Wood Printing

A custom wood cutting board makes a great wedding or house-warming gift.


  • piece of wood (cutting board pictured, but any smooth piece will work)
  • inkjet printer (a laser printer won’t work)
  • hard piece of plastic (credit card pictured)
  • paper
  • wax paper
  • tape
  • water


  1. Find a graphic: Get creative! Monograms, typography, or old black and white photos work great. Size your image according to the size of your piece of wood (but smaller than an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper). Depending if you image has text in it, you will want to flip the image horizontally so that the words will print backwards but transfer forwards.
  2. Prep for printing: Create a guide for the wax paper using standard copy paper. Cut a piece of wax paper slightly larger than an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper. Fold over the excess wax paper behind all sides and tape down (see image). You’ll want to print directly on the wax paper, so make sure that you know which way you should load the paper in your printer.
  3. Wet the wood: Right before you hit print, wet your piece of wood. Wetting the wood is what draws the ink from the wax paper into the pores of the wood. You don’t want it dripping wet, but damp. The time it takes you to print your graphic will give the wood enough time to soak in excess water.
  4. Print your graphic: Once the wax paper prints out, be careful not to drop or touch the graphic.
  5. Transfer the graphic onto the wood: Line up your graphic where you want it to go on the piece of wood and lightly set it down (graphic side down), careful not to move it once it has touched the wood. Using the edge of your plastic card, slowly smooth over the top side of the paper, being sure to go over every area that has ink underneath. Do this several times with firm even pressure. Avoid using too much pressure or the ink may run. Quickly lift up the wax paper, and voila, your image has transfered!

Tutorial by Lauren Thorp.

Alejandra likes ice cream, dancing and pretty things. You can usually find her exploring downtown Phoenix, where she lives, or singing to herself while writing in a coffee shop.

1 Comment

  • Reply December 12, 2013


    What a great idea! Do you know if this is food safe? Also, does the stain fade after multiple washings?

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