Alright, let’s be real. How cool are image transfer projects!? If you’re not sure, the answer is very. I’m always amazed by how many techniques there are to transfer your photos to every day objects (as well as how easy it actually is). If you haven’t given it a go yet, here are ten tutorials that are sure to convince you otherwise:
While wandering aimlessly around the fabric store, I stumbled across an iron transfer pen. I was fairly certain it would be too good to be true, maybe best just for mapping out embroidery lines, but I’m here to say that it works SO good. Instead of the vinyl or hard feel of other iron on transfers, the final version of this is smooth to the touch since it’s basically an ink transfer. It’s probably the easiest image transfer I’ve ever done (not that I’m excited or anything). Here’s how I made this tote:
I used one of the the free #GIRLBOSS printables Jordan Brantley made for my blog last year, but you could use any design you want. Just be sure to inverse your design before printing, otherwise it will come out backwards. Print on regular printer paper.
Trace over your design with the transfer pen. After doing mine with black text, I recommend making the text a different color than your pen so you can make sure that you got the entire design.
Place design ink side down and iron for 1-3 minutes. Be sure not to move your paper mid way or your design will print twice. It also helps to have something flat inside your tote so the ink doesn’t bleed through to the other wise.Lift your paper and you’re done!
One of the coolest parts about this type of transfer is that you can use the same paper again and again without having to reapply the ink! I made three totes with the same transfer.
Super cool right?! The end result has almost a watercolor feeling to it (keep that in mind if you were going for a bolder look). Have you ever worked with iron transfer pens before? Would love to hear how you used it!
I had the pleasure of meeting Courtney at Alt Summit SF and couldn’t be more excited about what’s she’s come up with (seriously, her work is amazing!). Without further ado, here’s Courtney’s project:
This transfer process will reverse your image, so keep that in mind if transferring a word or different image (get the bird images here). Transfers only work with a toner based print which means you’ll need a photocopy of your image. This transfer will not work with an ink jet print!
When working with found wood, start by painting a base layer onto the wood. Keep this layer even. If you want a soft painted edge, use a coarse brush to paint your strokes. Allow this layer to dry completely.
Add a second layer of paint over the first. While the paint is wet, place your photocopies image face-down onto the wet surface. Carefully press the image into the paint and smooth away any bubbles or air pockets. Don’t over press or you’ll push all the paint out from under the image and your transfer won’t stick.
Allow paint to dry completely! To test the transfers, tear away a corner of the paper and if the paint starts to pull up, then the transfer isn’t completely dry. If the transfer is dry and ready for the next step, you should pull away the back layer of paper and see part of the image below. There will still be a lot of paper left stuck to the driftwood.
Using a little bit of water and your hand, begin to rub away the paper fibers. Rub softly in circular motions. You can use a wet sponge, but if you are too aggressive, you risk rubbing away the image. Continue adding water and rubbing away paper until entire image is revealed.
Once all the paper is removed, allow the driftwood to dry. If any paper fibers re-appear, you can wet them and gently rub them away or you can use a few drops of olive oil to rub into the surface of the transfer. Using the oil will make fine paper fuzz disappear and it will condition the transfer giving it a satin shine.
Make a collection to display in your home or give as a gift!
To learn more about image transferring, pick up a copy of Courtney’s book here, or enter to win one below!