Saturday, March 31, 2012

Craft Challenge - Project #6: Photo Transfer

When I grow up, I would love to be a photographer, either wildlife or travel, or both.  In the meantime, I have easily a couple hundred, okay thousand, pictures stuck on my computer, on memory cards, and piled up on my desk waiting to be displayed in my photo gallery.  And every now and then I get the notion to do something with them.  I would love to frame and hang all of my favorites, but I think my husband would not like our home to be wallpapered in random photos, so I choose carefully.

Window boxes; churros and coffee

Recently, I came across instructions on how to transfer a photo using gel medium onto canvas on another blog, A Beautiful Mess.  Wow - photography and a reason to wander through the craft store?  I immediately put it on my crafts-to-do list.  I used some photos from last summer's vacation, and now that I've got some practice in, I'd like to try it again with pictures of the kids.  I've got some ideas rumbling through my head.

The stuff you'll need:
- canvas - get these at your local craft store like Michael's or ACMoore
- gel medium - wandering thru the paint section was mindblogging; I used Liquidex Gel Medium
- paintbrush
- photos printed or copied on regular paper (not photographic paper) - the blog instructions say to use a laser copy, my husband informed me after the fact, that we have an inkjet printer, so I'm not sure how that affected the project.
- water in a spray bottle

How to (adapted from the original blog instructions):
1. Prepare the photo - this was one of those "trial and error" finds of doing the project.  Trim away all the white area around the picture, I would even recommend trimming just inside the border of the photo - I will do that when I do this project again.  Removing the paper that doesn't have ink on it is almost impossible.

2. Paint the gel medium onto the canvas, covering the surface.  If the picture is smaller than the canvas, you only need to cover enough area for the size of the picture.

3.  Place the photo face down onto the gel medium.  Gently rub the back to press the paper into the medium.

4. Let it dry - a couple hours or overnight.

5.  When the paper and medium are dry, spray lightly with water.

6.  Gently rub the paper away, the ink will remain on the canvas.

7.  Cover the picture with another layer of the gel medium for protection.

8.  Enjoy!


Charmaine said...

Wow, I'm so happy you've shown me how to get a picture on to canvas, I've seen another blog about this where the lady uses a 'splendid blender pen' on the back of the photo which is face down on the canvas. But I think to just use a plain gel like you do is easier. I've also only got an inkjet printer, but I'll try to see the results anyway when I get back to Miami.
I've got to do a project with a photo on a cell phone pouch for the elderly for my sister's promo company.
Her company is giving away free cell phone pouches to hang around seniors necks to carry their little Tracfone SVC's in. It's a phone especially for seniors needs, ie: with big buttons and letters on the screen and the service costs $7/mnth.

Anonymous said...

Thank so much for the instructions - your photos look great. I also saw the project on the beautiful mess blog. However, I noticed that the comments on that sight say that the project won't work with colour images, or with an ink jet printer... and you have done both? Did you have any problems with it?

Mommyx4 said...

the color images and inkjet worked out fine. however, the images don't come out as sharp as the original photo - I don't know if that's b/c of the color/inkjet or it would come out that way anyway. for the subjects I chose, though, the perfect definition wasn't important.