Monday, March 21, 2011

Crazy wood tranferring technique

Once Upon a time {about 4 years ago} in a land far away {a local craft store} I learned of a mysterious and crazy sounding technique for transferring printed images onto wood. 

A few years ago I stopped in the craft store to get something or another and while waiting in a ridiculously long line I starting chatting to the lady behind me.  You know, about what we were planning to make with the things that we were patiently waiting in line to buy.  Now, I have no idea what I bought that day or what I was planning on making and I had even forgotten the amazing story that she had told me until THIS weekend! 

Last week I stopped in Hobby Lobby, and of course headed straight for the 80 percent off clearance section.  I a small rectangular plaque marked down to $1.20.  I wanted to paint it and stencil some sort of design on it for my kitchen.

Well, this weekend my little 2 year old terror munchkin went to Memaw and Pop Pop's for the weekend so I got out that plaque and primed it with white spray paint.  While I was waiting for it to dry I picked out an image from the Graphics Fairy that I thought would be perfect.  I added in the phrase EAT and printed it out.  Then looking at it I thought about how hard it would be to cut out and stencil the design.  All of the sudden a lightening bolt went off and I suddenly remembered that fabled image transfer technique that I had heard years before.

The technique story goes something like this:

1.  Using Elmer's Glue and a sponge brush, coat a piece of printer paper with a thin but even layer of glue and let dry completely.

2.  Print out your image of choice onto the {now dry} glue covered paper.  Cut out design leaving a decent amount of space surrounding the image.

3.  Coat your wood with an even layer of Modge Podge in the area that you want your image and then place the paper image side down onto the wood.

4.  Let dry for 24 HOURS!

5.  Place wood with paper still attached in a pan of water and let soak for at least an hour.  Then begin peeling and GENTLY rubbing the paper off of the wood.  Ladies DO NOT use your nails to scratch away at the paper or glue.  Continue soaking and rubbing until the paper is all gone.

The result is an image that looks wonderfully old.  It looks like it was cast in plaster decades ago.

This has been my first and only attempt with this technique so I'm not certain how consistent the results will be.

If any of you give it a try, let me know how well this technique works for you! {Molly brought up a good point...while, I didn't have any problems with residue or sticking on my printer, I would not print using a warm printer.  In other words, make sure you haven't used your printer in a while so that the printer is not hot.}


  1. Just a little nervous about running the dried glue ( on printer paper) through the printer. Did yours get stuck or leave residue on printer??

  2. OOOOh! Love it! Gonna try it this weekend!

  3. lurveee the result! might give it a try sometime but I was wondering as well as molly said, abit worried on running the glued printer paper on the printer, i guess yours dont get a prob at all?? x

  4. So cute!! I will for sure have to try this! :)

  5. What a neat technique! I will definitely have to give this a whirl. Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

  6. I think it turned out amazing! I love that image. I've never tried this technique before...thanks for the tutorial. :) I'm hosting a Crafty Cutter link party this week that is also open to stenciling/transfer projects. You are welcome to link this up, if you have a chance! :)

    Visiting from The Nesting Place! :)

  7. I want to try this! (And I am not just saying that.) Thanks for the awesome post!


  8. That is an interesting technique that I have never heard about and I really like how your plaque came out!

  9. I think your plaque came out great. I would be a little apprehensive myself about using the printer with glued paper.

  10. Hi Aaron, What a great idea and the results are wonderful! I love how the plaque turned out and I will give this a try. Thanks for sharing this at my party.

  11. Hi Aaron...

    What a beautiful plaque! I love the image that you selected from Graphics's perfect for kitchen decor! Many years ago my folks owned a small craft store and I remember that this was a technique popular in the late 70's. We did it a bit different though. We just added mod podge right over the top of the image on paper. We would let a coat dry and then repeat. We did coated the paper image several times. After it was completely dry...we would put it in a water bath and begin peeling the paper off...gently with fingers. You then have a transparent piece with the image printed onto it. You could then take this transparent piece and add to anything...plaster, canvas, wood, etc. by Mod Podging it on. It was really a unique process. I had forgotten all about it till you mentioned this! We would even get fancy and after we had transfered the transparent image onto our surface...we would use a crackle finish. Ahhh...sooo many possibilties! Anyway...I love how your pretty plaque turned out! Thanks for sharing it with us for Sherry's Open House party!

    Warmest spring wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  12. This turned out fabulous, love it. I'm such a chicken to try things with my printer, I can just imagine what my hubbs would say if i screwed it up. LOL!! Thanks for sharing this cool tutorial and linking up with VIF!!

  13. What a fun project. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing. ~~Sherry~~

  14. How clever! I love this.

    I am currently hosting an auction of vintage and antique linen treasures. Stop by and take a peek.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. This is great and i'm gonna try it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Greatings Elly