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Can you do an image transfer ON a vintage photo? Absolutely! This turned out to be a great way to have fun with some of the black and white photos I’ve got that aren’t my favorite. Well, they weren’t until I put these playful pops of color on them using InkAid’s image transfer process.

She now has a story to tell as she towers over the city with such a look on her face. Love how the photo comes through in her dress!

What led me to doing this image transfer? Nothing logical or grown up. I was feeling playful and silly so I went for it!

Seeing a rainbow is a rare treat, but when I’m doing image transfers I can add them to ANY photo any time!

You can do multiple transfers on an image. This transfer required two different transfers and in the video you’ll see why I clipped just a little bit of the Transfer film. Spoiler alert, I was impatient.

What will I do with these silly playful photos? They are now fodder for my art journal, for a card, for a collage, or anything else I create. With the colorful images added to them, there are stories waiting to be told! So keep an eye out for them popping up again in the play.

If you’re new to InkAid image transfers, I’ve got a video below from my last post that goes in depth on the process.

If you’re interest in trying InkAid’s image transfer process, they’ve got a Starter kit with 6 sheets of the transfer film and a 4oz. bottle of the Transferiez concentrate (which goes a very long way!).

The colorful images I’ve used are all from Mischief Circus. Unfortunately, that store is not open any longer. The individual designers are:
***itKuPiLLi for the blue woman. They’ve moved to an etsy store, so check out all their designs!
***Songbirdy for the image of the man. I have no idea if they have a new shop. If you know of it, please let me know in the comments.
***Holliewood Studios for the rainbow, grass, and geranium. She has retired, which I’m happy for her but bummed for us because she had great digital kits.

Those images might not be available, but if you’re curious about image transfer and would like some images to get started with, I’ve got a full sheet of free printables for you.

Granted, they aren’t the ones I’ve used in the video but they are a place for you to give image transfer a try. There’s also a printable reference guide for making InkAid image transfers in there too.

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Being able to add an image, some fancy script, or anything else to mixed media piece is why I have been drawn to image transfers. But I’m impatient and the image transfer process has never been very successful for me, until now.

I stumbled upon InkAid’s process using Transferiez solution and now I can do an image transfer quickly, within two minutes! I’ve got the entire process for you and what you need to know to get started. And InkAid has a starter kit you can order to just try a little of this to see how you like working with it.

You might also want a few images to try the process out with, so I’ve put together a sheet of them for you. You can sign up to have them emailed to you here. Also, there’s a pdf of the steps so you can have that right next to you as you’re doing it.

I tested it out the process on this canvas by adding the fancy vintage writing as transfers. On the painted, mixed media surface, it transferred! This stuff will transfer onto painted surfaces, old book text, fabric, metal, wood, just about any mixed media surface!

To create an image transfer you’ll need:

  • the Transferiez solution mixed in a jar with a tight lid
  • an inkjet printed image printed on InkAid’s Transfer Film (preferably pigment based).
InkAid has a starter pack with 4 oz. of Transferiez concentrate and 6 pieces of Transfer Film.

Printing on the Transfer film.

The transfer film has a coating on one side. You want to print on that side using an Inkjet printer.

Did you know inkjet printers have two kinds of ink? Pigment or dye.

I’ve done this will both dye and pigment based printers and they work, but the pigment based works best. And if you never realized that inkjet printers have two kinds of ink in them, me either until I started doing this!

Check if your printer uses pigment or dye based ink simply by googling: Is (enter the make and model of your printer) ink cartridge pigment ink? Keep reading to see impact of the two types of ink. It wasn’t what I expected.

Reversing Text: If you’re transferring anything with words, you’ll need to reverse the image. Often printers have an option to reverse or mirror the image or you can use a photo editing software.

To create the Transferiez solution you put 4 ounces of 91% isopropyl alcohol in a jar. Next, add 1 tablespoon of the Transferiez concentrate. Put the lid on and mix by swirling the jar. The lid is important so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.

The liquid will become cloudy and will need 3-4 hours to fully bond, bind or do whatever it does to become clear and thicken up. It’s a good idea to swirl the jar every now and then during those 3-4 hours. But after that, it’s all ready to go, no waiting!

InkAid says it will last a 2-3 days but what I’ve found is it lasts a lot longer than that. I suspect that is because I keep the lid on it to prevent as little alcohol from evaporating as possible. But what makes it not “good” or not work? When the solution gets cloudy. So long as the solution is clear, it’s good to use! I’ve had a jar of it for over a month and it was still clear and worked great.

Now that the Transferiez solution is ready, let’s make a transfer!

Step 1: Apply a layer of Transferiez solution with a foam brush. I try to cover an area larger than my image. You’ll want the area fully covered and juicy, but not too much or too little. Later in this post, I explain more about that.

Step 2: Apply the Transfer film print side down. If you’ve got words or text, you’ll need to reverse those before you print. Often printers have a mirror or reverse image setting that will do it for you.

Step 3:You’ll want to gently press the image down. I am very inconsistent when I used my hands so I prefer to very gently use a brayer to roll over it.

Step 4: Wait 2 minutes then slowly lift the Transfer film.

Is it hard to get the proper amount of Transferiez solution? This is actually a forgiving process. I tested if anyone could do this by showing Dave, the husband, how to do it and letting him try. He nailed it first time even though he no confidence he was getting the “right” amount of solution on there.

But what happens if you use too little or two much Transferiez solution? Well, too little means very little of the image will transfer. Too much means it can slip and slide and distort more easily. So how do you figure out the best amount for you to use? Trying it a couple of times. That’s where the InkAid starter pack is so handy. 6 sheets of Transfer film and more than enough Tranferiez concentrate to do it.

Pigment vs. dye inks

Apparently, inkjet printers can have two kinds of ink, pigment or dye. I did a side by side experiment to see what difference it made using pigment or dye inks to the transfer process.

What I found is that dye based ink would smear more easily. That’s why the white writing in the pink is so blurred on the right side, it was dye ink. The pigment ink on the left, held all the detail. Also, notice the detail in the others colors in the pigment ink compared to the dye based image.

But then I expected that to happen with the second set of images, and they didn’t smear the same way. But the image didn’t transfer as well either. So my take away is that dye based ink is very unpredictable compared to pigment ink.

So what does this mean for you? If you’ve got an inkjet printer that has all dye inks, you can still do transfers, it just may be more unpredictable. If you’ve got an inkjet printer that has pigment black and dye colors (a common thing I found out), then you can get more of a pigment ink look when doing black and white and then colors are less predictable.

This is where the starter pack from InkAid is so helpful, for you to give it a try using your printer. And if you’re wondering what to print on the Transfer film, I’ve got a free sheet of images I can email to you. I’ll be sharing more image transfer play and videos, so keep an eye out for those!

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Butterflies make for playful cards to send to friends, especially when you raise their wings as if they’re mid flight! This card is very forgiving to make, as you’ll see in the video! If you’re thinking something didn’t go as planned, you’re right!

The play starts with a gel plate and my Butterfly Journeys stencil from StencilGirl. My plan was to use pinks and oranges to make the butterflies. Clearly, I didn’t stick to that plan.

The color that will be peeking out from under the wings, is just a quick gel print on book text.

When cutting out the wings, only cut the wings, not the body. That way they stay attached the paper but you can lift them for that playful touch! Do yourself a favor and put in a fresh blade before you start cutting. The cutting process is so much easier this way!

You’ll see a wing fall right off in the video, OOPS! But every mistake really is an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly. And it turned out to be very handy to make another O.O.P.S. look intentional. It wasn’t but only you and I know that!

Then it’s just a matter of putting the layers together! The trickiest part for me is to be sure I don’t glue the wings down flat!

This isn’t the only way you can use a gel plate and if you’re curious about it or want more inspiration for using yours, check out my page of tips, tricks, and tutorials!

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links may be affiliate links which means I get a small percentage and it doesn’t cost you anything extra! It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!


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