Recently I’ve shared a couple projects where I’ve used Mod Podge to transfer graphics. I’ve gotten several emails asking questions about the process so I’ve created this tutorial in hopes of helping those that struggle with graphic transfers, much like I did until I found this method and tweaked it slightly. You could also Google “graphic transfers” and get other methods for accomplishing this fun task.
This simple box started out as a vessel for cigars. Cigar boxes are great for makeover projects.I first painted the box in a custom mix of Old Ochre and Pure White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.I found the graphic at the ever popular Graphics Fairy. I inserted the graphic into a Word document.I then flipped the graphic so it would print out in reverse. I used a laser printer.After printing the graphic in reverse and after the paint dried,I applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to the printed side.Then very carefully, I placed the printed side with the Mod Podge onto the center of the box lid.I smoothed the air bubbles out of the paper, making sure not to move the graphic.Some tutorials tell you to let the Mod Podge dry overnight. I find this isn’t necessary.I let the image dry a couple hours and then misted it with water (which I keep in a Febreze bottle).You can see the print showing through where I sprayed the water.Spray all of the paper until damp but not sopping wet. Carefully wipe off excess water.Once your graphic is wet all over, the fun yet nerve-wracking part begins.With a gentle finger, rub the paper off, working lightly at first until you get a feel for the paper coming off.You want to rub the paper off but leave the image behind. Rub too hard and you could remove the image.If you’ve ever removed wallpaper, this process is somewhat similar.You wet the wallpaper to loosen the glue’s grip, and then strip off the wallpaper.You can see how the paper tends to roll off. If some of the paper dries while working, wet it again.If some of the paper is stubborn and you’re afraid to rub harder, simply leave it and sand it off when done.And here it is … with the paper removed. You can see the tiny rolls of paper at the bottom.Lightly brush any pieces of paper off and then gently sand the stubborn parts.
If you use this process and it works for you (which it should) please let me know.
I’d love to see your project!!I wanted a more aged appearance, so I sanded the top of the box and sanded part of the graphic, as well.You could choose to leave it as is, without the sanding. I gave the entire box a coat of ASCP clear wax.Waxing will protect the finish and the graphic, or apply a light coat of Mod Podge or other sealant.I added script paper from Hobby Lobby and nature graphics from the Graphics Fairy to the interior.I applied the script paper after cutting it to size and applying Mod Podge to the unprinted side.Place the paper inside the box, rub out any air bubbles and let it dry.Then cut out any other graphics, Mod Podge the unprinted side, and press in place.I put this box up for sale in my brand new Etsy Shop and am happy to say, she’s already sold!I want to thank Debra at Common Ground for her Marketplace Monday linky party.You can link up your online store at the party every Monday.I’m pretty sure the box sold because of the exposure my Etsy Shop received at Debra’s party.If you’ve got an online store, be sure to link up at Common Ground every Monday.And if you don’t have an online store … be sure to go shopping!