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Image Transfer – It’s Easier Than I Thought

I have incredibly inconvenient creative inspiration.

I never seem to get creative brainstorms when I’m just sitting around trying to think about new things.  I get creative brainstorms at the last minute or when I’m in the midst of doing something else entirely.

So, I’m in the throws of getting ready for the Little French Flea Market tomorrow.  Little French Flea Market FlyerI’m behind (how novel!) and I’m building, drilling, planning, packing and suddenly it hits me.

Wouldn’t it be cool to make candle blocks using photos of vintage bathing beauties?!

The answer is, of course, “yes!” it would be cool and because I lack all self-discipline (and sense) I HAVE TO DO IT NOW!!!!!!

I love those old panorama images of bathing beauties from the 1920sPanorama Vintage Bathing Beauties

So, last night I downloaded some fun photos from the print and photo collection of Library of Congress (a great site for vintage images btw) and re-sized and printed them out.

NOTE: I use a laser printer at home and, I gather, to make the image transfer work you need a laser print.resized and reversed images for transferI’d recently purchased Liquitex Ultra Matte Gel Medium in an attempt to get over my fear of image transfer (it had gone badly in the past).

I applied a thick layer of Liquitex to an already distressed block and then placed my print out face down and pressed it down firmly and left them overnight.Image Transfer on wood blocks

The next day I soaked the paper with water and started to rub away the top layers of paper.  It came up more easily than I had experienced beforePeeling away the paper for image transfer

After a couple rounds of wetting the paper and rubbing away all the cool, vintagey bathing beauties were perfectly transferred.

I sealed them with polycrylic (I discovered they hazed over as they dried unless I sealed them)

Handmade Candle Holders with vintage bathing beauties of the 1920s

Bathing Beauties Candle Block SetVintage Bathing Beauties Candle BlocksI’m totally loving these!

Ok, back to work.  If you’re local (and I know very few of you are) come visit me and the bathing beauties this weekend!

Home Storeis A 2 Z

13 thoughts on “Image Transfer – It’s Easier Than I Thought”

  1. Love this idea!! Wonderful. As a casual crafter I always wonder where you obtain the images for your projects. Are most of them free use/royalty free? And can you help me with info on where to find my own cool images? Tha is so much!!!

    1. Jason, I’m so sorry! I just discovered this comment buried in my spam folder. A fair amount of my images (these for example) come from the Library of Congress’ collection. You can find it here:
      It is an amazing resource! Other images are ones I’ve collected over the years due to my obsession with graphics. Hope that helps.

  2. I an going to attempt this but I’m scared! My question is since you said if you don’t seal it there’s a haze as it dries, should I seal it as soon as I remove all the paper?

    1. Hi Angela. I usually do a couple rounds of paper-removing to make sure I really got it all – letting it dry in between as that reveals the missed spots. After I’ve decided I’ve gotten rid of as much of it as I can I do one last swipe with a damp rag (not sopping wet just wet enough to wipe away any haze – once you do the initial rounds you’ll get a sense of the process) and then almost immediately apply the seal.
      Good luck! and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.

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