Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY photo transfer to wood

I am hosting my first ever craft and wine night and was informed that it is would be wise of me if I did the project PRIOR to having the event.

after searching Pinterest for easy project ideas, I came across a few Valentines themed crafts to share with those who plan to come.  I decided (with the help of others) that we would attempt to make this gem by artist Stephanie Ackerman (pictured below...)

Keep in mind~  we will not be able to produce the same quality work as Stephanie, mainly because we are somewhat crafty gals who decided to gather, drink wine and have conversation while making crafts.  I was advised to do a trial run on decoupage before the gathering so I can actually show my guest how to do the craft, this would cut down on time and be less frustrating for me the guest to complete in one setting (this is one of the perks of being surrounded by artist!!).

After speaking with one of my prospective guest, a question of how to decoupage pictures came up.  I. have. NO idea, so the search continues. 

While searching I DID find this nifty tutorial on how to transfer photos to wood and thought~ this is a great idea (but it has to be done prior to coming over for the event). if I want the party to be half successful, I need to experiment on all ways to decoupage pictures so I can better advise those who want to do them.  

But for my first experiment, I am going to learn the steps for transferring a picture to wood.  

Lets get started.

Let's start with our supply list.  For this project, you will need:

*  1- 2x4 wood board (or your choice of size)
*  Gel Medium / glossy or matte (Liqutex is a great brand to use)
*  scissors

*  a hand towel or small wash cloth

*  roller, bone folder, or edge of a credit card

*  foam brush 

*  A picture printer from a laser-jet printer (b&w or color)... this step is important!  

If you use an ink jet the ink will not transfer to the wood, 
your picture MUST be printed from a laser-jet printer!

NOTE:  in many of the tutorials, it says to open a photo editing tool so that you can reverse your photo.  I don't know if this is necessary unless you are printing words or wearing a shirt with words on it or something...

STEP 1:  Size your picture according to how large you want it on the wood, reverse your picture (if there are words) and then cut out your photo according to how you plan to place it on your wood.

I wanted a small picture placed off to the side so that I can work the decoupage around my photograph.

STEP 2:  using the liquitex and a foam brush

spread your gel medium onto your wood making sure you put on enough to cover the area the photo will go onto.

STEP 3:  Place your photo onto the wood "FACE DOWN"!

as you can see, i have spread my medium about 1/4" out from the sides of my photo.

STEP 4:  Using your roller, bone folder, or the edge of a gift card, smooth your photo onto the wood removing all of the air bubbles from below the surface.  This will help the ink adhere to the wood properly.

make sure all of the edges are smoothed down as well!  this will keep the picture from curling up away from the wood...

STEP 5:  continue your daily routine and let this baby dry over night.... 
at least 8 hours...

and bed time....

STEP 6:  Wet your washcloth/ hand towel but not to much, you don't want it dripping water.  The goal here is to get wet your paper.. you want the whole picture to look nice and gray from wetting.  This can take a little time to complete but will help you with the next step.

STEP 7:  using your fingers, rub, rub, rub...   rubbing all the paper from your board.   

Seriously, just rub!  this will remove the fibers from your printed wood. This process will take some patience and time~ think of it as therapeutic relief for your fingers and mind.  no thinking to be done here... just rubbing...

Continue to rub until you have removed all the fibers from the photo. You may have to let the transfer dry a little so that you can see any leftover fibers, then dampen with your cloth and continue to rub until all of your fibers are gone. 

STEP 8:  lay a coat of decoupage or liquitex over your photo to protect your finish project and 


your photo transferred to wood!  how cool is this?

The second step to this project is decoupage.  I will attempt to add photographs using both a laser jet printer AND a printed photo to gauge which medium works best.  New post coming soon!

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