Impromptu photo shoots are my fave

February 25, 2009

Hello ‘you are my fave’-fans! When Mel asked me if I would be up for a little guesting I said, “hip-hip-hooray,” which is the equivalent to a yes followed by at least 3 exclamation points.

So today I thought I would share with you the outcome to a little quandary I have been having but first the preface:

Sometimes when we take vacations we like to be touristy and take pics in front of the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge etc). These pics display our pearly whites with a giant (inset national landmark here), in the background. The pics are lovely for recalling some of our favorite places we have been but I have found I actually prefer reminiscing over the pics from the impromptu photo shoots we had along the way. The ones in airport when our flight was delayed by 4 hours for example, or the ones we took over breakfast at the Magic Grill Café in San Francisco.

This state of affairs presents a dilemma when it comes to choosing photos to print for displaying in our home. I really just want to print the results from repetitive games of Americas Next Top Model but I feel somewhat obligated to print the landmark shots—see the predicament? After mulling over this thought for months on end a cute little light bulb appeared above my head; maybe I could get away with exhibiting the goofy shots if I explore beyond the realm of a 50 cent Ikeas frame.

What I came up with is a photo transfer technique that you will see in the tutorial below which I hope you will try after your own photo shoot parties!

Laser or copy machine print outs of your fave random photos
Omni-gel (transfer medium)
Rolling pin
Sponge brush
Very damp washcloth or sponge
Wood or some other surface you’d like to see your photos on
Optional-sandpaper, paint, finishing spray

1. First things first, print out your favorite random photos on a laser printer or on a copy machine—these days you can email a file to your local copy center and then schedule a pick up. (As a side note, I don’t recommend the ink jet for this particular project—trust me, I tried it.) Oh yes, and remember to REVERSE YOUR IMAGE if you don’t want a mirror effect, my assumption is you won’t if you happen to included any type.

2. Next you will apply a few generous coats of the omni-gel transfer medium allowing a drying period in between coats. Once this is completely dry you can cut out your image to fit on the surface you will be transferring to.

3. Now with the same transfer gel, you will adhere the image face down to the surface you are transferring to, in this case, a slap of wood. Once applied give it a good roll with the rolling pin to really flatten out the image.

4. The glue will have dried after a few minutes and you can move on to wetting the blank side of the image with a very damp towel or sponge. Once very moist, you can begin to briskly rub away the paper layer with your towel. It sounds scary but soon your image will start to show and you will get happy inside thinking that this project might actually turn out!

5. Next you will jump up and down a little because your whole image will have appeared. After it has dried you may see you have not quite eliminated the paper layer and so will have to repeat step 4. For mine, (a little series I am calling The Breakfast Trio), I sanded over the image a bit so the wood could show through, and I also added a light coat of watered down brown acrylic paint over the image. I finished it off with a simple coat of matt wood finishing spray just to protect the image.

You can use this same method from magazine cutouts, or even artwork you have created …the possibilities are endless!

Well, that’s it…I hope you found this enjoyable and are inspired to try this technique yourself. I am sure Melanie would love to see the results if you do try this out for yourself and so would I, so please do share!

I told you Natalia is awesome. Check out more of her projects here.



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