How To Transfer Photos To Stone: Simple Tutorial

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Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime! This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone. Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

This is Suzy from Suzy’s Sitcom! We are full-time travelers living in our RV, and many of my projects are inspired by our current surroundings. We are currently in upstate New York on Lake Ontario. It seems that this part of New York has its share of wonderfully smooth stones that have been polished by Lake Ontario. It came to me that I should try to transfer photos onto stone. A great keepsake of the area and a beautiful memory saved forever!

Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime!  This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone.  Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

We are currently working at a campground on Association Island and have been exploring the area near Thousand Islands. There is so much to do here in the summer. Fishing, swimming, boating, sightseeing….

Rudys seafood in Oswego, NY

…eating lots of great food. We found a rustic seafood restaurant right on Lake Ontario in the town of Oswego, NY. It is called Rudy’s and apparently, it is not only popular with visitors, but it is a regular local attraction. Rudy’s sits right on the water and you can enjoy your meal outside under umbrellas in the sun.

Lake Ontario in Oswego, NY

After enjoying our dinner, we sat along the shore and watched the water. And what did I spy? Thousands of beautiful stones polished by the waters. I gathered quite a few with no idea as to what I was going to create.

I got the eye from the husband who was immediately trying to calculate where the heck I would store them. He would get over it. A project was forming in my head….

How to transfer photos to stone

Transferring photos to stone turned out to be a simple project, although I have to tell you that it was my third attempt that was the charm. This project uses many things that you might already have around the house. You just have to find a nice smooth stone and start creating!

The supplies you need to transfer photos to stone - packing tape, scissors, photos, rocks, tissue paper, copy paper, and mod podge.

What you need: 

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Instructions:

1. prepare the tissue paper

In order to easily print on tissue paper, tape the tissue paper to a sheet of copy paper. You will need to place tape on all four sides so that it will not bunch up in your printer. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime!  This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone.  Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

2. Print the photos onto tissue paper

Using an inkjet printer, print your chosen photos. You can choose to print in color or black and white. Either way will work for transferring onto stone.

Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime!  This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone.  Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

3. prepare the photo for transfer

Remove the tissue paper from the copy paper and then trim your photo to fit the selected stone.

Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime!  This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone.  Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

4. transfer the photo to stone

Paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the top of the stone and then carefully place the tissue paper photo over the Mod Podge. Smooth the photo down onto the stone with a paintbrush, adding a thin coating of Mod Podge on top.

Create a beautiful memory that can last a lifetime!  This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer photos onto stone.  Transfer photos, quotes, illustrations, or anything that you can print on a simple printer!

As the Mod Podge dries, the tissue paper will become translucent, allowing the various colors of the stone to show through. Your photo will take on the appearance of a painting.

A collection of smooth stones decorated with photographs of families and pets.

Such a simple project! The final result is a beautiful memory that can be kept a lifetime!

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Do you love unique craft ideas?

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35 Comments

  1. Your process 4 the stone would that work for the mugs that’s u see people do with the modpoge and the expoxy? My niece and I are attempting to do a couple and that would be a neat idea to try?

    1. Hi Mikki! My daughter makes those also! I would definitely try it! Keep in mind that the tissue paper becomes translucent. That would mean that any color in the mug would show through where there is no ink. So I would go with a white or stainless steel cup. It would also be fun to experiment with black and white prints! Would love to see what you make!

  2. Your stones look wonderful!I have a laser printer, can you Mod Podge with a laser print image?

    1. Hi Dianne,
      It’s tissue paper, so yes – you could tear the edges of the print so it’s not so straight! I would just caution you to be careful and go slowly so you don’t tear off more than you intend.

      Thanks for checking and good luck with your project! Suzy and I would love to see photos of how it turns out – please share on FB or Instagram and tag me @kenarryideas so we can see your awesome creation!

      Thank you so much!

      Best wishes,
      Carrie

  3. Hi! The tissue paper that I used did not have a shiny side. With that said, I would say to print on the dull side. Hope that helps! Suzy

    1. Hi Suzy!
      I wonder if any tissue paper would get stuck in a printer. I have a home ink jet printer. What tissue paper did you use (table paper napkin, kithchen tissue…)? Did you use ordinary printing paper as the background while printing? Plaese, expalain. If it gets stuck inside the printer, I can only cry!
      Thank you!

      1. Hi Danka,
        Read through the tutorial for step-by-step instructions and tips for how to keep the tissue paper from getting stuck inside the printer. Suzy used tissue paper like you would use for stuffing gift bags. You’ll find a link for it under the supply list. Do not use paper napkins or facial/kitchen tissue. She also used ordinary printer or copy paper for this project.

        Make sure you place tape on the edges of all four sides so that it will not bunch up in your printer.

        Happy crafting!

        Best wishes,
        Carrie
        Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

    1. Hi Pat,
      Mod Podge is the specific brand name of a glue like substance that’s used for decoupage and other types of crafting. If you look on Amazon or ask at a craft store, they’ll direct you to the Mod Podge. Hope that helps!

      Best wishes,
      Carrie
      Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  4. Is this project waterproof afterwards? (Can you put it outside, in the shade) or should this be kept strictly indoors.

  5. Mod Podge makes an outdoor version of the sealant. However, they advertise that it is water resistant rather than water proof. So my answer would be to keep them indoors. Hope that helps.

      1. Hi Glen,
        Thanks so much for sharing! We haven’t tried this process with white glue mixed with water. Please let us know how it works out for you!
        Best wishes,
        Carrie
        Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  6. Hmmm. This isn’t actually a “transfer” where you modpodge the stone and place the photo ink side down and rub the photo (transfer) onto the stone, removing the paper. Both ways work but the title of your article is a little confusing.

    1. That’s what I was thinking, since the tissue paper actually remains on the rock. So more like decoupage than transfer. Still looks nice though.

  7. I was wondering what was your preparation of the Stone before you started your transfer? Also can the stone be painted first before transfer?

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Great question! Suzy used smooth stones that were polished smooth by the water. If necessary you could scrub your stone with soap and water first, but then allow it to dry completely. I believe you can paint the stone first before you do the transfer. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
      Best wishes,
      Carrie
      Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  8. Can u use just regular printer paper instead of tissue paper ? Also I have a Brothers all in one printer and not sure if it’s the kind of printer your talking about? Can I use it ?

    1. Hi Tammy,
      It would be best to use tissue paper rather than regular paper for this project. When you use tissue paper, it conforms to the surface of the rock better than regular paper. Also, when you glue it on to the rock with Mod Podge, the tissue paper becomes translucent/clear so you can actually see the texture or pattern of the rock through the photo.
      A Brother All-in-One printer can be a laser or ink jet printer depending on your model, but either could work for this project.

      Good luck and happy crafting!
      Best wishes,
      Carrie
      Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  9. Wouldn’t printing on waterslide decal produce the same effect? Instead of rock, I have used 2″ self cover buttons. Printed photo image onto china silk and then assembled the button, adding gathered cotton lace edging tape
    around the perimeter of the back piece before snapping it down. It’s a sepia tone of my mother I wear it on mother’s day.

    1. Hi Sally,
      We haven’t tried it with waterslide decals and aren’t familiar with them enough to know if it would work. What a beautiful idea to use that technique to create a special pin to honor your mother each year.

      Best wishes,
      Carrie
      Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  10. We want to place printed words on rocks. DO we have to seal the rock before placing the tissue paper on it. What product do we use to seal? Ok, then we place the printed tissue on the rock. And What coating do we use on this step? After the tissues dries and we remove the tissue, what can we seal the letters with? Or does it need to be sealed?

    1. Hi Janet,
      First, coat the rock with a thin layer of Mod Podge then place your tissue paper on top. You do not need to seal the rock before placing the tissue paper on it, the Mod Podge will do that.

      Once the tissue paper is on the rock, coat it with Mod Podge again. As the Mod Podge dries the tissue paper becomes translucent. You do not remove the tissue paper from the rock.

      You do not need to seal the rock after the Mod Podge if you’re just going to display it indoors on a shelf or table.

      Hope that helps! Happy crafting!

      Best wishes,
      Carrie
      Ideas for the Home by Kenarry

  11. This is a great idea and super simple!! Thanks for sharing.
    I also commend you for your patience with people…. ?

  12. Stone project looks great – I do have one question “Can a color laser printer be used instead of an ink jet printer – I use my ink jet so seldom the jets get clogged?”

  13. Hi Suzy,

    I love this project and plan to try it, but I want something that can stay outdoors in a garden. Is there something I could seal it with when I finish that won’t cause the image to blur or run?

    1. I have not tried it, but I would assume that several coats of clear polyurethane sealant may protect it enough to put outdoors. However, I believe that the bright sun may eventually fade your photos. I would recommend it more for an indoor project.

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