Photo Transfers Made Easy!

Guys, I finally did something with my wedding photos! Our one year anniversary is October 2, so it’s only been 11 months… That’s still a reasonable amount of time, right? Anyway, I got to try out this brand new image transfer product called Scrapbooking Attitude, and it worked great!

Photo transfers made easy

This is my favorite wedding photo and I’m so excited to have it “framed” so I can hang it on our wall now!

And this transfer paper stuff is seriously cool! It’s basically a transfer paper, so you can print out anything you want from your own inkjet printer and then transfer the image onto wood, paper, fabric, pretty much anything! It’s like an iron-on transfer; part of the paper with the printed image permanently adheres to the surface if you use glue, or it can be temporary if you iron it on instead. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve, but now that I got it figured out, I’m really thrilled with it!

Here’s what you need to make your own “framed” photo:

  • Scrapbooking Attitude
  • an inkjet printer
  • a piece of wood
  • Mod Podge or a glue stick
  • paint for the “frame”
  • a paintbrush
  • painter’s tape

1. Print off your image

The first thing you need to do is design and print off your image. The coolest thing about this is that anything you can design and print can be transferred! There are directions in the Scrapbooking Attitude package, but basically make sure you are using an inkjet printer and printing onto the glossy side of the paper.

Once you have it printed, cut it down to size. Also, super important, when you transfer the image it will be flipped, so set your printer to print a mirror image or your photo/text will be backward! (See how I’m on the right in the image below, pre-transfer, but on the left in the finished, transferred image?)

Photo transfers made easy

2. Transfer your image

Once you’ve picked out what you want to transfer your image onto (I chose a fun little wooden plaque), you need to actually transfer your image. You can use an iron or a glue stick, but I used Mod Podge because I liked the way it looked best.

Paint a light layer of Mod Podge onto your piece of wood (make sure it’s very, very light because the transferred image is slightly transparent and any “blotches” of glue will show through the photo.) Peel the backing paper off of the photo and carefully lay the image down on top of the Mod Podge, shiny side down.

Photo transfers made easy

This part is a little difficult because you want to make sure to line up the image and get it all laid out without any wrinkles. I messed up the first time I did this, but luckily, you can buff pretty much anything out of wood with some sand paper and a bit of effort!

One trick I learned is to only peel the backing off from the top of the image, then line up the top and press it down. Slowly peel off more of the backing, pressing the image down as you go, and this will help to keep the thing from wrinkling. (I wanted to get a photo showing you this part, but my lucky husband was out of town at a bachelor party this weekend, and we haven’t yet trained the kitties to use the camera, so hopefully the explanation is understandable!) I also used my brayer to roll out any minor wrinkles that were left, but you can easily just smooth those out with your fingers.

As a fun little comparison, I added the date under the photo using a standard image transfer process. If you print something out (mirror image again, remember?) using a laser printer, you can use an iron to transfer the image onto the wood. So I printed out the date using a laser printer and transferred it onto the wood using the transfer point of my wood-burning tool. The difference is that the ink transfers from the paper to the wood when you do it this way, as opposed to the Scrapbooking Attitude transfer, which permanently adheres part of the transfer paper onto the surface.

Photo transfers made easy

It was simple to do the laser printer transfer, but it isn’t nearly as clean, crisp, and vivid as the photo. But the vintage look is kind of perfect to go with the “frame” I have planned!

3. Paint your frame

Now it’s time to paint the “frame” on. Cover your awesome photo with a piece of printer paper and tape it down using painter’s tape. I just eyeballed this part, but make sure your lines are straight and your corners are square.

I wanted an antique look to the frame, so I started with a coat of brown craft paint.

Photo transfers made easy

When the paint was dry, I took it outside and sprayed on a quick coat of gold paint. When the gold was dry I took some sandpaper to the corners and edges and roughed it up a bit. Leave the paper taped down to protect your image from the sandpaper at this point.

Photo transfers made easy

When you’re done sanding, carefully peel off the tape to uncover your image, and you’re done! Beautiful photo in a vintage “frame!”

Photo transfers made easy

And now I have something to hang up to start our own photo wall! I also printed out a couple other wedding photos and stuck them in some old frames so this wouldn’t be by itself on the wall. I hung it all up above the gorgeous dandelions I stenciled, and I love the way it looks!

Photo transfers made easy

Overall I am totally thrilled with how the main photo turned out. The transfer was super easy and I love the antique “frame” as well.

Have you ever transferred an image onto something before? I like this method because the image is totally vivid and clear. This was my first image transfer project, but it turned out so well I have a couple others planned now!

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign for Scrapbooking Attitude and BluePrint Social. However, all opinions are 100% my own; I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was pretty great! Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts containing projects I would have done anyway, for companies or products I believe in! 🙂

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says

    8 years ago

    Thanks for posting this how-to. You make it looks easy and I love this photo of your wedding. I need to try it sometime. Thanks for linking up at Take it on Tuesday!

  2. Nicole says

    8 years ago

    I really need to do a transfer paper project. I’ve never used it before. Your picture & frame turned out great and the wedding photo is beautiful 🙂

  3. Kadie says

    8 years ago

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and following along. i am following you back via Face book and Google +. Thanks for joining in the blog hop.:)

  4. Wenie Langacre says

    8 years ago

    Oh, I hope you will have a very romantic anniversary day this October 2.
    I love that wedding picture and it looked really perfect.

  5. Robyn from Robyn's View says

    8 years ago

    I have tried doing transfers before but I think I am going to try your way! I like that the pictures are clear.

    Thanks for linking up to Swap Ideas Day!

  6. carolyn - homework says

    8 years ago

    Beautiful picture. This product sounds super cool – I love how it goes onto the wood!

  7. Katie says

    8 years ago

    I have one 8×10 in an actual frame I bought for the purpose. The rest of the wedding pictures that I actually got around to printing out are stuck in frames mostly too big for them. I keep meaning to mat them and make them look nice and keep not doing it, so they’re just crooked down in the corner of the frame. Oops. And it’s been almost four years, so I say eleven months is pretty good! ^_^

  8. PJ says

    8 years ago

    No. 11 months is fine… Its been almost 10 years for me and Ive done nothing with mine, eeek!

    • Jessi says

      8 years ago

      Haha! Well I feel better now. I’m still in the middle of making a wedding album too, but I feel a bit better now that I have at least a few of them hung up.

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