4:49 PM

Packing Tape Image Transfer Tutorial!

Since I've been back on my Wallet-making Kick, I've had several inquires on how to do the packing tape image transfers. I decided that I would share this because the instructions I found through HGTV when I googled this technique are... downright confusing, really.

You will need:
Image to be transferred (I have found that ink-jet images do NOT work for this. Professionally printed magazines and such work well, as do images produced on a LASER printer)
Clear Packing Tape
A ruler (or some flat-edged item)
Bowl with water in it

Step 1: Cover your image in packing tape. I've found that, with enough care in the coming steps, you can do multiple piece of tape to get the entire image, so long as you overlap the tape a bit so the design will stay together. I overlapped the seam on this image maybe 1/16th of an inch or so- just enough to keep the two pieces together, really.

Step 2: Trim down the edges of your image and an overhanging tape. This is important- you don't want the image to stick to the table in the next step! ;) This is also the time to trim around, say if you want a certain figure but don't want the background or such. Remember to always be careful with scissors and all that- if you have kids doing this project, parents may want to do this step.

Step 3: Take a ruler or something else that's flat and easy to hold on to, and rub the tape so that it's sticking to the image really well. You want to make sure to get out as many air bubbles as possible- and take extra care if you have any tape seams. I like to use my sewing gauge ruler because it's small, and I can use it to press down the seams pretty easily or get on to other small areas of the design.

Step 4: Bath time! Plop your tape-covered image down into some water and let it soak. The longer you let it soak, the easier the paper will (usually) be to get off.

Step 5: This isn't really a step but... while one transfer is soaking, I like to prepare another one as well. (This particular one I'm not sure what I'll use for... It's a drawing I did of the Egyptian god Osiris as I'd imagine him in the modern day) This will just give you something to do other than stare at the transfer in the water. :)

Step 6: Take your image out of the water and put it face-down on the table. Being VERY careful, with either your fingers or the edge of whatever you used to flatten the tape down, start working the paper off the back. It may be difficult to get started, but be careful! If you work at it too hard, you'll rub the image off the tape on the front, and that wouldn't be good at all!

Step 7: Continue working at the paper to get it off. You may have to throw it back in the water a few more times- not only to get rid of paper debris, but also to make it easier to rub the paper off. Sometimes the paper will drop right off (had that happen with an image from a video game magazine), and some will take forever, just keep working at it and be patient. The bigger the image, the longer it usually take to get the backing off.

Step 8: Done! I actually didn't rub all the paper off the first transfer because so much of the image is black, and in that case it doesn't matter really. But you can see with Osiris that you can get a very cool image that is clear in parts with this technique! Your transfer is now ready to decorate whatever you wish!

When I put these on my wallets, I seal over them with more packing tape. Sometimes they still have enough "stick" to go on all their own, but I like to make sure. You could also probably use some clear glue or decoupage medium to put these on boxes, notebooks, or whatever else you can think of!


Cryztalvisions said...

Fantastic tutorial! Thanks for sharing this technique.

Sewlutions' World said...

Very interesting, I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

Felicia said...

Wow! Awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting from the Etsy forums.

SilverShadow Designs / BerryPatchDesigns said...

Fantastic - and entertaining (..something to stare at while the other is soaking")! Thanks!!