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Personalized Initial Photo Canvas {a tutorial}

This personalized initial photo canvas tutorial is easy and perfect for gifts! Use your child’s photo and turn it into custom inital art!

An easy personalized photo canvas idea, perfect for gifts

I am so excited to share this project with you all today–I just love how it turned out and it’s so simple to make! The gifting possibilities, too, are endless…this would be perfect for a baby gift, a family holiday gift, or even a wedding present (just use the couple’s last initial)! So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Mod Podge Gloss
foam brush
canvas (I used 8×10)
photo paper

Step 1: The first step is to go into your word processing program (or Photoshop, if you have it), find the font you want to use, and print out the initial of your choice on 8×10 vellum paper. Here’s a screenshot of my image right before printing. As you may be able to see, I used Gil Sans Ultra Bold for my font, 750 pt.

Other fonts that would work well for this project are Berlin Sans and Impact, both of which came with my Microsoft Word Program. Basically, you just want a heavy, chunky font. Print out your letter on vellum (use a light gray color for printing, instead of black), and cut your letter out.

photo canvas how to
Step 2: Print your photo out onto cardstock or photo paper. Take your vellum letter and position it over your photo, moving it around until you are happy with the placement (the portion of the image that shows through the vellum is what will be displayed on the canvas.

photo canvas how to

Step 3: Cut out your initial. You may be able to do this with scissors, or you may need to use an x-acto knife and mat to get a clean cut.

Step 4: Take your initial and apply a layer of Mod Podge to the back. Position onto your canvas and press firmly. Let dry completely.

photo canvas

Step 5: Apply three thin coats of Mod Podge to seal. This is one project where multiple thin coats are preferable to fewer thick coats. Let dry completely between coats.

mod podged photo

And there you have it! There are so many amazing ways to customize and be creative with this project, everything from using a black and white photo to painting the canvases a bright, bold color before applying the initial.

Love easy wall art ideas? Head here for over 75+ free printables for the home!

Thanks for reading all about how to DIY a photo canvas! Have a crafty day!


Wednesday 19th of November 2014

Thank you for your response, I appreciate it!


Tuesday 11th of November 2014

This is such a clever project! I have a question though, did you do something special to the picture so the ink didn't bleed? I think I am missing a step. Such an adorable project for a Christmas gift! Thank you for sharing!


Wednesday 19th of November 2014

No, nothing was needed. The Mod Podge was able to go over the photo with no bleeding. Thanks for the question!