Spring has for sure arrived here in Texas–has it made its way to where you are yet?
To celebrate spring’s arrival, I’m joining in today with a host of other bloggers in the #DIYMySpring Blog Hop. I have an Easter-themed project to share with you all today that I think you will enjoy.
#DIYMySpring is being sponsored by Hometalk–which you should definitely check out Hometalk if you haven’t already! I would love it if you followed me there, you can visit my profile here.
Now for my spring-themed project . . .
During Christmas time I made some fantastic wooden signs using vintage postcard graphics and Fusion’s Transfer Gel. I really liked how they turned out, and thought I could try out the method again with a vintage Easter graphic.
Transferring images onto a surface creates a whole different look than if you were to decoupage them. With the transfer method, the texture of the surface underneath, whether canvas or wood, shows through your image and adds really unique character to the finished project.
It can take a little bit of practice though to get down the method of transferring an image with Transfer Gel. Follow along with my step-by-step process below, and you will be ready to try your own project!
Step 1: Select your Image and Surface
Any image can be used for a transfer, all that matters is that the image is printed by a laser printer. The graphic I chose for this project came from TheGraphicsFairy.com, which is a fantastic online source of free graphics. I’ve learned that images with lots of saturated colors tend to transfer better than muted color images. And keep in mind that any white that is on your image won’t transfer . . . the Transfer Gel transfers the ink from the image, and where there is white there, is no ink.
A good thing to point out is that if you have any words on your graphic, make sure to reverse it before you print it. I used a program called Swift Publisher on my computer to reverse my Easter image, but there are a several of other computer programs that can do it for you also.
You can use a variety of surfaces as well–wood, canvas, porcelain or terra cotta. My personal favorite is wood because I love the texture it creates on the transferred image.
So here is my laser printed image, and a scrap piece of wood I had in my garage. I blew up the image size on my computer and then printed it off self-service at my local Kinko’s for about $1. Not a bad project investment so far!
Step 2: Prepare your Surface and Image
Remember that whatever color is on your surface is what will show through you transferred image in all the spots that are white or have no graphic. In order to keep my angel picture nice and bright, I painted the board with a quick coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Champlain (a nice, creamy white) so the white color would show through rather than the brown wood.
You also want to carefully tear along the edge of your image. Tearing, rather than cutting, helps the transferred image blend more into your surface once finished.
I like to make a pencil mark on the bottom and top line of my image, so when I am placing it onto the surface I can make sure it’s not crooked.
Step 3: Apply Fusion Transfer Gel
Fusion’s Transfer Gel is slightly thicker than regular paint. I brushed it onto the surface using a foam brush, trying to get it fairly evenly distributed.
You’re looking to get about a dime’s thickness of Transfer Gel onto the surface.
Step 4: Place Your Image on the Surface
Making sure it’s straight (which you can tell from your pencil marks), place your image face-down onto the surface painted with the Transfer Gel.
Gently press the image with your fingertips, working out any bubbles. You may need to wipe off a little excess gel that seeps out of the sides. Be careful not to press too hard or work the image too much though because it can easily rip.
Step 5: Allow to Dry Overnight
Set your project somewhere out of reach of pets and small children . . . Let it dry at least 24 hours. If you can afford to let it sit for longer, then do so. Typically the more time it has to dry, the better.
Step 6: Wet down the Image
Once dry, take a rag and thoroughly wet down the backside of the image. You don’t want water pooling and running off the surface, but you want to get the paper good and soaked through.
Once the image is soaked, start gently rubbing with your fingertips to remove the wet paper. Rubbing very gently is key! Once you have rubbed the entire surface and gotten the first layer of paper off the image, set it aside for a few minutes to dry out.
Step 7: Repeat Step 6 Once, Twice, or Three More Times
This is when patience becomes helpful . . . You will need to keep working on wetting and rubbing the paper several more times to get the bulk of the excess paper off. If you let the surface dry after each time you work on it, you can get a clearer picture of where the paper still is and what areas need more attention.
This is my dried graphic after my first time of wetting and rubbing the image. You can see there is still a good bit of paper left, so I started wetting and rubbing it again, working in small areas.
Go SLOWLY at this point and be EXTRA GENTLE. You may have a few places where you rub through the image all together down to the surface, try not to freak out 🙂 I embrace the imperfection of the process. But when that happens, you know you need to leave that area alone for a bit so that you don’t tear the image more.
The next photo is after round two, and you can see it looks better. So be patient, and keep working on your image until most of the extra paper is gone.
Step 8: Gently Apply Wax to Brighten Image
It took me four times of wetting, rubbing, and drying to get the majority of the paper off my image. Even then though, there was still some paper haze. Here is the trick though that will brighten up your image and take care of all that haze–furniture wax.
Very gently rub on a light coat of wax and the image comes to life!
After you wax your image, you are officially finished with the transfer process–Congratulations! You can continue to play around with your project until you get the look you’re going for, distressing it some with sandpaper, adding a glaze, whatever you like.
I decided to embellish my angel graphic with a few hand-painted metallic accents.
I love playing with the Fusion Mineral Paint Metallics! I used Bronze, Pearl, and Pale Gold for this project, and painted on a little of each using a very small, artist brush. I wanted to accent the angel’s robe and wings more, so I added some Pearl to her wings as well and Bronze and Gold to certain parts of her wings and robe.
After the paint dried, I gave the whole surface a very light sanding and drilled a hole into each top corner. A pretty, thick satin ribbon run through the holes, and now my $1 printed picture is a lovely Easter sign for my front door.
I really like how the extra detail of the metallic paint stands off the print and adds a little bit of shine.
She is a very lovely angel 🙂
I hope you all have enjoyed this project! As always, you can find Fusion Mineral Paint products at your local Fusion retailer, or here at my online shop.
If you’re itching to try another spring project, you can check out my Christmas flea-market leftover turned Spring Sleigh Centerpiece post for another DIY spring-themed idea.
And please take a few minutes to visit the other projects that are linked up below. I appreciate getting to be a part of this very creative group and know there are some fantastic #DIYMySpring projects out there!
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