Create a Gallery Wrapped Photo Canvas for Under $10

Even though taking our family photos was a torture session, I’ve been having lots of fun making things with the photos!  Yesterday, I showed you the DIY antique style cabinet cards that can be made with photos, and today I have a gallery wrapped photo canvas that turned out even better than I hoped.  Not only did it turn out amazing, it was so cheap to make.  If you’ve ever priced a gallery wrapped photo canvas, you know they are pricey for larger ones, and this DIY version looks every bit as good, for less than $10.

DIY Photo Canvas via Knick of Time

It is very easy to make, and the only supplies needed are an engineering print, a blank canvas, school glue, and a paint or foam brush.

1)  Get your photo printed as an engineering print.  I get mine done at Staples for less than $4 for a huge image.  Just make sure to use a high resolution photo, so your image won’t get pixelated when it’s enlarged.

2)  Mix about 1/4 c. of glue with a little bit of water.  Don’t water it down so much that the glue is drippy, but just thin it out a little.

3.  Use a paintbrush to coat just the top of your canvas (I buy 2-packs of the canvases from Hobby Lobby for $8 for the 16 x 20 size – even less with a 40% off coupon).

4.  Position the engineering print face up on the canvas.  Make sure you leave enough of the photo hanging over the edge, so you’ll be able to fold that around the back of the canvas.  Gently smooth out the wrinkles, but don’t stress if some remain – they usually flatten when they dry.

5.  Let air dry, or speed it up with a blow dryer.

6.  Paint more glue along the edges of the canvas, 1 side at a time.  Fold the corners like a present and add glue in the folds, removing any excess that comes out.

DIY Photo Canvas How To

7.  Put another light coat of glue over the top and edges of the whole canvas.  I recommend allowing it to air dry, so the heat from the blow dryer doesn’t cause the glue to bubble (I used the blow dryer and got a few little bubbles).

That’s it!  I am seriously amazed at how beautiful it turned out.  You would never know it’s just a cheap paper print.

DIY Photo Canvas via Knick of Time

More easy DIY projects can be found HERE.

DIY Projects


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  1. Thanks Angie I needed this info. I’m going to try this it seems simple and cheap.

  2. This is wonderful~ I may have to try this with some of my travel photos~

  3. This is such a fun idea, Angie…your family photos turned out so great!

  4. Wow! That came out amazing! … and you have a beautiful family Angie!

  5. This is such a cute idea, I might have to make a couple for the gallery wall I’m working on!

  6. An engineering print? Is this like a paper, rather than glossy thick photo type paper?

    • Lisa, yes it is large thin papers, like engineers have their blueprints printed on. If you have a Staples store nearby, they can make them for you, but you can order from them online as well by uploading the photo you want printed.

  7. I ordered an engineering print using the high quality photo as instructed, however the print was very unimpressive. There are lines across it and it is not uniform. The worker did start the printing job as soon as we got there so I’m thinking he just did a ‘quick print’ where maybe he could have used a ‘high quality’ option? Do you know if there are different quality levels of an engineering print?

    • Holly, I’ve never had a problem getting a photo printed as an engineering print at Staples. As long as you have a high resolution image to start with, the engineering print should look sharp. I’d go back and ask about it where you had it printed. I made more of them this year, and they turned out great as well.

  8. This is a fantastic tip! And I love your red barn print. Thanks so much for sharing it. 🙂 Liz


  1. […] from my plate that is hanging crooked, I love how it looks on the wall next to the family photo canvas.  I’m thrilled that we found a new use for FOUR different things in this project, and I love […]

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