Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Photo Transfer

Christmas is rapidly approaching and if you're like me, you want to make gifts for everyone, but also end up waiting until the week before. Anyone else notice this procrastination habit extends past school? Well, this DIY is perfect for planners and procrastinators alike. As long as you manage to avoid a few fateful mistakes, which I will share for maximizing procrastination.
The original tutorial came from A Beautiful Mess, but somehow, I managed to do everything wrong while still believing I was following the directions perfectly. It's a talent, I know. For once in my life, I started a gift early. Thankfully! I went through the process 4 times, which meant 4-5 days before it was done.

Here are the mistakes to avoid:

1. LASER printer. No, inkjet is not the same as laser. Inkjet puts the ink into the paper, laser lays the ink on top for easy transfer. If you don't own a laser printer, it might be a bit hard to find a copy place that does, but Office Depot saved me.

It should NOT look like this while drying. The side facing up should stay blank and white.
2. The cheaper and thinner the paper, the better! This makes rubbing the paper off so much easier. No need for finger burn. Office Depot gave me nicer paper since it was a color copy. When I went back to ask for the cheaper paper, the guy looked at me like I was crazy. Don't worry, it's worth it.

3. Use a nice paintbrush for spreading the gel medium. Try to get out any lumps or would-be air bubbles. Depending on how rustic you want it, make sure it is a thick and even layer throughout. My cheap paintbrush gave me a lot of thinner spots, so there were more places the picture rubbed off or didn't transfer.

4. Don't go overboard when spraying the paper with water. It is actually easier to get the last layers of paper off when it is just barely damp and you are creating a friction between your finger and the paper.

5. For an extreme time crunch, blow dry the project to speed up the drying process. If you're not blow drying, I would wait a full 24 hours, just to be safe.

6. If you have a cat, do not put it within their reach even if they are not allowed to be on said surface (unless you are attempting to obtain hard evidence of disobedience). Cats do naughty things when they think we're not looking.

Please try out this tutorial (just avoid the above mistakes)! It is so fun to make your own. I even added a little French saying on a tea dyed piece of paper. My friend loved her gift, so it was all worth it in the end!

1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial! and it made me laugh, too. Especially your advice about kitties. So glad it all worked out in the end!