Sunday, December 20, 2015

Photo Wood Transfer "Project"

The boyfriend wanted to craft! Excuse me--I mean, the boyfriend wanted to do "a project."

Yesterday, while we were driving to dinner and I was talking about some crafts I wanted to make as Christmas gifts, he mentioned that he had seen a  photo transferred to wood and that he would like to do something like that for his mother this Christmas. This morning at breakfast, he showed me How to Transfer Prints to Wood: An Awesome Photography DIY Project and we talked about a photo that he had sent me for another craft that failed. (Future blog post!) Two hours later, we were at Michael's getting wood [insert adolescent male joke here] and the gel medium we needed. That's really all we needed for what we planned to do. That and a boning tool [insert another adolescent male joke here].

The Picture: We sized the picture to be as close to 8" x 10" as we could. Before printing it, we also made it black and white and upped the contrast because the site said to do so. He had already started applying the gel medium before I could take my usual nice picture of all the supplies. (He's not impatient or anything.) The picture below was the best I could do.

The Project: He applied a medium layer to the wood with a sponge brush (not pictured) and then placed the picture over it. He smoothed out as much as he could and then went to go lie down, leaving me with a few minutes to sit down and start typing this blog. 

The Outcome: We had to wait overnight for it to dry. When we revisited the project, we wet a sponge the way I saw in another video and between that and his fingers, my boyfriend did his best to wipe the paper away. As you can see in the picture below, he was able to pull off big strips of the paper. 
What we eventually discovered, however, was that there major areas where the photo didn't really transfer. There's a good chance that we didn't use enough of the gel medium, because subsequent videos on Youtube have shown people using a good amount of it and encouraging us to do so. It might also be because the wood was too soft. I watched a video with two British guys who had a similar result and commented that the wood was too soft. (Am I the only who thinks it's hilarious that "soft wood" doesn't work?) Then I watched another video, where the lady said to use birchwood because it has a smooth finish and will transfer the image nicely.

The pictures below show the project in various stages of "being done." While I had initially convinced my boyfriend that the some of the imperfections were perfect and part of the project, he eventually convinced me this was not something we could give his mother for Christmas. He started another one and I will either update this blog or do an entirely new one because I used the same technique and gel medium to try this on an actual canvas.

As fun as it was to "project" with him, I think I enjoy crafting solo a little better. My boyfriend is just as stubborn as I am and leaves my office/crafting room a mess. I can't complain too much though: the wet sponge he left on my long desk (not pictured) soaked through the bottom of the protective paper and ended up helping me take off some glue I thought was stuck on there permanently. Maybe I will let him "project" with me more often. 

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