blog

DIY Vintage Photo Canvas


This was the first Christmas ever that I found myself struggling trying to figure out what to get my Mom. Usually she is the easiest to buy for, but I didn’t want to fall back on the old ‘something dragonfly’ (no offence sis!). I wanted something new and meaningful. I had recently made some photo canvases for my Love Bump Baby booth for the last Baby Expo, and thought that doing some family photo’s like that for her would be something that she would really like. I knew that she had some pictures on her computer that I could grab, so I went over one afternoon and told her I needed to do some ’emailing’. Lucky for me rather than staying to chat, she went to crochet in the other room.

While searching for some more recent photos, I stumbled upon some old shots of my grandparents that she had scanned into the computer. I knew instantly that these were the photos I was going to use. They were perfect! I emailed them to myself, picked up a set of four 6×6″ canvases, and went home to get to work.

First thing I did was figure out which Photo’s I would use. I decided to use two photos of them together, and then one of each of them. I cropped the photos, and sent them off to staples to be printed (I swear we are printer cursed in my house…). This is how I made my Vintage Photo Canvases:

What you need

  • Photo’s – I found that using printed photo’s over actual photos works a little better, though I have head that real photos less bubbling. (If you are using real photo’s make sure it is a copy, and NOT the original in case it doesn’t work out!)
  • Canvas – I purchased 4 6×6″ Canvases at Michaels. You can really get them in any size
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Paper Cutter/Scissors
  • Ink (I used a blank ink pad, as well as some Distress Ink)
  • Paint Brush or Sponge

What to do

First thing to do is coat your canvases with a layer of the Mod Podge and let dry. Cut out all of the pictures you are going to use a little smaller (1/8″) than your canvas.

Measure the sides of your canvases, and cut strips of scrapbook paper, again, about 1/8″ smaller.

After I made the first one, I realized that adding the ink to the corners around the canvas before was a lot easier than trying to get my brush in the little crevices after.

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge onto your canvas, and carefully place the picture on top smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles. Let dry. Once dry, I took a paint Sponge and distressed the edges around the scrapbook paper and photos a little more with the black ink, and then with a little of the Distress Ink in ‘vintage photo’.

After I distressed the edges to my liking, I applied another thin layer of Mod Podge all the way around, and left them to dry.

I love the way they turned out, and I think Mom even teared up a bit when she opened them. I do wish I got a better picture of the completed set. Mom loved them so much she took them to Florida with her. I may need to make a second set for myself!!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Author: That Mom Blog

I am a blue haired, tattooed, hard working Mom to 2 wonderful little boys, 3 baby related businesses, and a Mom Blog. Working hard at rediscovering me, getting into shape, and trying to balance it all at the same time.

10 thoughts on “DIY Vintage Photo Canvas

  1. Yes, I did tear up and no, I couldn’t leave them at home….they had to come with me to Florida!!! I love them and appreciate all the thought, love and work that went into them. I will always treasure them!!!

  2. Karen, these are awesome! YOU are awesome! x

  3. Wow Karen I love what you did with the pictures what a great idea

  4. just pinned this! good job!

  5. This is a very cool idea…. great for gifting…

  6. Thanks for posting this very informative thoughts from you. this will surely help me a lot.

  7. Looks very amazing post.. Thanks for the info:-)

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