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DIY Square Canvas Prints

Stretch Your Dollar: DIY Instagram Canvas Prints

If you love snapping cool pictures with your smartphone using Instagram or Hipstamatic but don't know what to do with those square shots, then try making your own canvas print. Instead of tossing down the cash for square picture frames or paying up to $20 a pop for a professional small canvas print, try this easy DIY that rings in around $5. Pick up a square canvas at your craft store along with Mod Podge, which is basically the adult version of white glue. And no need for fancy photo paper; basic printer paper works wonderfully. So select your favorite print, and get ready for a picture-perfect project.

What You'll Need:

  • 6-by-6-inch square canvas
  • Sandpaper
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Paintbrush
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Square picture
  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Scrap paper


  1. Select a picture that you'd like for creating the print. Resize the image using your computer until it is 6 by 6 inches and then print, using the best printer settings. Gather the other materials for creating the canvas print before getting started.

  1. Use a paper cutter to trim the image, creating a perfect square. You can position the print over the canvas to double-check its size, trimming as needed.

  1. Give the front of the canvas a quick sanding with fine sandpaper, which helps the Mod Podge really adhere to the print and canvas.

  1. With a foam brush, coat the front of the canvas with a layer of Mod Podge and then position the print, smoothing gently. Don't worry if there are any bumps or puckers, they will smooth out once the glue is dry. Let rest for an hour before the next step.

  1. Now coat the print with a layer of Mod Podge, working first horizontally with the foam brush and then vertically. Once again, don't worry about any bumps; they'll disappear as the canvas dries.

  1. Place a piece of scrap paper under the canvas, and coat the sides with black acrylic paint, which really makes this DIY look professional. Touch up the black paint if needed.

  1. Once dry, find the perfect spot for hanging the finished canvas print, or give it to a special someone as a gift.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff
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Join The Conversation
Sarah-Lipoff Sarah-Lipoff 2 years
If your canvas is bubbled or rippled you might be using too much Mod Podge. I use regular printer paper (not photo paper) when I make mine and find sanding the canvas to be a big help. And it can take up to 24-hours for the glue to fully dry and all the bubbles to release. Sometimes mine are rippled at first, but after a day or two are nice and smooth.
Rebecca15310326 Rebecca15310326 2 years
I just tried this and there are bubbles all in my pictures. it looks horrible. any recommendations on how to remove them or reuse the canvas to try again? what paper do you recommend printing on? regular photo paper?
Diane15220886 Diane15220886 2 years
For best results, use a color laser printer or make a color copy at Kinkos or similar place on quality paper (not the thin flimsy typical copy paper, but not heavy card or cover stock either). When putting the picture onto the canvas, hold it by one edge & line up the other edge. Starting from the edge on the canvas, smooth the picture down gradually towards the other edge. This will help eliminate the bubbles. You can also use a brayer or other roller to help press out any air bubbles that may be there.
Maiken15213322 Maiken15213322 2 years
I just tried making this DIY and was sadly disappointed. The ripples in the paper did not go away once dry. I used regular paper and followed the instructions to a t. I wonder if you have any tips for me...??? The only thing I can think of is that I didn't use enough mod podge or if photo paper would work better. Luckily it wasn't too hard to remove the paper from the canvas. I will try again!
Nan14980981 Nan14980981 2 years
Thank you for this tutorial. You just solved a Christmas gift challenge that I had. Take care and thanks again.
Einar14637226 Einar14637226 3 years
Someone re-posted as their own work:
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 3 years
UM, wow. I had no idea you could even DIY something like this.
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