Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Image Transfer with Crystal Lacquer

Happy Wednesday - Susan here with my second post for the Sakura Hobby Craft Design Team. Today is part two of the post I shared on March 7th {CLICK HERE}.

As promised, today's project is a step-by-step on making an image transfer!


I love making image transfers, yet the process of it is so dragged out unless you do a box tape transfer {with this you are limited to the width of your tape and you get a super high gloss sheen from the tape}. I will be doing this so much more now! So I made a couple image transfers one of me at about 2 1/2 and the other of a photo of my father and I. I will say - with Crystal Lacquer - this process is accelerated by not only hours...but days!

There are several ways to go about making an image transfer. I like the method of using an acrylic gel medium. But it is too time consuming! So since I couldn't find any info doing this using Crystal Lacquer, I followed the same process as you would if using an acrylic gel medium.

You take a color laser copy of image to transfer on plain white paper and paint an even coat of Crystal Lacquer in one direction {either horizontally or vertically - one or the other. Then let dry completely. Then paint a second coat in the opposite direction. If you made first layer horizontal - layer two will be vertical. Let this layer dry completely then repeat with three more layers alternating direction of applying Crystal Lacquer {horizontal, then vertical, then horizontal, then vertical, etc.}, letting each layer thoroughly dry before adding next layer.

After applying 5 coats on Crystal Lacquer in alternating directions.

If Crystal Lacquer looks cloudy, then it's not completely dry. Set aside completely lacquered image which should have a canvas striation texture from alternating layers for a couple hours to dry. Lacquered image should be completely clear.

Lacquered images after completely dry and ready to soak.

Now the fun begins - time to get messy! You will need a shallow disk to soak image in water. Place image face down into water with paper side up. If needed hold down under water until all paper is saturated.

Wait about 10-15 minutes then you can begin to gently rub away the paper fibers. This is best done by rubbing in small circular motion until all paper is removed.

Be careful not to rub too fast or too hard, this is easily torn when wet. If you like a softer appearance, you can leave some of the paper fiber on. After paper removal is complete - gently pick up image and let water drip off. 

 Image transfer being removed from water after paper is rubbed off.

Then set to dry on wax paper with lacquer side face up. I also gently patted excess water top with a paper towel. The image will look cloudy again. Let dry until it's no longer cloudy and it will probably curl up on you. I can't guesstimate time it will take to dry - but I promise this is so much faster than alternative methods.

When dry your image transfer is ready to use. It will have a nice canvas-like texture and is pretty durable. You can trim around it and adhere over patterned paper, metallic sheets or on acetate. Whatever your creative heart desires. Use Crystal Lacquer to glue the image transfer down. I have a couple small tears in my transfer, but when glued down they are barely noticeable and add to the altered charm of the piece.

I gathered some of my hand-painted papers {using Terri Sproul Mixers and Crystal Lacquer} and one of my completed image transfers to create a tag. I adhered everything down with Crystal Lacquer {you may want to wear gloves for this - its quite sticky}. 

On a base tag - I glued down three of the painted
papers with Crystal Lacquer.

The Crystal Lacquer dries relatively quickly. I added some white pastel in the area where the face of my image transfer will be placed to mute some of the text. I brushed over with Crystal Lacquer, then after misting lightly with water, I applied the image transfer and gently rubbed into place with Crystal Lacquer on top as well to seal. I mixed up some more Voilet Shimmer Mixers and painted in the background around my adorable self. I learned to paint at a very young age...my first paint being Chocolate Cake!

Completed tag after adding some stamped images
and Caran D'Ache Water Crayons.

I hope you enjoyed today's post. I encourage you to take a look around through the projects from the other Sakura Hobby Craft Design Team members for some great tips and ideas! See you next month with my next creation on April 3rd, 2012.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment, select receive e-mail follow ups on comments and I will respond. If you would like to see more of my creations, please visit my blog sbartist : painting in the dark by clicking here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday : )


  1. Awesome job Susan! I love it!

  2. That is really amazing and I could see using it on many different things! Wow, I just love it and aren't you a cutie!

    Hugs XX

  3. Totally cool! Great tutorial!

  4. love this! thanks for such a great idea!

  5. Great technique, super instructions... VERY cute picture of you!

  6. brilliant! I can't wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Love the tutorial. I'm always looking for new ways to do image transfers. Thanks.