Friday, July 16, 2010

Adding Transfers To Your Pages

A transferred image can add a great deal of interest to a page.  It is  transparent, so the layered effect can be quite striking.  You can use images you find on the internet and print on your home printer, or commercial clip art, printed on laser printers, or photocopies of any image you like.  You can even transfer an image directly from a magazine.

There are A LOT of ways to add transfers to your pages; there are entire books written on the subject.  I should know, I own several of them!  Many of the techniques involve specialized supplies and a good deal of waiting as things dry.  The results can be worth it, and sometimes you have to go this more challenging route if you want to transfer images to fabric or metal or plastic, or certain other materials.

However, we're dealing with paper, and one of the easiest, quickest, and most fool-proof transfer methods is perfect for paper.

All you need  is the image you wish to transfer, packing tape or clear Con-Tact paper, a burnishing tool (a bone folder or the back of a spoon), and water.
I found the Statue of Liberty picture on the internet and printed it on plain copy paper.  Cut the Con-Tact paper large enough to cover it completely.  If you are using packing tape, you will probably have to use more than one strip to cover your image completely.
As you cover the image, smooth the Con-Tact paper down with your fingers.  Then use the bone folder or back of a spoon to burnish it into the image.  Work from the center out, making sure the paper and image are well adhered, and working any bumps or air bubbles out.
If you need to trim the image, do it now.  Then turn it over and using some sandpaper, a sanding block or even an emery board, rough up the back a little.  This opens up the pores of the paper and makes the next step much easier.
Now take it to the sink and holding it under water, begin to remove the white paper by gently rubbing it in a circular motion with your thumbs.
The paper softens and falls away, and the image is left behind on the Con-Tact paper (or packing tape).

When all the paper has been removed, let the transfer dry and then apply it to your page.  It is translucent, so whatever is beneath it on the page will show through.  I really love the look of the color and words behind the image.
There may be enough stickiness left on the transfer to attach it without adding anything, but if there isn't, just spread some gel medium on the back.  It will dry clear.
Here's how the above transfer looks alongside the next page.
And here is another one I did using Con-Tact paper.  This time the image is of the old Yankee Stadium.
The next example is of a photocopied image, and the transfer was done with packing tape.  I needed two strips of tape, and allowed them to overlap slightly.  You can't even see where the pieces overlapped
 I chose to use black and white images, but you can do this technique with color pictures as well.   Just remember that whatever is on your page will show through your transfer.


  1. Ohhhhh...LOVE LOVE LOVE that technique Eileen!!!! Will be SO much fun to try!!!!!

  2. FABULOUS, Eileen!! Wonderful samples :) You know I LOVE LOVE LOVE transfers !!

  3. Love this technique. Is the packing tape the normal brown packaging tape you get on parcels or a clear packing tape. I shall have to have a go of this. Tracy Evans x

  4. Love this technique! I've been wanting to try this for a long time and your explanation of how to do it is perfect! Got lots to do on my book. The waiting time between can be frustrating at times, but it is worth it. Thanks for the new technique!

  5. Love this technique, I should use it more often. Very simple to do, and great effect!