Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How to Transfer an Image to Wood

If you read my last post on my balcony updates, you saw my wooden Littlefoot Gardens sign that I made. As promised here is the super simple tutorial on how to do it.

I based my sign off of the tutorial from Crafts Unleashed.  If you'd like more photos of the step-by-step I suggest you check out their site!  I was mostly trying to see if I could get the process to work and not mess it up (since I only had 1 piece of wood!) so I didn't take as many photos as I probably should have.

Supplies Needed:
Images (printed with a laser printer)
Mod Podge
Clear outdoor varnish

My piece of wood came from a pallet my sister picked up from the side of the road.  She was making some planter boxes for her balcony and she saved the scruffiest piece for me!  I stained it with one coat of wood stain.

Next, I found images and created the text I wanted to use on my sign.  If you want words like I did, make sure you reverse them in a photo-editing program, otherwise your words will turn out backwards on the finished product.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that you print your images on a laser printer.  An ink jet printer won't work, as the ink will run when you try to transfer it.  If you want a colour image, you can print it on a colour laser printer, do a colour photocopy of your image, or simply paint the final product!

Cut out your image and apply a very generous coat of mod podge over your image.  I put so much on I could barely see the image anymore.  Another tip I discovered was make sure you cut as close to the image as possible.  I just cut a square around mine, and if you stand very close to my sign with your head tilted at an awkward angle, you can see the old outline of the paper.  Press the image, photo side down, to the wood. Smooth it out to eliminate any bubbles.  I used my library card for this step :)

Let it dry completely overnight.  Once it's dry, use a damp cloth or sponge to gently rub off the paper.  If you use too much water or too much pressure, you are liable to rub off the entire image so be careful.  Once you rub off all the paper you are left with a transferred image!  (You can faintly see the square around my words that I mentioned before, in this picture)

It is impossible to remove all of the paper.  You will be left with little "fuzzies" over your image.  I simply coated the entire thing in mod podge and they disappeared.  I then coated the entire sign in an outdoor spray varnish.  I did about 4 coats since it would be in direct sunlight most of the day and would get wet in the rain.

I attached an eye on either side of the wood and tied a piece of twine to hang.

I love the end result!  It was so easy to do and relatively quick too.  It looks like the image is a part of the wood rather than just glued on.  The possibilities for this technique are endless!

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