I’ve been horrifically bad at posting recently, but I’m going to blame that on the fact that I’ve been living life to the fullest. In the past week, I’ve gone on two one-night overnights, and I’m heading out in about two hours for a third. I promise to share stories from all of them sometime next week, but for now I want to brag a bit.
One of my favorite parts of Stanford Sierra Camp is the arts and crafts sessions. This year was full of particularly good crafts, including amazing painted glasses that I’ll post about in a couple weeks, and amazing transferred photos:
You might remember this photo from here…?
The best part of these is that they were incredibly easy! Admittedly, I added a few steps after I got home to finish them off the way I wanted them, but still… really simple.
Step 1: Print out your photo on an ink jet printer. Mine are both printed out a simple 4×6 size, but if you want it larger, you certainly could do that. The photo will be transferred as a mirror image, so if your photo has words or you really care about accuracy, make sure to use photoshop or any photo editing software to flip the image across the vertical center line. (You’ll want it to look backwards on paper.)
Step 2: Get the wood. You’ll need a piece of wood the same size or larger than your photo. Mine were about 1″ larger in each dimension than the photo, but it could be bigger or smaller. It just depends on your preference. A wood with visible grain will look better, a light wood will look better. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a dark wood without grain.
Step 3: Coat the photo with a gel medium. You’ll want a thick-ish layer – enough that it covers the entire picture, not so much that it rips the paper from being heavy. Carefully flip the photo paper over, place on the wood, and press it down. This is the important step – make sure the entire photo is thoroughly pressed onto the wood, so that you don’t get any holes in the middle of your photo. Let dry (takes 2-6 hours, let it dry overnight for best results.)
Step 4: Rub off the paper. Get a rag and a bowl of water; get the corner of the rag wet and rub the paper in circles until the paper comes off. It will require some serious pressure, but don’t worry about it – the photo isn’t going anywhere.
Step 5: Coat with a layer of Modge Podge, or any other varnish, to give it a shiny layer and to protect the photo. Enjoy! (This is where camp stopped – I continued at home…)
Step 6 (Optional): Using a chop saw, carefully cut the wood at the edges of the photo (about 1/8″ border). The photo above, I cut right to the edge of the image, which meant the final product was smaller than the photo itself. On the one below, I kept about 1/4″ in the border, and the border is still there a bit at the end. Hence the 1/8″ border suggestion. But, the cut doesn’t need to be perfect, because…
Step 7 (Optional): Round the edges of the photo with a router to finish the photo, and make it look like it is in its own frame. It’ll look good regardless of how large the border is! Finish the project by sanding the newly cut and rounded edges to make it smooth. Enjoy!
Keep in mind:
– If your photo has any part that is white (such as the sky in my second photo above), the grain will show through really nicely. It certainly isn’t necessary, but it does add to the image.
– If you want to make the photo look vintage-y, scuff up the corners of the photo a little bit when the gel medium is still wet. I didn’t do it on purpose, but the bottom corners of my Golden Gate photo transfer got messed up (it got dropped… oops.). I think it only adds to the photo’s artsy quality.