Have you ever wanted to create a gorgeous rustic looking sign or family photograph? Did you know that you can create such a sign using just a piece of old wood, some parchment paper, and your inkjet paper? No, you don’t need expensive transfer gels or pastes, special paint or glue or anything else, here’s how to transfer photos onto wood!
This project is perfect for creating old-time photographs to share with friends and family members, rustic signs (in our case for camping!) or as unique decor in the home.
a piece of wood that is fairly smooth (lightly sand it if you need to)
Non Stick Parchment Paper
a High-Resolution Graphic
Cut a piece of nonstick parchment paper to match the size of a sheet of paper 8.5’x11′.
Once you have chosen or created the image that you like, Reverse it. This can be done a number of ways if you’re not familiar with how to reverse an image you can google it for directions. It really all depends on which program you’re using to design your image.
Place the sheet of parchment paper into the printer and print the reversed design.
Place the image EXACTLY where you want it onto the piece of wood. Once you have set it down you Cannot move it or it will smudge.
Hold the transfer tightly to the wood without moving it, gently rub over the top with a credit card (or one of those little store savings cards that inevitably get left at home during those grocery shopping trips!) and push the ink into the wood, rubbing gently to transfer the entire design.
This technique works great on any smooth, unfinished wood. Try it on tables, chairs, wooden crates, etc. Let it sit for about an hour then spray it with a clear matte finish sealer or wood sealer of your choice.
If you’d like you can very very lightly dampen the wood with a well-wrung sponge to get a slightly darker image transfer, but make sure you practice a bit first as this has a tendency to cause the ink to “bleed” a bit and will smudge or blur easily.
Although you can technically use wax paper, it’s entirely dependent on what type of printer you have. I was using an Epson printer and it would “Jam” using wax paper. I attempted to tape a piece of the wax paper to a piece of cardstock (a technique that works great for printing on Tissue paper), but no go, the stickiness of the wax paper causes an instant “jam”. Luckily the printer does not attempt to print unless it feeds through properly so no ink was wasted in the process.
The parchment paper technique works well, but you must work VERY quickly to transfer the design as the ink will absorb into the parchment if you don’t.
If you really dislike how your first attempt came out, simply lightly sand the piece of wood and start again, no harm, no foul.