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Using Mod Podge to image transfer to wood – my first craft

Aug 28 2017 -
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How to use mod podge to transfer a laserjet printed image on to wood. Some folks would say that I’m crafty and I do crafty things all of the time and that this is a “craft” blog… but that’s just not true. I am so far from crafty it isn’t even funny, I’m terribly UN-crafty, totally “craft-inhibited” actually. Give me a power tool and let me build something but please don’t ask me to make something small and cute that requires a glue gun or free hand painting or any kind of creative dexterity at all. I will fail totally. In fact, I do believe that I am craft-impaired… But when the dead line for my Farmhouse Hen’s Fall Vignette started looming into view it was time to put on my big girl panties and order some mod podge…

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

This is not the first tutorial written about using mod podge to transfer a laserjet printed image on to a piece of wood, this may not even be the 5,632nd tutorial written on how to do this. (Check out THIS ONE it is amazing.) However, I thought I would share my experience. First I had to decide what I wanted to print and what I ended up with my heart set on was exactly why I ended up having to order Mod Podge. Because, I wanted it on old barn wood… OUR old barn wood, like a very specific piece of awesomely patina’d wood that I’ve had sitting out in the barn waiting for me.

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

I can’t paint… not at all really, I wouldn’t attempt free handing this kind of thing unless I had every expectation of just painting the entire board whatever color I was using. I thought about a stencil but that seemed like an expense and then I thought about making my own stencil but last time I did that, honestly, it was a pain in the ass and I didn’t want to do that again. I remembered seeing some image transfers to wood on Pinterest… so then I ordered Mod Podge from Amazon (affiliate link).

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

(Fortunately the hunk of wood I’d been saving was a rather large piece of old plywood so if I screwed this up I would have at least two more shots at this.) Everyone is real specific in their tutorials about having to use a LASERJET printer and NOT an inkjet printer for this and, fortunately, my day job only uses Laserjets so I just needed to get to work on my design.

This is what I wanted, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.” But I needed to print it out backwards so when I pressed the FRONT of the printed image to the wood it would be correct. I did this by flipping all of my text horizontally and then double checking it by holding the pages up to the light and looking at the back of them lol. I also headed over to Dafont.com and found some sweet fonts of leaves and picked out a couple I liked. This one called Leafs and This one called Leaves. I like using fonts because they don’t lose quality regardless of the size you make them and the fonts from Dafont.com are free. Just download, open and install then open your photo editing program and choose the new font from the list then each letter is a different object. (I use Photoshop CS2 because I’m poor and its free to download right now.)

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

From there it was just a case of cutting all the paper down, arranging it and then on to the nerve racking part. Every single tutorial I read said to make a nice even complete layer of mod podge, stick your printed image face down on it, smooth out the air bubbles and then walk away and hope for the best. So, that’s exactly what I did and then I let it dry over night. I soaked a towel with hot water and covered it for about ten minutes before rubbing the paper off. So, right away I realized that I should have either made the sign smaller or went to walmart for a large copy of what I wanted because NOT ALL THE PAPER COMES OFF. After all of the tutorials I read online I had thought the INK would transfer to the wood and all of the paper would come off. Nope. That’s not how this works. The moment I got down to the last “layer” the words started coming off too and it dawned on me that this wasn’t exactly turning out how I imagined it…

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

At first it felt like a total fail (which did not surprise my craft-inhibitted butt one bit!) and I was either going to scrap this blog entry or start over and try again now that I had a little more experience. But the more I looked at it the more I really didn’t hate it… It has a bit of stamp and sign quality … and it kinda looked like the letters serial killers write using multiple words they cut out of magazines etc and I kinda liked that too… This is fall after all and my very favorite spooky holiday is coming up! So, its not what I had anticipated or wanted, but I ended up liking the result 🙂 And I will definitely be trying this again!

This coming Friday I get to show you guys my Fall Vignette with this lovely little sign front and center!

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

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24 Comments

  1. August 29, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    This looks amazing and so easy!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!
    Jess recently posted…Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto recipeMy Profile

  2. August 31, 2017 at 11:41 am

    These are looking super cool. I like to paint Wooden objects; but this is something new I should try.

  3. September 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Oh I am so happy that you didn’t scrap this project! I had no idea that you could image transfer onto wood using modge podge! That is really cool. I knew about decoupage but this seems different since it somewhat rubs off. Thanks for showing us how you did this! Looks like a fun project I may have to try! Ha….serial killers made me lol!

    • September 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Kathleen thanks so much, you made me feel a lot better about it! I’m definitely going to be trying this again it was fun and super easy!

  4. September 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    First off, good for you for trying…and for sharing! I can’t tell you how many image transfer projects I’ve had go wrong. They are HARD to get right. And this is a fantastic first attempt. Keep it up an thanks for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  5. September 2, 2017 at 2:33 am

    I’ve never tried image transfer. You crack me up. Even if your crafty not every project is a win. Thanks for sharing this at the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  6. September 2, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Well done your sign is lovely. I love image transfer with Mod podge it’s a fun technique and use it to transfer maps onto wood, I’m going to experiment with other surfaces too like stone.

    • September 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you Claire, what a great idea, I’ll definitely be trying this out again!

  7. September 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hats off to you Tarah! I would never even attempt to try a project like this. You had me cracking up about the cutouts looking like something a serial killer would use. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

  8. September 3, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I’m so glad you shared this because I had not idea you could transfer images with Mod Podge. And I love the fact that it actually does look like a serial killer note! Thank you for sharing it at Party in Your PJs! Pinned and shared.

  9. September 3, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Tarah! Thank you so much for linking up with us at Dishing It & Digging It. Have a fabulous week 🙂

    • September 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks for coming by Angie!

  10. September 4, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Hi Tarah! Such a fun post…I love your honesty. I’m totally with you on the craft bit…I’m so totally NOT crafty, even though I have a good many supplies…I have no idea what to do with them. So I can totally relate to you. I do want to say I’ve done a lot of image transfers with Mod Podge, and I’ve found you can use an inkjet image (lucky you for having access to a laser printer at work!) My secret is to print the image I want to use, wait 24 hrs for the image to set better, then proceed as you would with a laser image. It works just fine. And yes, I agree, the paper doesn’t always fully come off. It’s a bummer.

    • September 4, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you so much for coming by Florence, definitely a tip to remember about inkjet printers! Have a great week!

  11. September 6, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Tarah I am also getting ready to do this craft and now you’ve got me biting my nails. I don’t even have a printed image, just a piece of paper from a book. Do you think it will work or am I wasting my time. Any last minute advice? “bites nails some more”

    • September 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Mary, honestly I really don’t know! I wish I could be more help this is my first time, someone mentioned in the comments though that Inkjet printed images work fine too you just have to use a little more mod podge. My guess is that it would work!

  12. September 8, 2017 at 1:43 am

    I had no idea that all of the paper doesn’t come off! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger’s Pit Stop! Roseann from http://www.thisautoimmunelife.com

    • September 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for coming by Roseann!

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