DIY Image Transfer to Wood and the Importance of Making Mistakes

Posted by Sabrina Shelby | Sep 23, 2017 | DIY | 0 |

This DIY is just fun. It is also kind of annoying because it does not always come out right and when it doesn’t, I feel like I wasted a ton of resources and time. Oh well. That’s life, right? Constantly making mistakes and feeling like I wasted time and resources. The cool thing about making mistakes is that we hopefully don’t make the same mistake again. This usually is not my experience, but sometimes I learn not to make the same mistake twice.

Making mistakes is how we learn. I always forget how important it is to mess up. Mistakes don’t have to be wasted time or resources because they are often a necessary part of the process of finally getting it right. 

The first time I tried doing this I was trying to transfer an image of my pet bird who passed away onto a cheap Dollar Store mirror. I was SO excited about it. It was going to be amazing. I did my many hours of research on Pinterest to find the best image transfer method, I had all the supplies and I was ready to go. 

It totally did not work. The glue with the image would come off when I was scrubbing away the paper. I was pissed. Luckily it was easy to remove the Mod Podge from the mirror so I could try again.

Still didn’t work. I had the same problem. I even tried to be more gentle with my scrubbing. It was so close, too. There was just one little spot where the paper wasn’t coming off. Of course, I picked at just a little too much and ruined it. 

I tried one more time and it STILL didn’t work. I was ready to throw the mirror in the trash. Instead, I decided it wasn’t meant to be. That’s the other thing about mistakes- they make our limitations very clear. It’s okay to walk away.

This photo transfer to wood worked though! Yay!


How To Transfer Your Image To Wood

  1. First, cut off any excess paper from your image
  2. Apply mod podge to the wood AND the image side of your picture.
  3. Place the paper image side down on the wood and using smoothing tool, smooth out any air bubbles.
  4. Let dry… this might takes a couple to several hours… some people might recommend leaving it overnight. I do not have the patience to wait over night, so I usually just wait until I am sure the glue is fully dried.
  5. Once the glue is fully dried, wet the paper with water using your squirt bottle. You are going to be gently rubbing the paper off, so you want it pretty wet, but not so wet it starts removing the glue/image from the wood. How this works is that the image ink transfers onto the glue which has dried onto the wood surface. If you remove the glue, you will also be removing the image, so don’t go all Rambo scrubbing the wet paper off. This part takes a bit of patience. It’s better to take it slow and not ruin the image than to try getting it done fast and being really annoyed because the image is all spotty.
  6. Once you have removed all the paper, add a thin coat of Mod Podge over the wood and image to give it a semi protective coat.

Did it work? You don’t know yet because you haven’t tried it yet? Oh. Well, when you do give it a try, be sure to let me know how it goes. For the sake of learning and growth, I hope it goes horribly wrong the first time around.

You can find more of Sabrina Shelby’s DIY projects at The Active Koala.

This post was created with the help of Grammarly.

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