Monthly Archive: September 2012

Poster-sized art canvas & do inkjet image transfers really work?

Since sharing my How To Guide for Transferring Photos to Canvas many months ago,  I have received quite a few comments and e-mails asking if the transfer method that I use would also work with images printed from an inkjet printer. Honestly, it’s been hard for me to respond with a definitive answer as I only ever use laser printouts and photocopies for my transfers. I have had such amazing results when using laser images, so why mess with a good thing?

Well, my curiosity got the best of me when I purchased an inexpensive inkjet printer for my office about a month ago. Why not use my new printer to try out an inkjet transfer or two? Then I would know for myself whether or not inkjet transfers actually work and I could share my results with you.

Below, you will see the French art canvas that I ended up making using my inkjet printer. Now I have my proof that inkjet image transfers really do work!

 

Read on to find out how I made this piece of art and how you can make your own too.

 

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I have written this tutorial specifically for transferring images to canvas using an inkjet printer but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make this piece of art using images from a laser printer. You totally can!  To use a laser printer, just follow the steps below until you get to my photo with the white star on it that reads “Inkjet Transfer Tutorial”. Then click on over to my laser transfer tutorial HERE to finish off your canvas.

Whether you use an inkjet printer or a laser printer, I would suggest that you print out a small test image from your printer first and then try transferring it onto a piece of cardboard before moving on to the large-sized canvas in this tutorial. This way you can make sure that the image from your printer will transfer properly and that you are also comfortable with the transfer process.

 

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • an inkjet printer containing regular 20 lb. photocopy paper (not glossy paper)
  • a 16″x20″ artist’s canvas (fits image template below)
  • a wooden frame to fit (optional)
  • the Lovely French Label image from The Graphics Fairy HERE or my modified image below
  • Golden Soft Gel Medium (I used semi-gloss)
  • matte Mod Podge or Krylon’s Matte Spray Sealer
  • white acrylic gesso
  • acrylic paints in the colors of your choice. I used DecorArt’s Americana “Driftwood” and Americana “Neutral Grey
  • fine grit sandpaper (I used 400 grit)
  • an assortment of paint brushes
  • ruler, pencil, and scissors
  • painter’s tape (I used Frog Tape)
  • plastic plate/tray for paint
  • rubber brayer or flat spreader
  • paper towels and rags
  • disposable latex gloves
  • plastic drop cloth to protect your workspace

 

I found my this gorgeous French label image on The Graphics Fairy’s blog that I thought would be perfect for this project.  I loved the look of this image but I wanted the colors to be a little more subtle so I used the Eye Dropper and Flood Fill tools in my Photo Impact program to change its colors.

Below you will find my modified image for your use. It has been saved as a “mirror image” so that when you print it out and transfer it to canvas, the text will be facing the proper direction. The only thing that I ask is that if you use or share my modified image that you provide a link back to this tutorial. Thanks so much!

 

Milk Painted Lamp (Original Graphic from The Graphics Fairy)

Right Click Photo to Save Full-Sized Graphic

 

In order to print out your image so that it will fit your 16″X20″ canvas, you will need to print it out in Poster mode. This means that your image will be scaled to fit your canvas by printing it onto four separate letter-sized pieces of paper which you will then piece together to make one large image.

 

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Here’s how to print out a poster-sized image using Microsoft Paint.

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First, open up your saved image from this tutorial into your Paint program. Then click on File—>Print—>then Page setup.

 

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Click on Portrait, center it both horizontally and vertically and also fit the image to 2 by 2 pages (this will give you 4 separate printouts). Also, make sure you have selected letter size paper on the top right. Then click on OK to save your settings.

 

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To preview how your print out will look, click File—>Print—>Print Preview.

 

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Click on Next Page and you will see that your image has been split into 4 separate parts. Before printing, check to make sure that you have selected color for your printer. You may also want to set your printer to Best Quality printing.

Next print out your image. Leave your printouts to dry for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

 

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Carefully cut off the “inner” edges of your printouts exactly on the edge so that when you put them all together they will line up properly (see photo below). I like to use my handy, dandy Fiskars paper trimmer (I can’t cut a straight line no matter how hard I try), but you could also use a pencil, a ruler and an Exacto knife if you don’t have a paper trimmer.

 

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Assemble your printouts on the floor face-up. Try to match up the design as closely as possible. Use a low tack painters tape such as Frog tape (as shown above) to help hold the pages in place well enough so that you are able to flip your image over onto its back side without anything shifting out-of-place.

Then flip your image over and use small pieces of tape to tape your image so that it is sturdy enough to be turned over again without shifting  (see 2nd photo below for an example). TIP: Don’t over tape because you will need to remove all of the tape during the transferring step.

Check the front side of your image again to make sure that everything is still lined up correctly and then carefully remove the tape from the front of your image. Leave the tape on the back side of the paper.

Next, use a pencil and ruler to mark off a 1/4″ border of white space all the way around your image and then cut off the excess with your trimmer or exacto knife. Be sure to erase any pencil marks on your image or they will show up on your finished picture.

 

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Paint your canvas with a fairly dry brush using the steps above. Let the canvas dry in between coats. When I say paint “randomly and vertically” I mean that you will be brushing on the paint vertically on the canvas and randomly (here and there). You want to end up with a striated look (different shades of painted lines running vertically through the canvas).

Also, if you don’t have on hand the colors I have mentioned. No sweat! Just use what you have. This paint finish works best with similar colors that have different tones to them, (light, medium and dark) so that there is a subtle contrast showing between the striations.

 

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Transferring such a large image to a canvas can be a little awkward because the large-sized paper can flop all over the place. I am going to share with you the best way that I have found to easily line up an image onto canvas. This step requires a few more minutes of preparation but it will give you great results and help avoid a lot of potential frustration.

The first thing you will want to do is to center your image face-up on the top of your painted canvas. Measure from the black edge of the outside border of your graphic to the outer edge of your canvas. Do this on all four edges to make sure your graphic is even all the way around and completely centered on your canvas.

Next, add a strip of painter’s tape to each side of your image leaving up to a 1/4″ of space between your image and the painter’s tape. Try to keep your border as straight as possible. (see above photo). Basically what you are doing in this step is making a frame of tape around your image so that you can easily line it up inside this taped frame. The frame helps to keep your image straight and prevents gel medium from getting all over the rest of your canvas.

 

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Usually when I do my canvas transfers, I add my gel medium to the printed side of my image and then place it face-down on my canvas. Because this image is so large, what works best is to add the gel medium directly on to the canvas and then place the image face-down on top of it.

Using a large paintbrush, coat your canvas with an even coat of gel medium. You need to work quickly because the gel medium needs to be wet for the transfer to work. If it starts to dry in one area, quickly go over it again with your wet paintbrush.

Line up your image face-down over top of the painter’s tape frame that you made on your canvas. Quickly place your image down onto the wet gel medium and use your hand to smooth out the wrinkles. IMPORTANT: Once your image has been placed down onto your canvas it cannot be moved.

Next, use your brayer to roll back and forth over the back of your image, smoothing it out. Go over your entire canvas 2-3 times in both directions.

Wipe off any excess gel medium immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel and carefully peel off the painter’s tape frame around your image and any tape on the back of your image. Leave your transfer to set for a few minutes.

 

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NOTE: If you are transferring a laser printed image please refer to my laser transfer tutorial HERE. The steps that follow are for inkjet transfers only.

You can see (above) that with inkjet transfers, the image comes immediately through the paper when you are rolling over it with a brayer. Unlike laser transfers, where all you can see is your white piece of paper with a faint image coming through.

And the missing spot above? This is where I carefully tried to remove the painter’s tape on a spot wet with gel medium. To my surprise, the inkjet ink had already transferred to the canvas after only being attached for 2 minutes.

 

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Next, to expose your image you will need to immediately peel off the paper while your transfer is still damp. Use the pad of your finger (preferably wearing gloves) to gently rub across one spot on your image. Then find an edge of paper that is lifting and peel it away. Continue over your entire canvas peeling off the paper while the transfer is still damp.

To remove any residual bits of paper you can use a soft rag to gently rub them away. Don’t do like me and use your hands to rub off the paper unless you want your hand to be stained purple like Barney. Oops!

My purple stained hand would not come clean despite thorough and repeated washings, but by the next day it finally faded away. I would suggest that you use gloves as inkjet toner ink is probably not the healthiest thing to absorb into your skin!

 

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Ha! I did not realize until after I had taken this photo of my purple-stained hand that I managed to create a little friend in the photo. My daughter said it looks like a dog. Me, I think it looks more like a giraffe.

 

My final tip for you is that whatever you do, DO NOT wet your canvas with water like you would when doing a laser image transfer. Inkjet printer ink will run if it gets overly wet which you can see in my final canvas and closeup in my photo below. Don’t do as I did! As long as you remove the paper backing from your image while it is still damp from the gel medium you should get a fairly clean image.

I should also mention that sometimes especially near the edges of your image, some of the image may rub off (see the bottom of my image below). This is the nature of inkjet transfers, which just adds to the aging of your canvas in my opinion.

Once you are happy with how your canvas looks, leave it to dry for at least an hour. When it is dry, your image will look hazy and you may see residual paper fibers. At this time you can use your gloved hand to lightly rub in a circular motion over top of your canvas which will help to remove any remaining fibers. Don’t worry about the residual paper fibers too much! Once you clear coat  your canvas almost all of the residual fibers will disappear and your image will be crisp and clear again.

To seal your canvas, spray it with 2-3 coats of clear sealer such as Krylon’s matte spray sealer (my favorite sealer) or coat it with a few layers of matte Mod Podge.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I have an abundance of wooden picture frames in my basement from years of thrifting. I ended up finding the perfect sized frame to fit my canvas. I love when that happens!

This frame was originally a dark teal which didn’t really go very well with my new canvas art that I made, so it too got a makeover. Sorry, I totally forgot to take a before photo of the frame to show you.

 

 

To age your own frame, first lightly sand it with 400 grit sandpaper to give your paint some tooth. Next, paint it with a coat of white gesso. Follow with a coat of a medium or dark gray craft paint. Leave it to dry, then add another coat of white gesso over top.

 

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Next distress your frame randomly with your 400 grit sandpaper exposing some of the original color and gray layer underneath.

To protect what you have done, either coat it with two coats of Mod Podge or a paste wax.

 

Your French art canvas is now done! You can sit back and proudly look at the beautiful large piece of art that you have made for your wall for very little time and money! Or you may be like me and have all of the supplies already on hand. In that case this art won’t cost you a penny to make!

 

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Now that I have done an inkjet transfer myself, which transfer method do I prefer?

If I were to choose my favorite method, I would have to say that laser transfers still win hands down. Inkjet transfers are a much quicker method of transferring but laser transfers give a much more vibrant, flawless image. Inkjet transfers will give you more of a subtle, aged image.

Have you tried both inkjet and laser image transfers before? Which do you prefer?

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – Power of the Paint Party ~  The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin Up With HOH ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ It’s a Hodge Podge Life – It’s a Hodge Podge Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~  What About Co – Show Off Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Keeping It Simple Crafts – Motivate Me Monday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Blogger’s Party ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – Table Top Tuesday ~ Skip To My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ To a Pretty Life – All Star Block Party ~ Thrifty Decor Chick – October Before and After Party ~ Krafty Kat – Gettin’ Crafty With It ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ Fox Hollow Cottage – Power of the Pinterest Party ~

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“Oh la la”…my latest thrifty finds

Happy Saturday!

I have some great news! I have almost completely recovered from my recent bout of Bell’s Palsy. Thank you to those of you who left me your thoughts on my last post and said that you would keep me in your prayers. I appreciate it so much!

If you have no idea what I am talking about because you are new here or haven’t been to my blog recently, you can read about my little health scare that happened just over a week ago HERE.

Amazingly, my face (and my smile) has about 90% recovered in only three days! Even my doctor was surprised, so I guess I am a fast healer. I’m still really sore and tired, but one day at a time, right? I can tell you that I am excited to get back into blogging and I have a few projects coming up that I’ll be sharing with you soon. You can see a sneak peek of the first one below, behind all of the pillows. Stay tuned!

Even though I have been mostly resting the past couple of weeks, I have also made some time for a little “retail therapy” around town. I don’t know about you, but shopping always makes me feel better, even if it is only window shopping.

So scroll on down to see some of the things that I found while out this past week. Everything I purchased was either on clearance or was for a great price.

 

Don’t ask, but for some reason there seems to be a bit of a “french” theme going on this time…

 

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First, check out these amazing french scripted pillows that I found at Home Outfitters here in Canada. These pillows are currently on clearance for only $10.49 each! Yup, that’s it! I know, right?

I couldn’t help myself, so I had to buy four of them. Truth be told, I would have bought more but my Mom finally talked some sense into me. Thanks Mom!

 

 

These pillows only come in two styles (this one’s my favorite) so I decided to buy two of each pillow. They are of great quality and I love that they have a zipper closure so that the cover can be removed for cleaning, or like mine need, ironing!

I can’t wait to decorate with these. They are yummilicious! (Is that a word?)

 

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Home Outfitters has a big pillow clearance going on right now, so I also picked up a few other pillows while I was there like these nubby, chenille style ones for only $6.99 each.

These are very soft and I think that they will be perfect for my family room couch. I decided that I am going to use them as everyday pillows because for that price they can easily be recovered once my kids get their use out of them. If you have kids, you will know what I mean!

 

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Lastly, this beautiful french script butterfly pillow also came home with me. It too was only $10.49 at Home Outfitters. What a steal!

 

Good thing that there were only a few styles of pillows on clearance that caught my eye or I could have possibly lost my self control.  It seems that I have a little soft spot for pillows that I didn’t know about until now.

My suggestion to you is if you are from Canada, run, don’t walk to your nearest Home Outfitters (also check The Bay)! Once people get wind of these, they won’t last long.

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Finally, at Home Outfitters, I found this Moda French Script shower curtain on clearance regularly $44.00 on sale for $15.00. This will be the perfect little inexpensive update for my main bathroom!

 

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On with the shopping…last week my Mom and I made a stop at IKEA and came across these super cute hobnail-style sundae dishes. Aren’t they the sweetest? Sorry, but I don’t know the name of these because I forgot to take note of it before taking off the stickers for washing.

I picked up six of these at only $1.49 each.

 

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My kids and I are going be making some yummy sundaes in these, I can promise you! I can’t wait to bust out all of my crazy colored ice cream sprinkles. So much fun!

 

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Also at IKEA, I found this really nice Knubbig table lamp for only $16.99. I really like the soft glow that it gives off in my living room.

 

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Here’s my lamp all lit up this evening. So pretty!

 

(Just in case you are wondering, my previous tutorial to make the bird nest picture above can be found HERE.)

 

Well, that’s the end of the little round up of treasures that I found while out shopping this past week. What new things for your home have you found lately? I would love to hear about them.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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What I’ve been up to lately

Happy Saturday! I hope you have been doing well.

 

Some of you may have been wondering where I have been because it has been really quiet here on my blog the past few weeks. Actually, I have been taking a little bit of a break from blogging.

Life has been pretty hectic the last little while with getting my kids ready for school, my garden ready for the winter and spending time with my Mom who was at my house visiting. There just hasn’t been as much time as I would have liked to work on my projects.

This past week I was all gung-ho about getting back to work on my projects and then I ended up having a health set-back. It all started just over a week ago (last Friday) when I starting feeling unwell. The right side of my neck was really sore with shooting pains and my sense of taste was significantly altered. Everything I ate or drank either tasted really bitter or extremely salty. I was concerned, so I went to the doctor who told me I had just pulled a muscle in my neck. He sent me home with some anti-inflammatory medication for my neck and after two days I wasn’t seeing any improvement. Things seemed to be getting worse.

On Monday, I woke up with swollen eyes but didn’t think much of it because I was off to the hospital that day to give my Sister some support (she was there for her scheduled c-section). That day my Nephew, Matthew was born. I was so excited for my Sister, despite that I was still feeling under the weather.

By Tuesday, my eyes were getting more and more swollen and now they were very itchy. I thought I had Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) but the drops I bought weren’t helping. Then Wednesday, when I woke up my face looked funny to me. I couldn’t close my right eye very easily and I thought it looked like the right side of my face was frozen and droopy. I was really worried that I might be having a stroke so off I went to the Emergency room.

When I finally got in to see the ER doctor and he went through all of his tests on me, he told me something that surprised me. He said that he didn’t think that I was having a stroke, but that I actually had developed a mild case of Bell’s Palsy. I went home freaked out a little because I had no idea what Bell’s Palsy was. I had never known anyone that had suffered from the condition. Apparently, it seems to be quite a common thing.

So what is Bell’s Palsy? It is a temporary paralysis of the facial muscles, usually on one side of the face that can last anywhere from 2 weeks to a number of years. Some people recover fully from it while others have lasting effects for years after the initial episode. It is not known for sure why Bell’s Palsy happens but most doctors believe that it is initially caused by a virus.

There is no way to prevent it and you can’t take a pill to make it go away. As a treatment, doctors usually prescribe a course of steroids to help reduce swelling and damage to the facial nerves. This does not guarantee recovery, but it has helped some people with Bell’s Palsy to recover quicker.

I seem to have a pretty mild case compared to others I have seen on the Internet who often have more facial involvement. My right side of my face is a little droopy. My right eye looks smaller than my left and it won’t close all the way unless I force it to. My smile is crooked, I can’t whistle anymore, and my eyebrows are at different levels when I raise them. If you didn’t know me, you might think that there is nothing wrong with my face until I smile or blink my eyes. Then you can tell something is not quite right.

Because my right eye doesn’t close fully it tends to dry out which can cause damage to my cornea; therefore, I need to put eye drops in my eye every hour and wear a patch to protect my eye at night. To speed up my recovery, I am also trying to take more time to rest and of course eat better. I also made an appointment to start acupuncture on my face next week. Ouch!

I know my blog is about decorating and not so much about my personal life but it is important to me to keep you in the loop so that you know that I am still here. I also want you to know that I am not writing this post so that you feel sorry for me. I don’t feel sorry for myself and I know that I will get over this one way or another. I am so thankful that I have been pretty healthy most of my life and I have only recently been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. It could have been much worse, like a stroke or another serious disease.  This is still not something that I am happy about but I am trying to be optimistic that I will fully recover in the next few weeks because my case is so mild. One day this will only be a distant memory for me.

While I rest, I may be a little slower posting projects on my blog. I just have so much on my plate right now with trying to get better, work full-time and also be there for my family. Blogging isn’t easy for me to keep up with right now.

I hope you understand and that you will keep coming back to see my newest projects because you like what I have to share. I am so thankful that you take the time to visit my blog, send me e-mails and leave me comments. You inspire me to keep going.

I am planning to be back to posting 1-3 times a week as soon I feel up to it and I promise to keep you updated on how my healing is going. In the meantime, I do have another tutorial coming up that I had almost finished before life got so hectic. I am just finishing off the final touches and I hope to share it with you soon.

Do you know anyone with Bell’s Palsy or have you had it yourself? Do you have any tips for me?

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

 

 

 

Bridgetown, Barbados, 2010

 

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