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Don’t you just love a “wow” crafting moment when a finished project is even cooler than you imagined?
I’ve had a lot of those recently as I’ve been playing around with transferring vintage graphics and photos to all kinds of surfaces using Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
This stuff is the coolest, and I’m not just saying the because Mod Podge provided me with a sample of its photo transfer medium and other products to play around with. I’ve already used up my sample bottle, and I’m heading to the craft store to buy more. If you’ve ever wondered how to transfer photos to wood, you won’t believe how easy it is.
I’ve already decorated an enamel compost bucket for the kitchen.
And I made this cool wooden cutting board with a vintage livestock image from The Graphics Fairy.
And my pretty little lazy susan, which would be perfect for the bathroom or bedroom.
I have a little bit of experience with transferring images to surfaces. I’ve used the wax paper transfer method, and I’ve also created napkins and tea towels using iron-on transfer paper. But those techniques definitely have their limitations, namely that you can only transfer to certain kinds of surfaces.
Mod Podge Photo Transfer works easily on a variety of surfaces, including fabric, wood, metal, canvas and glass. It really is easy to use, and the results are amazing.
You can use any photo or graphic you like. You just need to make a photocopy or print your photo regular paper using a dry-toner printer.
I plan on doing transferring some photos to canvas and fabric soon. But for these projects, I chose some vintage graphics from The Graphics Fairy.
When transferring images with words, be sure to print a “mirror” or reversed image so the words won’t be backwards on your finished project. (I’d recommend reversing your photos, too. Sometimes you call tell that something is “off” if you don’t mirror them.)
For my compost bucket, I created my own label in Photoshop Elements using a chalkboard background I downloaded from PhotoBookGirl.
Can you believe this is what it looked like before? The yellow Caterpillar wasn’t exactly the look I was going for, so I decided to transfer right over it. I wasn’t sure if the photo transfer method would cover it, but it worked like a charm. You can’t see a trace of the tractor, or whatever it is.
Now, I’ll show you step-by-step how easy it is to transfer graphics and images using Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
Step 1: Pick your image and print it in mirror or reverse. Size the image to fit your surface, in my case a wooden cutting board I bought at a yard sale. Trim as close to the edge as possible, as any white edges will show in the finished project.
Step 2: Coat the image with Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium. You’ll need to apply the medium about 1/16″ thick to get a good transfer. You don’t want it to be translucent. You should not be able to see most of your image through the transfer medium.
Step 3: Carefully apply the coated paper to your transfer surface, being careful not to tear the paper. Try handle only the edges of the paper. Starting in the center, gently press down on the image, working out any air bubbles. Tap the edges to make sure they’re sealed, as well. If any photo transfer medium smooshes out of the sides, gently wipe it off with a damp cloth.
This video provides a great demo of how to use the photo medium.
Now comes the hard part. You have to wait 24 hours for the magic to happen. (Why do I suddenly feel the need to break out into song? “The waiting is the hardest part…”)
Step 4: Once your project has dried for at least 24 hours — longer in humid climates — use a sponge to wet the top of your image. You want to saturate the paper pretty well. When you do, you’ll see your image reappear. Wait two minutes.
Step 5: After waiting two minutes, wring out your sponge and start gently rubbing in a circular motion over your image. The paper will start to pill off.
Continue until all the paper has been removed. But be gentle. You don’t want to remove your image along with the paper.
I finished my cutting board by painting it a chalky gray color and tying a ribbon through the handle. I love how it turned out.
You can use the Mod Podge transfer medium over a painted surface, but if you’re a messy crafter, you may need to do some touch-up painting.
The photo transfer medium didn’t remove the paint, in my case, but I did a few touchups to cover my messiness.
I really love how all my projects turned out. I can’t wait to experiment more with Mod Podge photo transfer on fabric, glass, canvas and other surfaces.