Friday, July 30, 2010

Printing Photographs Over Text (Faux Photo Transfers!)

You want the look of a transfer without the fuss?  Try this!  We're going to print our images onto the page.  I can hear you protesting...I know we can't run our ABs through our printers, but remember back at the beginning I told you to save the pages you tore from your book?
We'll be using them (or you could actually any page you have that is the same size as your AB, including sheet music, which is what I used).
I'm going to show you two variations.  With the first you'll see the background text very clearly; with the second, the look is much more subtle.  One is not better than the other; both are effective, so just use the one that works better with the images you've chosen.  Or, use them both, as I did.
Here are the two photographs I want to use.  One is of my paternal grandmother, the other is of her with my father when he was a baby.
Both have been scanned into my computer.  Here is what  it looks like when I print one directly onto a sheet of text:
For the more subtle look of text behind a photograph,  apply a VERY light coat of gesso to the page first.  You should still see the text.
Dry the gesso thoroughly.  If the page is a bit wobbly and you're afraid it might jam up your printer, use some painter's tape and attach it to a plain sheet of copy paper (just on the end that enters your printer) like this:
Here is how the other photograph looks printed on this sheet:
I decided to use both on my page, and embellished the page with some machine stitching, some distress inks, and a row of brads.
Glue the page onto an empty page in your AB and no one will ever know it was attached.  The center image, because it was printed right on the page looks like a perfect transfer.
I don't have examples, but there is no reason why you can't try this technique over a page that has been colored with glazes or the water soluble oil pastels I discussed last week, or just about any other coloring medium.  You can even try it on a page that has been lightly collaged....I say lightly, because we wouldn't want to do this on a very bulky page that might jam up your printer.  
The journaling was done with one of my favorite tools, a glaze pen.


  1. FABULOUS Page, Eileen!!! Love this idea...for altered books, cards, and well any ART!! FUN!!


  3. I think this is my favorite technique. Will definitely be using this a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This look is really stellar, and less work than a transfer! Well, depending on if you jam your printer, lol. Very handy technique, love it!

  5. What a super cool technique. Thanks for the thorough instructions and inspiration. Perhaps I'll add a few pages to the accounting books cluttering up my work space.

  6. This is a fantastic idea!!! Wow!!!! Can't wait to try it out. :)

  7. I've just discovered your blog and I love it. I have about four different altered books I'm working on right now and your techniques your sharing are really going to help me finish them up. I love all types of art but the past year have really been drawn to altered art. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful techniques with us. -Shawn