By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.
I. Love. Photos. And I’ve been on a mission lately to not only take more of them, but also to free them from the confines of my computer’s hard drive and Instagram account! So, I’ve been dreaming up new ways to personalize my stuff with photos that are special to me. I took this photo on my recent trip to Hawaii, where I was visiting one of my closest and oldest friends. This was one of the beautiful views form my hotel balcony, and it could not have been more beautiful. I wanted to use this photo in a useful way, so I transferred it onto a wooden cigar box and added a little paint for some extra oomph.
Stuff You’ll Need:
Wooden Cigar Box, Gel Medium, Elmer’s Glue, Clear Acrylic Spray, Small Sponges, Inkjet Shipping Label Sheets
Optional: Triple Thick Glaze, Foam Brush, Dimensional Fabric Paint
I got this idea after seeing this tutorial on ABM, and they got the idea from somewhere else too. So this is by no means my technique. Start by peeling the labels off of your shipping label sheets — you only want the backing. Coat the shipping label sheets (the shiny side) with a thin layer of the clear acrylic spray and let that dry. Using a small sponge, go over the layer of acrylic spray with a thin layer of Elmer’s glue. Let the glue dry fully. Then print your photo in the size you need onto the layer of glue using your inkjet printer — I haven’t tried this with a color photo, but generally find that black and white is more forgiving. Keep in mind that your photo will transfer in reverse.
When the ink from your printer has dried, use another small sponge to cover the top of the cigar box with a layer of gel medium – you want to go relatively quickly, as you need the gel medium to be wet for the photo transfer. With the gel medium still wet, flip your photo onto the cigar box and press the image down firmly. You may want to use a roller or credit card to press out any air bubbles. After an hour or so, carefully peel off your shipping label sheet, leaving your image behind! For more details see the ABM tutorial, or check out the photo transfer coasters I made.
When your photo has transferred, coat the box with your clear acrylic spray. Then you can decorate it however you’d like! For this, I used gold dimensional fabric paint (“puffy paint”) to write “things” across the lid. For the coasters I made, I used sequins for a touch of shine. Be creative! Decorate your box however you’d like. 🙂 I free-handed my letters, and they turned out a bit chunky. A paint pen may write more easily, but would not be dimensional.
For extra durability and shine, paint a layer of Triple Thick Glaze over the whole lid to seal everything really well. This is totally optional, I’m just obsessed with Triple Thick Glaze and it’s miraculous ability to coat everything in shiny goodness right now, ha!
Now you’ve got a personalized box to store whatever you’d like! Maybe you have postcards or love notes (oo la la!) to store in yours. For whatever reason, I’ve got my sequins and jewelry pliers in mine right now. Always looking for more places to hide craft supplies…