It has almost been a year since we said “I do” and we had yet to do anything with our beautiful wedding photos. Ironically, I am on the other side of this coin… or camera. I now understand the slight struggle to pick your favorite photos to print, place in album, or frame in your home. It is super overwhelming to look back on this crazy, incredibly awesome day. What a dream! I knew when the time came we would have to do something special, and we were so fortunate to have incredibly talented photographers Christa and Ivy too. The something special fits with our style; vintage and a little rustic, Rick and I have a wall in our house that has a lot of old pictures and paintings that we have collected and I thought transferring our images onto wood with a distressed effect would be perfect for our home.
I knew I would need a smooth wood surface, and I knew I could play with different color wood stains at the end of the image transfer to enhance the overall look. The process was a trial and error as I followed an online tutorial that had wrong instructions (laser print is super important). Ultimately, I figured it out and the process is incredibly easy and I will be making a lot more of these for our home, family and friends.
Image Transfer on Wood
- Wood Plaque (I bought mine at Michael’s but you can also look at salvage stores and sand down a smooth surface)
- Laser print image (you can get your correct size measurements by measuring your wood surface and making changes in Photoshop or another photo program)
- Matte Gel Medium (You can find this at art supply stores, typically near brushes and paint)
- Mod Podge
- Towels ( a towel to wipe off the paper fibers and a towel to work on to keep your surfaces clean)
Pick your favorite photo(s). In a photo editing program adjust the size of your chosen photos to fit. Reverse the image; if you zoom into the picture of Rick you will notice that the license plate is backwards, that’s what happens when you don’t reverse the image before the transfer. Print the image via a laser printer. Very important. The process will not work with an ink jet printer. I had three prints made at Kinko’s for under 2 dollars.
Next, with your wood surface you will want to brush on an even, thin layer of your matte gel onto the wood surface. Then place your photo down, ink side down. Make sure the print is applied flat to the surface and then allow to dry for over 8 hours. When it is dry place a damp, warm towel over the paper and gently start removing the paper from the wood. You will want to go slow with this process, try not disturbing the ink on the wood too much. You will get the hang of it. To have a more vintage look you can take off more in some areas, or just allow it naturally to turn out. Also, I used my thumb that was slightly moist and rubbed in circles on areas that seemed a bit more difficult removing the fibers. This worked out well.
Make sure all little fibers are off your surface and apply a layer of mod podge, this will not only seal but add some life back to your work. Allow to dry and then you are done.
So happy and can’t wait to do more of our favorite details, family and friends.