March 13, 2013

DIY Photo Transfer to Wood

I attempted my first photo transfer since my High School photography classes, and I am very happy with the results. Transferring photos to wood is a really neat (and cheap) way to display your favorite photos. Now that I have made this one, I want to keep making more, it just looks so cool and so advanced, when it is so simple! It still boggles my mind how this gel can pull the picture off the paper!

You will need:
a piece of wood
optional wood stain & rag or sock
your photo printed on a laser printer
paint brush
gift card/credit card
Mod Podge or Spray Coating
2 leveling picture hangers

First off, you need to get your piece of wood. I got mine at Lowe's, and it was actually a scrap piece so it was free! I didn't like the boring bare wood color so I rubbed a couple coats of stain on it, that I already had at home. 

As for my photo, I used a picture of my favorite restaurant from our recent visit to The Cayman Islands.  It's bright and fun and brings back great memories. If your photo has text on it, reverse the image in a photo editing program so that your transfer isn't mirrored. Cut out any white from around your photo.

Completely cover your photo with a coat of the matte gel using a paintbrush. Make sure you don't miss any of the photo or that part won't get transferred.

Lay your photo face down on your piece of wood and using the edge of a gift card or credit card, smooth out the photo, removing any air bubbles.

Let it dry for at least 8 hours. I just did it before bed and left it overnight to dry.

Once you have let your photo dry, use a towel and soak your entire photo really well with water (put something underneath the piece of wood to protect your surface from the water). 

Using a towel, or your finger, start rubbing away the paper from your transferred image. This is a bit of a process. I found it easier to use my finger to rub, and my towel to keep re wetting the paper.

Keep wetting and rubbing.

Ta-da!! After you have rubbed all of the paper off (and a little of the transferred image in my case, but hey, it adds a little character), paint your entire piece of wood with a coat of Mod Podge, or use a sealant spry to protect the image. 

If you plan on hanging your photo, just add some picture hangers to the back of the wood, and you are ready to hang your masterpiece. 


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