A robust digital image watermarking method based on Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) is proposed in the present work. In this method, first, the original image of size 256 × 256 is DWT decomposed into the third level using Haar wavelet providing the four sub-bands LL3, LH3, HL3, and HH3. After that, SVD is applied on these sub-bands to get the diagonal matrices of singular values. The watermark image is then embedded in these singular values of the four sub-bands. Proposed algorithm is simulated using MATLAB v. 2013 and the results show that the PSNR value obtained is 84.25 which is in the range of 0.1–0.11 (of the scale factor). The PSNR value obtained for the current work is better compared to the previous approaches. Furthermore, the obtained results also show that using the present method the watermark image can be extracted properly even when the watermarked image is under various attacks like rotation, motion blur, Gaussian noise, gamma correction, rescaling, cropping, Gaussian blur, contrast adjustment, histogram equalization etc. © 2018, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.