June 22, 2010

Darin's Father's Day gift

Here is Darin's Father's Day gift I made him. Turned out better than I thought. I will make this again, but with a few changes. It still needs some finishing touches on it, but Kooper and I really had fun making it.

You need a stretched canvas, you can get these at Walmart for $6 for two (I used an 8x10 canvas)
pictures printed on a laser printer in mirror image (you'll see why later ) on regular paper. You can use just an ink jet printer, but the ink smears a little and doesn't transfer quite as good.)
Modge Podge or similar decoupage material,
acrylic paints that coordinate with your photos
and paint brushes
You can also use buttons and yarns and items to embellish your canvas.

  1. First start by laying out your pictures on the canvas where you want them to be. I used Photshop and laid everything out, including the wording and them put it in mirror image and printed it a little smaller than 8x10 in mirror image.

  2. Next put a layer of decoupage on your canvas. Not too thick or thin, just a decent coat.

  3. Next put a layer over your pictures - yes, on the picture side, not the back of the picture.

  4. Place your pictures on the canvas picture side down. When the image or text is transferred, it will be in mirror image again. This is why you print your picture in mirror image. If you print text, it would come out backwards so you have to print it in mirror image so it will transfer correctly.

  5. Use your fingers to smooth out the bubbles, then use a spatula or credit card to help smooth the picture even more.

  6. Let this dry completely. This could take anywhere from 20 min. to overnight. Depending on the size of photo and the amount of decoupage used. Test the paper to see if it's dry. If there are some wet spots, wait for them to dry. If you try to move onto the next steps too soon, the decoupage will smear your picture and it will not transfer correctly. If you have time, let it dry overnight.

  7. Once it is dry, if you have any exposed edges of paper, rip them off. You will only be able to get about 1/3 of the paper off.

  8. Dip your fingers into some water and gently rub the paper until it comes off. DO NOT DUMP THE WATER ON THE CANVAS... just dip your fingers and rub in circles until all the paper is removed. Yes, this is time consuming and messy. Don't use too much water, you don't want to saturate the canvas, you just want to gently remove the paper. You will see your picture has transferred onto the canvas.

  9. Once  you have removed all the paper, dry the canvas by patting it with a paper towel. Now you can start by painting around your pictures. Be creative. If you don't like it, step away and take a break and come back to it.
Have fun with this. You can add embellishments and experiment with items such as a fork and toothpicks to make fun designs and shapes. Try layering paints then taking a fork and dragging it on your canvas to  reveal the underlying paint.

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