Techniques - Tools

Photo Transfer

1. Photo Transfer Using Nail Polish Remover

 

 

 

You can transfer photo images onto many different surfaces, such as, uncoated tiles (to make, for example, coasters), paper, canvas and wood.

 

STEPS

 

1.  You will need a copy of the image that you wish to transfer (the ink used when photocopied/printed must be toner ink).  Use standard paper ie. don't use photo paper.  Make sure that you print as a reverse image because when you transfer the image it will copy as a mirror image to what you have printed/photocopied.

 

 

2.  If you are creating coasters then it is a good idea to heat the tiles in a microwave first as this helps the ink to stick when transferring.

 

 

3.  Place picture face down onto the surface that you wish it to transfer onto.

 

 

4.  Using a brush, coat the entire back of the image with the nail polish remover (the nail polish remover needs to contain acetone but it should not be 100% acetone).  You could pour the nail polish remover onto the back of the image and then use the brush to spread it out evenly across the surface.

 

 

5.  You will now need a boning tool/a wooden spoon in order to rub the back of the image so that it will apply pressure for transferring the picture on to the surface.  A tip for before using your boning tool/wooden spoon would be to place something like acetate paper on top of your image transfer as this will prevent the back from rubbing off (as you apply pressure) before the ink has dried. 

 

 

6.  Using a boning tool/wooden spoon, you now apply pressure over all sections of the back of your transfer in order to transfer your photo.  This can take time, patience and quite a bit of pressure.  Keep a check on the image throughout this process to ensure that it is transferring evenly and that you have enough nail polish remover on the page - you may need to apply more nail polish if it dries quickly.

 

 

7.  Slowly remove the paper away to reveal your image transfer.  You can now wash off any excess paper that has stuck to the surface.  If you have made coasters, using tiles, then you will need to buy a tile sealer and coat it several times for protection.  Also, if you have created coasters then use pieces of cork board / sticky felt and stick them to the underside of the tile in order to protect whatever surface that they will be sitting on.

 

 

8.  This technique can work really well for collage work as you can add more images and overlay images on top of each other.

2. Photo Transfer using Mod Podge

 

 

STEPS

 

 

1.  You will need a copy of the image that you wish to transfer (the ink used when photocopied/printed must be toner ink).  Use standard paper ie. don't use photo paper.  Make sure that you print as a reverse image as when you transfer the image, it will copy as a mirror image to what you have printed/photocopied.

 

 

2.  If you are creating coasters then it is a good idea to heat the tiles in a microwave first as this helps the ink to stick when transferring.

 

 

3.  Place picture face down onto the surface that you wish it to transfer onto.

 

 

4.  Using a brush, coat the entire image (the actual photo side up is where you apply the mod podge) with Mod podge for photo transfer ensuring to spread it out evenly across the surface.  Spread enough mod podge over the picture so that you can just barely see the actual photo through the mod podge.

 

 

5.  Place the photo image (now covered in mod podge) face down onto the surface that you wish to transfer it onto ie the picture covered in mod podge is lying against the surface that you are transferring onto.  Smooth it out to ensure that there are no air bubbles.  Leave to set for at least 24 hours.

 

 

6.  Using water and a sponge, start to remove the paper by rubbing it with the water.  First dampen the page with water (tip is to leave it for about 2mins so that the water can fully dampen the page), then slowly and gently start to apply pressure by rubbing it in circles with the sponge.  The paper should immediately start to roll up and come off to reveal the photo transfer of the image.  You could also use your fingers to assist in rubbing the paper off.

 

 

7.  Once complete, you could layer the photo transfer with regular mod podge matte in order to protect and seal the final piece.

 

 

8.  This technique can work really well for collage work as you can add more images and overlay images on top of each other.

 

 

9.  Don’t iron or dry clean if you transfer onto a fabric.

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