Thursday, 26 January 2012

gel medium transfers

Am I the only person who sees a new technique being used in a tutorial, and then has to try it for themselves, but instead of getting all the proper tools and equipment like any normal person would, they try and find an easier/quicker/cheaper way of doing it? That's me, I am that person. I first saw gel medium transfers done on a craft blog, transferring a printed photo on to a canvas. Basically you print the photo off on normal paper, cover the picture in gel medium, press it face down on to the canvas, leave overnight till it's dry, and then basically you wet the paper and rub till the paper comes off, leaving the photo transferred on to the canvas. (there are way more detailed instructions than these online - google it and you will find videos and everything.) Me being me I had to have a go, but I only had an inkjet printer. Okay, so these experts say it doesn't really work with inket printers.... but I had to try anyway....

This is my first attempt - ignore the fact that parts of the picture have rubbed off, and that it's really wrinkled. Oh, and that mysterious pink tinge (where did that even come from - it was a black and white image.) I'm actually quite proud of this as a first try - it has a nice vintage vibe to it.

 For my second try I moved on to experimenting using watercolour paper (ahem, this is actually my fourth try - number two and three were on canvas too and did NOT turn out, and so had to be binned... hence the move to the cheaper option of watercolour paper!) Again this was a black and white image, so not sure about all the crazy colours, but I really like the effect going on here.

 I had to try a colour image too, which turned out really well, even if the colours are a bit off. Apparently the problem with inkjet printed images is that the inks are absorbed into the paper making them harder to transfer.

 This was my favourite printed image - most of the detail was lost due to ink bleed (using dark/vivid coloured images gets really messy!) but I love how the ink smudged and it almost looks like a watercolour painting.

 So after running out of patience for these hit and miss printed images, and not having access to a laser printer, I did some more research. I stumbled upon a gel transfer tutorial using vintage magazine images, and so decided to experiment with some of my ephemera collection. They turned out even better than I expected!

 This one is my absolute favourite - as I was rubbing the paper away from the middle I really liked how it looked as though the girl was coming out of the book page, so I just rubbed away the middle and left the rest of the original paper around it!

I'm definitely going to experiment further, once I can get some photocopied or laser printed images. I have some crafty plans up my sleeves using these transfers, and will share as soon as I've figured out the best way to get perfect results!


  1. I reallly want to try this with my photos - ti worked on fabric too didn't it? I really like your results :)

  2. wow! i've never heard of this before! love the last image, it's a little bit like using cellulose thinner, have you tried that before?
    i think you have to use photocopied images as it works with their special ink. lay it print-side-down onto a surface you want to print on, rub on some cellulose thinner on the back with some cotton wool (it smells like nail varnish remover) and the image prints onto what you were trying to print on ... if that makes sense.. hmmm! XX

  3. wow - this is amazing! i really want to have a go. where did you find the tutorial that worked?
    looking forward to seeing the crafty plans unfild!

  4. This is new to me & seems like a lot of fun! I love your results. Sadly for me, I get excited when I see a new tutorial but sad that I don't have the ingredients. Then the idea is on hold till I order them, sometimes that's quite expensive & I lose all the gusto in the meantime.
    My mother is very weary of me trying stuff like this, lots of money spent & mess left behind in the past.

  5. oh wow these all look amazing! x

  6. Wow these look awesome! I had never heard about this technique before but I'm intreagued! Another thing for me to try.... add it to the list...
    Jo :)

  7. This looks like a lot of fun! I really like how the ink has smudged and the atmosphere it adds to the images... looking forward to seeing the crafty plans put to action!

  8. Wooow! Thanks, I will give it a try soon :)

  9. I am that girl too! I always try to cut as many corners on craft projects as possible... Loving your blog, especially the crafty/DIY theme. Please check out mine, it's an infant still...


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