how to transfer a photo to fabric

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Did you know you can transfer photos to fabric without using iron-on sheets? I love this technique. It's simple to execute and the end results are really pretty. It's another method for hand printing! I made some fabrics the other day and used them to add pockets to one of my wool skirts. Do you want to learn to transfer photos to fabric? I thought so... Enjoy! 

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Supplies Needed: Fabric (I used white quilting cotton), Gel Medium (I used this kind from Liquidex), Paint Brush and the image you want to transfer. You can use *any* laser copied image or an image from a vintage magazine (that's what I used) or newspaper. Remember that if your image has words on it you will need to reverse it before copying as the words will print backwards. You'll also need a spray bottle filled with water. 

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How to transfer a photo to fabric: 1. Completely cover your image with gel medium. Use a heavy coat. 2. Press it onto a piece of fabric and let it dry for several hours or overnight. 3-4. After your image is completely dry, use a spray bottle to wet the top of the paper. 5. Rub the surface with your fingers until pieces of the paper start coming off. When pieces start coming up your image will be revealed. Some pieces come up easily in clean strips and some are more time consuming to remove. Be careful not to rub too hard as this can remove your transfer as well. Continue until all the paper is removed and the image is completely visable! 6. You're done. If you want to display your fabric (for example if you are transfering to a canvas for your wall) you might want to add one more coat of gel medium to protect and seal your image.

Note: Don't be alarmed if your transfer isn't completely perfect. Some work better than others and you'll learn a lot from experimenting on different surfaces! The final image is meant to be imperfect. Hand transferred fabric pieces should be considered 'handwash only'. I would not put it into a washing machine. That's one reason why I chose a wool skirt to add the pockets to, I would already handwash this skirt.

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Well there you go! This method is so easy! I can't wait to use it to make pillows, bows and canvas prints of our wedding photos! Oh, and you can use this exact same method to transfer photos onto wood and many other surfaces. The possibilities are endless! Have fun creating.... xo. elsie  

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