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Image Transfer – It’s Easier Than I Thought

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

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

13 responses »

  1. Karen Crawford

    AWESOME!! As usual!! Thanks for sharing

  2. Jo Ann Bastanjoo

    They are beauties, for sure! Question: did you print them on ink jet or laser printer?

  3. 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!!!

    • 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.

  4. I love your blog, your ideas and projects are perfect, thank you for sharing;0))))

  5. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing

  6. 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?

    • 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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