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…
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.
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).
(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.)
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…
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!