Today I’ve got a fun technique to share for making personalized ornaments that double as gift tags for those special people in your life. This is a technique (acrylic medium transfers) that is a simple (and non-toxic!) way to transfer photocopied images to a wood surface.
· Clear acrylic medium – you can find this at any art or crafts store.
· Photocopies of images or text you want to use. Print out the images you want to use, and take them to your local FedEx Office® and have them copied in black & white.
o Drawings work well, as do high contrast photos and text. Photos should be simple (a face works well) and not too small or the imagewill not show up well at the small scale we are using here.
o Reverse the images, particularly if you’re using text. Text should be backwards.
o Make plenty of extra copies in a variety of sizes to accommodate the different ornament sizes you plan to use, and to cover any “do-overs” that you may need to do.
· Small wooden pieces to use for the ornament base. You can find small thin wooden shapes at your local craft store. For some of these I used wood veneer pieces.
1. Decide on an image. For this example I’m using a photocopy of a little watercolor squid of mine, holding a holiday sign (you’re welcome to use him too, as long as it’s for personal use). I’d suggest also adding some text, like your name or ‘happy holidays,’ to the image.
2. Thinly spread the acrylic medium on your wood. The layer should be thin, but not so thin that it starts to dry out immediately.
3. Press down your image, toner side down, on to thewood. Cover with a paper towel or an extra sheet of paper, and roll over the piece with a small rolling pin, or other cylindrical item, so that it is pressed down well.
4. The next part takes a little practice, because it depends on how thick the acrylic medium is, and what the surface is like. Wait about 3 - 5 minutes and begin to peel up a corner of the paper. You’re looking for the toner and a small amount of the paper fibers to remain stuck to the wood. If you see that it’s sticking, continue peeling until the entire piece of paper has been removed. If it isn’t sticking but the acrylic medium gel is still wet, press the paper back down, wait a little longer and try again. If the paper isn’t sticking and the medium has dried, you’ll have to start over.
5. Let your piece dry for several more hours or overnight. Then take a small amount of water on your finger and begin to rub off the remaining paper fibers. You’re looking to remove the paper without disturbing the underlying acrylic medium which has bonded with the toner.
6. Let dry, confirm all the paper is gone, and coat the whole thing in another layer of acrylic medium.
Drill a hole in the top for an ornament hanger or ribbon.
Now you have the perfect little ornament to personalize a bottle of wine or gift bag. And because it’s personalized, it will be a keepsake for the recipient for years to come!
[Many thanks to Paul Fujita for his very helpful tutorial on this process.]
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Nancy Dorsner is a web designer and blogger. Her blog, Dabbled – Experiments in Art, Craft & Food, is all about trying something new and being creative, and specializes in upcycling& recycling craft ideas. FedEx Office is compensating Nancy to share her ideas for creative projects on the Out of Office blog.