How To Make Classic Wood Tiles!!

5 Materials
1 Day

Looking to personalize your space? You can literally make any tile you want with an easy to do image transfer. Follow my tutorial for a step by step guide to help you make your own wood tiles.

Tools and Materials

  • wood
  • printer paper
  • laser printer
  • wood glue
  • sand paper
  • sponge
  • water
  • clear top coat

Print Out Your Design

DIY Wood Tiles

First you'll need to print out your tiles on regular printer paper using a "laser printer." You can find pictures of tiles on Pinterest or with a Google search. You can also take pictures of tiles and print them out that way. You'll need to reverse all images before printing them out so they transfer correctly. It doesn't matter with most of these tiles, but it's best to get in the habit of doing it.



You'll need to sand the surface of the wood you transfer onto very well. It should be INCREDIBLY smooth! Like Teddy Pendergrass smooth! The image will need full contact with the wood to transfer correctly. Any type of wood can be used just as long as the surface is smooth.

You'll also need wood and wood glue. 

I live in Japan, so I can't recommend a wood glue, but any wood glue will work. 

Press Image Against Wood

Press Image Against Wood

This was the first attempt at an image transfer using wood glue.

First, press the image against the wood to make creases so you'll know exactly where to rub on the glue. It also makes it easier to apply the image.

*Remember to reverse all images before printing.



You want to use just enough glue to cover the wood.

Too much glue will ruin the transfer.

Smooth out the Glue

Smooth out the Glue

The glue should look like this. The ink from the image will transfer to the glue.


Smooth with a Sponge

Smooth with a Sponge

Gently smooth the image out with a kitchen sponge. The image shouldn't move around on the wood. If it does, you used too much. You also used too much if it is coming out from the sides.

Rub off the Paper

Rub off the Paper

Let the image dry to the glue for at least 24 hours.

When it is dry, dampen that kitchen sponge and gently rub the paper making it a little wet.

DIY Image Transfer

The paper will start to rub away from the image like this. Take your time using your fingers. The image is transferred, but can still be scratched off if you're too rough.

DIY Wood Picture Transfer Tile

That's it! That's how you do it!

Stain (If You Want)

Stain (If You Want)

You can stain the wood with a water based stain before transferring your image.

These are what the tiles looked like before a clear protective top coat.

Add a Top Coat

Add a Top Coat

These tiles have a matte clear top coat on them.

Here are two good links about copyright protection and using famous quotes on crafts you don't intend to sell.

Add a Clear Coat

A top coat will protect and waterproof your image. It will also make the color pop.

DIY Quote Tiles

A light sanding is a great way to distress your image.

Homemade Quote Tiles

Come check out my other projects on Facebook and Instagram!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 47 questions
  • Kailey
    on Jul 30, 2019

    This is definitely one of the coolest projects I’ve seen on this website so far. I really want to try something like this, but I don’t really have any access to a laser printer. Do you know of any other decent techniques for transferring images to wood? I know there’s a million different ways but I just don’t even know where to begin

  • Barb C
    on Sep 26, 2019

    Very nice. Did you use lumber or are a thin craft type wood?

  • Sharon
    on Apr 26, 2020

    Would this work for floor tiles?

    • RichandTammy Whiteside
      on Apr 28, 2020

      Why not? You'd need a harder wood to prevent damage and a polyurethane or epoxy designed for flooring. Might be a little slippery.

Join the conversation

4 of 184 comments
  • Doreen Kennedy
    on Apr 24, 2020

    I really like your transfer tile images. I’m wondering if I could do something similar for a kitchen backsplash. Excellent idea!

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Apr 30, 2020

      Thank you very much! You'll need to use a multi-purpose mortar or adhesive to attach the tiles to the wall. Before you buy a mortar, read the label and make sure the product can bond wood to whatever the surface you're installing to. I suggest putting these up with no gaps. Just butt them right up against each other. This is because wood shrinks and it might cause grout to crack. Remember, grout is only used to fill the void between tiles. If you really want grout lines, use am epoxy grout or caulk. After the tiles are up, paint on a top coat to protect them from water and grease. You can top coat them before too, but I'd feel better doing it after they're up. Top coats are basically liquid plastic that'll dry as a single covering on a project like this. Moisture shouldn't be a problem in the kitchen, but if you have moisture problems, I don't recommend using these wood tiles as a backsplash.

  • E95656
    on Apr 25, 2020

    Love this!

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