Transfer Class

Tips and How-To's from Chelsea's Image Transfer Class

Thanks so much for being in class with me! If you've forgotten a few things we talked about in class, here are some refreshers. And if you have a question, please feel free to email me!

What to Do with Your Unfinished Piece from Class

You've got your finished piece from class, and it's great! But how were you supposed to finish up the other one we did in class? Here are the steps:

- get the paper on your wood wet. We did this in class with a spray bottle and put the damp terry towel over it. If you don't have a spray bottle, just place the damp towel on the paper and press lightly by hand. It should not be super wet, but make sure all of the paper is saturated before moving on to the next step.

- pull off the paper by hand. Then use your terry towel to gently rub off the first layer of paper. You don't have to get it all this time around - that's what the next step is for. If you want to create any extra distress marks, now is a good time for that. Once done, leave the wood for a few minutes to dry. You want to see the white of the paper left on your wood, but it should not be completely dry.

- now, using your dry cotton towel, gently rub off the rest of the paper. You will probably have to get the cotton towel a little damp by dabbing it on the wet terry towel - just enough to make the paper on the wood easier to get off. You may need to let the wood dry again to make sure you've gotten all the paper off, and you may need to use your fingers to feel any paper left behind and remove the last bits.

- once all the paper is off and your wood has dried, you can seal it. Use your foam brush and the sealant, and apply a thin layer in smooth, even strokes. Let this dry for 10-30 minutes minimum, 24 hours for a full cure

- apply the hardware, and you're all finished! Now admire your beautiful work!

-Clean up: you can rinse your brush in water and reuse, and your towels can be washed in the washing machine. All the materials we use are water-soluble and non-toxic.

Pieces from Chelsea's Image Transfer Class 
Pieces from Chelsea's Image Transfer Class

How to Start a New Piece

Got one of those kits from Chelsea after class, or purchased your own supplies? Here's how to get started:

- make sure your wood is sanded nice and smooth, and all the sawdust is removed

- have your prepped image ready to go (remember, laser printed, mirror image, high resolution, non-glossy paper)

- dip your foam brush into the transfer gel and apply a thin layer to the wood in smooth, even strokes. You want enough gel so that you'll get a good transfer, but not so thick that the paper will wrinkle. You should still be able to see some woodgrain (it should not be all white on the wood)

- position your wood, gel-side down, over your image. Once it's aligned, push the wood onto the paper and then turn over so the paper's on top. Smooth the paper with your hands, then use your burnishing card - laying flat - to smooth out and push down the paper. Don't forget about the edges! (If you use the burnishing card on its side, you'll squeeze all the gel out, which is not what you want)

- let this dry in a warm place for at least 24 hours. Then start on the instructions for what to do with your unfinished piece from class (above)

Chelsea rubbing off paper on one of her photo transfers
Chelsea rubbing off paper on one of her photo transfers

Products List

Want to purchase your own supplies to do this at home? Here's what we used in class (please note, these links take you to Amazon's online store - buying through here does give me a little cash back, or you can find these at most local arts and crafts or hardware stores)

You can also buy a transfer kit and blank wood here, or email me about purchasing materials directly from me

- Transfer Gel: Liquitex Professional Matte Gel Medium

- Sealant: Matte Mod Podge

- Foam brushes: 2 inch or 3 inch (we used 2" in class; 3" are nice for larger pieces)

- Wood pieces: I use pine or a light-colored hard wood. I cut most of this myself. Order online here or contact me if you're looking for a different size. You can also check your local art supply stores for various shapes and sizes.

- Towels: Wet Terrycloth/washcloth for 1st pass of rubbing off paper;
dry fine-weave towels for 2nd pass of rubbing off paper

- Finishing hardware: triangle hooks or eye screws for minis (triangle hooks for hanging on the wall, eye screws for making into ornaments);
sawtooth hangers for larger pieces to hang on the wall

Lots of minis just papered and drying in Chelsea's workspace
Lots of minis just papered and drying in Chelsea's workspace