Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Boy and His Bow Tie

Every boy cat needs a bow tie. 

Wooden Pictures

I recently tried the tutorial I found on Pinterest that shows us how to take a picture printed on computer paper and transfer it to a block of wood. You can find the video of what I'm talking about here.

I started by choosing photos of my children that I really like from the past few years, printing them on regular sized printer paper, and then cutting them out to fit the size of wood I wanted them to fit on.

The first mistake I made was forgetting that Evie's name would show up backwards on the piece of wood. But oh, well. The second mistake I made was printing these pictures with an inkjet printer rather than a laser printer. I still got decent results, but nothing comparable to what you see in that link posted above.

This stuff right here, this "Gloss Gel Medium" is entirely too expensive for its own good. I had to wander around hobby lobby a while until I found it tucked away in the art supply section, and then when I saw that it was $21.99, I almost freaked. Luckily, you only use a small amount of it for this sort of project, so I have tons more to use later. But seriously, who prices this stuff?

As the video in the link above shows, you coat your piece of wood with this gel medium, and then place your picture face down onto the block of wood, smoothing out the bubbles and whatnot before you leave it to dry overnight. (Oh, and when they say overnight, they really mean overnight. Trust me. I tried.)

Once it has sat overnight, you bring it in and wet the paper until you can see the picture through the back of it. Then very gently wipe away the paper. At least, that's what she shows in the video. I had some problems with this step, problems I didn't get on film because I didn't want to put my yucky hands on my camera. So, here's what I did...

I did wet the entire back of the photo until I could see the print through it. And then I gently started at the corner of the piece of paper and slowly start removing the paper residue. But the ink came with it. So I let the water dry a bit and then started again. It worked better when it was almost completely dry. In fact, when I got to the actual part with my children, the paper was practically completely dry. I pulled out a sink sponge with the scrubby part on the back of it and used it to gently scrap away the paper residue.

Once I felt like all the paper was off, I ran the block of wood with picture under the faucet for a few seconds to wash away any remaining paper residue and then immediately coated it with Mod Podge.

I sat on my mantel to dry and here's how it looked when complete:

I'm not super unhappy with the results, but I'm also not crazy about them either. I'm going to try using a laser jet printer and see what I can do. I'll update that...later.

Oh, I also did one in color. Here's how it turned out: