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how to print instagram onto wood
Never before have we been so globally obsessed with snapping pictures. Nearly everyone has a bad-ass camera, (although some of you need to move away from auto, if you spend the cash learn the tool, lecture over). Those who don’t are snapping none the less, on phones, point and clicks and tablets, but what then? Well most of those images stay on a hard drive, if they are lucky they end up on Facebook or Instagram but I want your photos to be used and enjoyed. Personally I think we should make friends and relatives come over to look at albums and slide shows again but that is just me. Let’s talk about Instagram for a second, this is not new but it changed the world into square format everything and there are now professional Instagrammers, yes that is a thing, believe me. Even we non-pro ‘grammers spend so much time making pretty little square format art, yes it is art so why just leave them trapped?
Plywood is one of my very favourite materials for most things, my love of plywood needs its own post but for now it is the humble canvas of my art. The post is called How To Print Instagram Onto Ply but you can use this method for any print out.
how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood

you will need;

squares of plywood (you can get these cut at the store if you don’t have a saw)
matte acrylic medium
a sponge
a laser printout of your image
a sponge applicator
olive oil
kitchen roll
wall fixings and screws

how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood


  1. Begin by selecting the images you want to print. Areas of white and very pale areas will show as the plain plywood. Below I will show you some of the different results that you can achieve. If you have text remember that you will need to reverse the image before printing so that the text reads the right way once it is on the plywood. You don’t need photo editing software for this most printers allow you to flip the image.
  2. Use your sponge applicator to apply a layer of acrylic gel medium onto the wood and onto the image. Place the image down onto the side of the wood that has the gel. Burnish the back of the image to make sure that it is flat and push all the air bubbles out. 
  3. Leave your images overnight to dry. Have a rest, go to bed, drink hot chocolate, not necessarily in that order.
  4. Once they are fully dry, and that is key, you should wet the paper with a sponge and start to rub the paper away with your finger. This is where the magic has happened as the image remains on the wood, yipee!
  5. Keep wetting and rubbing until all of the paper has been removed.
  6. Let your images dry out. It is time to have a brew, eat some toast, mooch on Pinterest, read the archives of Archie & The Rug, you know whatever.
  7. When they are dry you may see a slight white residue of paper fibres, (see the image below). You have 2 options, you can wet and rub again but you may lose a little of the image which can give a nice effect. The alternative is to take a little olive oil and rub it over your image with your finger. Use a paper towel to rub of any excess oil, you don’t want an oily image.
  8. Screw your fixings onto the back of the plywood and hang.
how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood
After being rubbed with oil the white fibres are gone!
I wanted to talk to you in more detail about the type of images you can choose. Below is an image that was quite a dense image with trees and so it was well covered.
how to print instagram onto wood

The next image is a very graphic image, as it had lots of white in the image when I printed it out there was no ink in those areas so when I removed the backing paper we were left with ply, I really like this look. You get the same effect with white fluffy clouds!

how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood
You can use this method with any of your photographs, they don’t have to be Instagram images. And they don’t have to be square format but squares are cool, Instagram told me so.
how to print instagram onto wood
how to print instagram onto wood
    March 22, 2016



    1. Reply


      March 18, 2016

      This looks amazing! Sorry to be a wally, but are you using a standard printed photo on usual photographic paper?

    2. Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

      March 18, 2016

      On ordinary copy paper, but make sure it is a laser not inkjet

    3. Reply

      Vanessa Kay

      October 12, 2017

      Love this Nic! I've done the same onto board with a slightly raised grain and achieved fab effects. My son also used this technique onto split wood which he scorched first, as his final project whilst at Sixth form. X