Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Transferring ink-jet printed words and images to wood

I've been trying to work out how to do this for ages. This morning I found a tutorial on it via the Modge Podge Rocks blog. To go to the tutorial click here.

A note of caution - if you try it remember to print the words as a 'mirror image' (ie back-to-front) so that they are correct when they are transferred. Have fun!

An additional note: if you can't get Modge Podge which says on the label it is a 'waterbased sealer, glue and finish for all surfaces' and which I've used for decoupage and to seal and strengthen papers I think you could try anything similar. But maybe try it on a scrap first and see what you think.

Here is a link to another technique you might like to try. It uses waxed paper made for transfering images onto t-shirts.

(Acknowledgement - image sourced from


Susanne said...

Ohh, Norma, I´ve been looking so much for that, you are such a giving person, thanks SO much!! (can´t wait to follow the link...)
(..and please forgive me for the non-ozone-layer-preserving-strawberries-flight-inns ;-0)
Love, Susanne

Annie Fryd said...

Susanne came first :0)...but that´s just what we were trying to figure out the other day. Thanks a lot for sharing Norma!! I´ve just been making wooden and cardboard boxes today...

Susanne said...

I am back so quickly.. do you know if Mud Podge is some kind of sealing or laquer, like decoupage sealing? Thanks!

Josje said...

Oh happy coincidence! I was just thinking about this today. I remembered doing something like this when I was young, but couldn't remember how we did it.
Thanks for posting this!!

Deni said...

Oh thats clever!
Thank you for that info, very helpful I love boxes so I need to make some up!!
I actually have modge podge too I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it! but now I do!!!

cockerina said...

very interesting! seems easy to do, thanks Norma!
now we just need to find Modge Podge ...

Norma Bennett said...

Thanks for your comments, and so quick! I've added a bit extra to the post now so that should answer some of your queries. I'm glad this is useful, I thought that if I was puzzling over this then probably others were too and it seems I was right.

And do check out the Modge Podge website, there are lots of ideas that could be used in miniature.

Susanne - your strawberry comment is very funny - so environmentally conscious ;) I'm sure your little strawberries would have been organically grown :)

Jo Raines said...

I love this! I had wondered how you do it also so I've bookmarked that link and may print it out to put in one of my three-ring binders. I keep several of them with protective sheet covers and then I have them handy and protected from glue, paint, etc.! This is great, Norma! Thank you!


Susan@minicrochetmad said...

Norma, this looks like a fantastic tutorial, thankyou! I've been trying to figure out how to transfer words onto my chipped 1940's enamel canister set. What glue did you use to replace the Elmers school glue? I haven't seen that in Australia.

Norma Bennett said...

That's a good question Susan, I haven't tried this myself yet, I found the link just minutes before I posted it. A search on says this about their 'school glue':

"Product Description:
Generations of school children have grown up with this #1 brand of school glue. Elmer’s washable no-run school glue is easy to use and stays where you put it. It is safe, non-toxic and washable, so accidental messes mean easy clean-up!"

It seems that it needs to be waterproof so that rules out using PVA/craft glue as a substitute. You can buy fabric glues here that are washable eg Helmar fabric glue that is machine washable (ie waterproof) and is available at Spotlight.

I think that it's going to be a matter of experimentation when it comes to substitutes.

Another way to do the whole thing of course is to buy transfer/decal sheets and use those to print on instead. What this process is doing actually is 'manufacturing' a decal.

Glenda said...

Thanks so much, Norma!!
This opens up a whole new world of possibilities!

Sans! said...

Norma, you are a sweetheart! That tutorial is precious!I have so many wooden pieces I need words on.

Deni said...

Mm I was thinking the same thing Susan, Elmers are not here for sure, so will have to experiment!

Deni said...

i do that too Jody!
The only problem is I have about 10 ring binders full! lol
One day!!!!!

Catherine said...


Thank you so much for this tutorial! You find and share the most wonderful things.

I wondered how people got images on wood. That box looks like it has been treated with "Bug Juice" too. I love the rust stains around the nails.

Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio said...

Wow, that was wonderful - never knew it could be done, thanks, Norma!

Katie said...

Hello Aussie friends! I'm Katie. I originally posted the Mod Podge transfer technique on my blog. If you can't find Mod Podge, the key is to substitute a glue that is waterproof. The way the process works is that one glue is waterproof, and one glue (the Elmer's) washes away in the water.
Mod Podge is white and dries clear and then is waterproof. Elmer's is white and dries clear and then washes away in water.
I hope this helps and that you can find substitutes! Good luck! Lovely blog, Norma!
Best to you,

Norma Bennett said...

Katie thank you SO MUCH for commenting here and solving the confusion problems!

And of course I made a stupid mistake when I read "washable" in the Elmers product description and 'translated' it is "waterproof" when in fact it means just the opposite!! So it seems that probably any PVA/craft glue should substitute for it, that's good to know!!

Susan@minicrochetmad said...

Norma, I reckon Clag Paste might work intstead of the Elmers glue, it dries clear and washes off. It might need to be spread with a credit card to get a smooth printable finish.

Many thanks Katie for taking time to explain the differences in the glues. It's wonderful how so much is shared via blogs!


janjan said...

What a wonderful talented cousin I have. Hello Norma, see I dragged myself away from the digging. Actually now I am in blogland there is no chance of me getting anything else done today.


Norma Bennett said...

A newly found cousin and a new follower all rolled into one! Nice to see you here Jan :) If I didn't know that the reference to 'digging' was ancestral research I'd think you were a keen gardener LOL

Francy said...

Hi Norma! Happy Easter to you dear! Francy said...

Hallo Norma,

wünsche Dir ein wunderschönes Osterfest.

Ostergrüße von PuNo / Monika

Thevisionarybutterfly said...

Happy Easter Norma!

What a great tutorial, something I can make great use of. Thanks!


JDayMinis said...

I've also had luck using iron on transfers ironed onto wood, not good for an uneven surface though, I really like your ideas. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and links.

Norma Bennett said...

Thanks for your comment Jean - all info gratefully accepted!!

Booklinks said...

Thank you for sharing this great
tutorial!I am going to try this.
Your boxes are great!