Types of transfers
Transfers make your art seamless. There will be no ridges as you would get using the actual image. They look as if they were printed on the surface itself. Most transfers are transparent in lighter areas so when done over patterns or lettering these will show thru the transfers lighter areas for interesting effects. Images with increased contrast transfer best.
Use heat to transfer images. You can use Creative hot Marks or Creative Versa Tool by Walnut Hollow or other brand of heat tool. Opals Embossing Enamel and Utee also do heat transfers. Remember to reverse text when you print your images for use with a heat tool. An ordinary craft dedicated iron or oven can be used for some transfers as well.
Opals and Utee transfers: You can transfer toner printed images, magazine images, some wrapping papers and some serviettes. You don’t need to reverse images/text when printing them. Use silicone muffin tray and separate each muffin part. Nick a small “V” in top edge to act as a pourer. Place this on the stove in a craft dedicated fry pan on low heat and pour in Utee or Opals (Franklin clear and Sandstone work well) into the muffin holder. Let this melt.
While melting apply a very wet coat of Versamark watermark ink all over the image so its shinny looking. Place image side up on Galdbake. Pour the melted Opals or Utee over the image. If not completely covered or lumpy reheat the Opals or Utee with a heat gun and move it around as desired once molten. Allow it to cool thoroughly. Peel off as much paper as you can. Place in warm water and rub off any remaining paper. Colour with alcohol inks, paints and permanent markers.
Try pouring the molten Opals or Utee thru decorative metal frames. Use cookie cutters to make shaped images by applying Versamark to the cookie cutter edges and pressing it into the poured molten Opals or Utee, leave till set and then remove it. You can of course melt Opals and Utee on Gladbake building up the amount you have with each melt and pour or use a Meltpot.
Heat tools: will transfer toner printed images to wood, glass, ceramics, gourds, card stock, mat board, vellum, fabric etc. With the heat tools lay your toner based printed image face down on the receiving surface and rub over the back with the heated heat tool till image is transferred. Keep moving the tool to avoid scorch marks on the receiving surface. Take care that receiving surface wont melt. If transferring and image to glass allow the tool to heat up on the glass to stop glass cracking. To transfer to metal it has to be sand papered with fine grit sand paper first. Spritz the metal with acetone, place image side down on metal and then apply the heated heat tool.
Iron or oven: Can transfer toner printed images and magazine images. You don’t need to reverse images/text when printing them. Have iron heated up on a hot dry setting with the steam turned off. Then place Translucent liquid Sculpey over a toner printed image laying on Gladbake. Use your finger to spread out a nice even layer. Leave it to rest for 5 mins so it flattens. Fold Gladbake back over the top laying it down gently and evenly on top of the TLS from left to right to decrease bubbles. Apply gentle pressure and iron all over where the image is. Flip it all over and iron at the back. Turn back to the front and increase pressure and iron some more. Keep moving the iron. The TLS will go from milky to clear. Allow it all to cool and peel up the now set and transferred TLS.
You can colour TLS before hand with powdered pigments, Pearl-ex etc. You can lay lace, skeleton leaves and sheer materials onto the spread out TLS before you iron it and the image will then be on the item on top of it. These transfers are flexible and can be sewn thru, cut with scissors and so on. Transfer can also be done by applying the TLS to a sheet of glass, lay image on top gently to reduce bubbles. Leave it to rest for 5 mins. Bake in a craft dedicated oven as per manufactures instructions (usually 130-140C degrees). Once cooked peel up transfer while glass is still hot. Place it on Gladbake till cool.
Translucent polymer clay will transfer toner images as well. Lay image side down on kneaded and rolled clay and bake as per manufacturer’s instructions in a craft dedicated oven. Peel off paper and the transfer will now be on the clay surface. Colour as desired.
Another thing to try: I’ve laid down gold foil on black and white toner printed images and then ironed that between Gladbake. The gold sticks to the toner areas. This looks great coloured with water colour washes in the plain areas.
Inkjet Printer Transfers
Images printed with an inkjet printer can be transferred with water, Gin and Stewart Superior Transfer Ink. Stewart Superior Transfer Ink will also transfer images stamped with Stewart Superior India Ink. These all make great transfer to fabric.
Sponge on Gin or water to receiving surface. Place image face down. Burnish well with a bone folder or the back of a spoon. Peek under to see if transfer complete. If not burnish more. When using fabric you can turn it over and check if water or gin have evenly coated the material. Sponge on more from the back as needed. Burnish till the transfer is completed. Some solutions require a careful balance between not enough or too much solution and its best to practice on scarp receiving surface first for a few images. Try also adjusting your contrast on the printed images. Blacks and dark blues bleed easily. Gin produces a crisper transfer then water.
Inkjet Printer images printed on Inkjet dedicated overhead transparencies can be transferred with gel medium-I prefer Golden regular matte gel medium for these. Images are printed on the rough side of the OHT. They work well on fabric and smooth water colour paper. Apply gel medium to the receiving surface. Place image face side down and burnish the back with a bone folder or spoon. Peek under and continue burnishing till image transfers. Allow it to dry. Makes crisp image transfers. Needs some practice to get the right amount of gel medium to use.
Wash Of Paper Method
General method: Apply a coat of medium to the receiving surface and let this set completely. Apply another coat of medium generously to receiving surface. Lay image face down and burnish well. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Use an old cloth or sponge. Wet it with water and squeeze out excess. Wipe over the back of the image and then rub to remove the paper baking from the image. Keep wetting and rubbing till all paper and fibres are removed.
Medium Transfers: These use some sort of medium such a gel medium-Golden regular Matte works well, Caulk, Mod Podge, Omni Gel photo transfer liquid, water based Polyurethane Matte etc as the transfer carrier and then water is used to soak the paper baking off. You need to reverse the text/image for this type of transfer when printing the image. Use toner images or magazine images.
Polyurethane gives a clear accurate smooth finish. Gel medium transfers give accurate smooth matte finished transfers. If using gel medium, Mod Podge or Caulk transfers in altered books etc some brands stay sticky even when cured so use Gladbake between the surfaces of your book so pages won’t stick. The stickiness wears off in time.
Alternatively you can paint on a layer of gel medium directly to the image being transferred, let it dry, add another layer in the opposite direction and let that dry. Build up 3-6 layers drying well between each and the final layer. Wet the back of the image and rub off the backing paper till you have a thin transfer. Now apply a layer of gel medium to the receiving surface, lay transfer on top and let it all dry.
Clear Adhesive Transfers: These use clear packaging tape, cold laminate or Clear Book Covering adhesive like Coverseal. Black and white toner copied images work best. Apply it over image and burnish very well. Soak and gently rub backing paper off with a damp cloth. Adhere in place. Be care to not rub too hard. Use packaging tape for small images and the cold laminate or Coverseal for larger images.
Decals: Like Lazertran. Use type specific for your printer. You can get Inkjet or Laser printer ones. Print images onto the paper as per instructions that come with it. Allow it to dry. Applying a thin layer of gel medium to the receiving surface helps it to stick better. It has its own sticky backing when wet but it’s not always adhesive enough. Lay the printed image in some warm water. The backing paper will soften after a few seconds. Pick up image and slide it into place on the receiving surface while removing the backing paper at the same time. Smooth out any bubbles and leave it to dry.
These have odours and can cause asthma or other respiratory problems with people sensitive to fumes. Always work in well ventilated areas and read labels carefully. Types of solvents are pure acetone, lacquer thinners, citrus cleaners, citrus paint removers, Oil of Wintergreen, Xylene etc.
Generally you use a toner copied image and lay it face down onto a receiving surface. Saturate the back using cotton wool. Burnish well with a bone folder or the back of a spoon. Peek under to see if transfer complete. If not add more solution and burnish more till the transfer is completed.
Some solutions require a careful balance between not enough or too much solution. Some produce grainy partial transfers only. Care has to be taken that the image doesn’t slide while being burnished as the transfer will be blurry. Citrus cleaners leave a discolouration on the receiving surface.
Such as The Studio Paper by US Art Quest-use with inkjet printer and reverse text. Print onto the transfer paper. Take care not to touch it as it will remain wet. Lay image side down onto the receiving surface. Lightly burnish with your finger. Once transfer completed lift paper vertically off. Gives a crisp transfer with a grainy finish.
Another type of transfer paper is called TAP or Transfer Artist Pape by Lesley Riley. Print on white side of the TAP with your inkjet printer or draw images onto TAP directly with crayons, markers & coloured pencils. Set printer to plain paper and a mid range quality setting. Remember to reverse text or mirror image photos pre printing. Print and trim off any excess paper. All white areas transfer as a clear polymer. Pre heat iron to highest setting for best results. If using a fabric that cannot with stand heat set to a lower setting but iron longer. Place printed TAP image side down on fabric or chosen surface. Place a piece of parchment paper or copy paper over transfer to protect your iron. Work on a smooth hard surface. Iron entire surface of TAP and keeping iron moving. A small transfer will transfer in 6-10 secs and a larger one in 30-40...just lift a corner and check if transfer completed and if not iron some more. Once done peel up TAP.
Sheer Heaven Paper: Print image using an inkjet printer to the rough side of sheer heaven. Receiving surface needs to be porous such as hot press water colour paper, card stock, muslin, tissue wrapping paper, handmade paper, bisque fired unglazed tiles etc etc. Use 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol like Isocol in a fine mist spray bottle. Spritz the image with the rubbing alcohol. Hold it under the light to see if you have missed any areas. Aim for a glass like look to the surface. Lay image face down onto the receiving surface. Burnish with the side of your hand and then with a bone folder. Lift edge to check if the image has transferred. If not spritz the untransferred area again with the rubbing alcohol, lay it back down and burnish again.
T-Shirt Transfer Paper: Buy specific to your type of printer. Good for crisp true transfers to materials, cardstock and water colour paper. Need to reverse text. Print as per instructions with your paper. Trim corners so they are slightly rounded. Place image side down on receiving surface on a firm background. Have iron on suggested setting as per instructions with your paper. Iron firmly all over and constantly move iron as you go. Iron as per time suggested with your papers instructions. Check under an edge. If transfer not complete iron some more. Peel off backing and let it cool. This transfer can be washed and sewn thru.
Print black and white images and photos with a toner based printer. Build up a beeswax collage using torn old papers, old dress patterns and tissue printed paper that you apply beeswax over the top of. I like to use beeswax sheets and melt it onto and over the paper using a Clover mini iron. You can melt the beeswax with a melt pot etc. Place printed image face down on top of the beeswax in the location you want. Rub the back with the handle of your paintbrush or a bone folder until its all transferred to the wax.