I was totally charmed that my son wanted to bring one of these brochures home from our visit to Sunflowers for Wishes.
Ask my parents, sisters, husband, anyone who has ever traveled with me – the brochure rack is one of my favorite places at most any hotel (I hate when the concierge holds the brochures hostage). I’ve gotten a bit greener and try not to take brochures I won’t need, but there’s nothing I love more than getting into bed the first night in a new city and reading a stack of tourist literature.
I was thrilled to spot this image transfer technique I knew we could try with our vacation brochures and photographs.
Here’s what we made yesterday in just a few minutes, using packing tape, a wooden spoon and some water: a softly hued mini-book of our visit to the sunflowers.
The sunflower brochure Ryan brought home would have been perfect for this had we actually been able to find it yesterday. Instead, I printed out a “contact sheet” of our sunflower and other summer photographs on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of photo paper, then made a color copy of the page at Staples (ink jet printing won’t work, you need a toner copy for this one).
I then cut out the pictures and used clear packing tape to tape them to the table. Enter kids – mine and my neighbor’s – two six year olds, two three year olds, all wired from a day at camp/pool/lake. Once we wrangled them in, they were happy to oblige and used a plastic (or wood) mixing spoon to smooth and press the tape to the image.
We then peeled the tape off the table with image attached. Of the 12 we did, only one ripped! We then trimmed the picture/tape to the same size and soaked each in a bowl of warm water.
After a few minutes of soaking (the kids didn’t wait too long), the paper started to peel off and could be rubbed away to reveal that the image has magically left the paper and jumped to the packing tape.
How/why does the ink remain while the paper backing rubs away? I can’t explain it, but I really, really love it. Did the kids? Yup. The neighbors asked very sweetly to bring their projects home (of course) and my kids kept at it after dinner.
Once all the paper was rubbed off, we patted the now transparent images dry and tried to figure out what to do with them.
We held them up to various color backgrounds, using an old collection of paint chips (Better Homes & Garden collection from Walmart (I think), with holes that very conveniently work for putting them on a ring).
Darker colors made the image hard to see, so we opted for light.
Some of the tape transfers retained their tackiness and stuck right to the paint chips. For others, we used a thin layer of Mod Podge to glue it on.
No promises, but I’m hoping to keep adding to our ring with more summer images. Now, just have to add packing tape to my weekend packing lists. How nice to have a craft you can do anywhere?
We also made these blocks/desk paperweights using some pieces of pre-primed wood my carpenter left behind.
Both newspaper images (below) and magazine clips work very well.
The transparency of the images makes it perfect for decorating glass vases, jars or windows. You can also try it on notecards, books, candles and stones.
- Packing tape
- Wooden or plastic spoon
- Bowl of room temperature water
- Mod Podge or gel medium
- Select your design. You can use an image from a magazine or brochure. If you are using one of your photographs or a drawing, you’ll want to print it out, then make a toner (not inkjet) copy of it. Keep in mind that packing tape is about 2 inches wide, so pick a small sized image. You can print a “contact sheet” from most printers, creating roughly 2 by 2 inch images.
- Place tape over picture and smooth across, using a wooden spoon or other tool. Trim the picture/tape to the same size.
- Soak the picture in the water and let sit a few minutes. The longer the soaking, the easier the next step will be.
- Remove the picture from the water and gently rub to remove the paper.
- When all the paper is removed, you should see the image on the tape.
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