Transfer a picture to copper (or wood or cloth)

Transferring a laser printed photo or picture to metal

DSC00362I read about transferring pictures to different things like wood, metal or cloth.  I decided to take my kids’ paternal crest from the Van Stijcker family line and try to put it on some copper I had.  I’ve had this copper for a few years with the intention of punching the crest into it and painting it in.  I’ve just never gotten this done and had this around, so decided what the heck–it will make good practice. 🙂

The process is fairly simple, you paint an acrylic medium (that’s what it is and what it’s called) onto your photo or the item you are transferring the photo to.  Then you make sure it adheres well and doesn’t have bubbles.  After that, you get the picture wet with a wet wash cloth and rub the paper off of the image.  And, voila! the image will be transferred.

In reality, it was a bit more difficult.  I couldn’t find the acrylic medium locally, so purchased acrylic gesso in the craft & painting aisle at Walmart.  It’s made of the same stuff, so I figured it would be okay.  Now, when I painted it on I was a bit nervous–covering the picture with a thick white coating and wondering if I just ruined it.  Oh!  Before I forget again–you can’t print on an inkjet printer-it won’t work.  The ink is water soluble and will run.  So, if you don’t have a laser jet printer you need to borrow one or have your picture printed at a copy shop.  Also, if you have writing or it matters to you–you will need to reverse the image before printing it because it will transfer in mirror image.

Next, place your photo onto the metal, wood or cloth.  Make sure you line it up well before you place it.  Make sure it is smooth and then run a scraper or credit card or something flat and smooth over it carefully to make sure it is stuck down well and there are no bubbles.

After it dries, get a washcloth that is not soaking wet but is pretty wet and rub it over the picture to wet it well.  Then the tedious part starts–rub the back of the picture with your fingers until all of the paper is removed.  Rubbing in a small circular motion works the best so that you remove paper but don’t remove the picture.  This can take quite awhile.

When you are done, either spray it with an acrylic sealer or put on a coat of mod podge.

This one is definitely not perfect–and the photo isn’t great due to the shiny copper.  But, it DOES work.  🙂



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