Have you ever used Mod Podge photo transfer medium? It's a great formula – one of my Mod Podge-y favorites. It's also one of the formulas that I get the most questions about, so I thought I'd share some tips about using this medium to do a photo transfer with you.
Mod Podge in general is really easy to use, however, the photo transfer medium takes a bit of practice. This isn't meant to be discouraging – it's actually meant to be the opposite! It's not nearly as hard as knitting, another one of my favorite crafts. I learned to knit at age 15 and messed up like you wouldn't believe. Yet I kept at it, and now I love it.
And that's the way I feel about Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
So here's the point: you're going to master it, I promise! With a little practice and patience, you'll be a photo transfer ninja. Here are some of my most important tips to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium.
1) Remember that the medium isn't clear. When people ask me “why should I use Mod Podge photo transfer instead of regular Mod Podge?” Well . . . this is one big reason. This isn't just Mod Podge in a different bottle. It's a product meant for photo transfer only, and it will produce an opaque, white background. This means you can use it on dark colored items too. Plan your project accordingly.
2) Print your image on a dry toner printer; don't use real photographs. Both inkjet and laserjet will work, it just has to be a dry toner printer. So how to tell if your printer is dry toner? It's hard to say. Laserjet will work 99% of the time. Inkjet . . . it just depends. My HP works very well because it has a very dry ink. There are about 10,000 different printers out there, so I'd say your best bet is to do a small test if you're unsure. This will help you practice too! Grab a small scrap of paper and print out a small image – let's say 2″ or 3″ square.
Expert tip: if you are printing an image with words – reverse the image on your computer before printing! The words will come out correctly when you do the transfer.
3) Make sure to use enough medium on top of the image. So here's my process. I cut the image down to size, and then place it face up on my Mod Podge silicone mat. I use a foam brush to apply the transfer medium over the top of the photo until the image is obscured completely – meaning, I can't see any of the photo. Then I use a fingernail or tweezers to pick up the corner of the image, flip it over, and place it down onto the surface. I use my Mod Podge brayer to roll out the image.
If you used the right amount of medium, not much (if anything) will come out the sides. If it does, wipe away, as it will dry and be stuck there if you don't!
Leave your photo transfer to dry for 24 hours.
4) Take a lot of patience and care when rubbing off the paper. This is probably the hardest part of the whole thing. You will need to wet your item and rub the paper off, revealing the image below. It's a little weird to wet your craft project and you're going to be thinking, “am I doing this right?”
Start lightly and rub off the paper backing – let dry to see what you've done. If your image doesn't look right, wet again and repeat. As you get more experience, you'll start to see exactly how much you can rub to reveal the image without ruining it. Because if you rub too hard, you will rub the image away . . . and we don't want that! I rub with medium pressure, then I typically let dry and rub again if necessary. These days I'm good enough to get it on the first try! You can get there, too.
5) Expect a vintage-style image. This (to me) is an advantage over just Mod Podging an image down. Well, this and the item is now washable (if it's fabric). But I do love the vintage-y look that a photo transfer gives you. It's a less sharp version of a real photograph, and it has its own unique look that I appreciate. Once you do try it, you'll see exactly what I mean. The soft, vintage-y look is really nice in home decor. I think you're going to like it!
Are you ready to try it?? Just click on the image above to get 30 Mod Podge photo transfer craft ideas!
I'd also love to know what questions you have about Mod Podge photo transfer medium in the comments!