Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DIY Photo Transfer Tea Towel

One of the many Christmas presents that I decided to make this year were photo transfer Tea Towels! I saw some on pinterest that were so cute, to I made a ton of them for gifts this year, and they turned out great! Let me show you how it works.

First print out ANY image- color or black and white, graphic or photo, etc- on a LASER printer. This will not work with an inkjet, so make sure its laser. If you are printing anything with words, make sure you print the mirror image so it comes out right in the end.

Next, cut out your image to exactly what you want transferred to the towel. Keep in mind that even the negative space, or white parts of the picture in this case, will transfer on to the towel. So if you are using a colored towel instead of a white one, the negative space may look a little funny.

Next, iron out your towel. Mine are also pre-washed and dried. I used Aunt Martha's flour sack towels. They have that vintage look and feel to them without being super pricey. 

Now for the secret sauce! You are going to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium to work your magic. It comes in 2 ounce or 8 ounce bottles, this is the 8 ounce.

Lay your image on a piece of wax paper.

Glob on a bunch of the Mod Podge...

And then use a foam brush to cover the entire image with a THICK coat. It should be 1/16" thick and cover the entire image.

Next, carefully take the image off of the wax paper touching only the back and sides of the image. Lay it on your tea towel mod podge side down. Start in the center smoothing out your image, making sure there are no air bubbles. Make sure all of the edges are stuck down well, and if any of the mod podge squishes out the sides, wipe it off with a damp towel.

Now wait at least 24 hours for it to dry completely. I live in south Louisiana where our humidity was 98% the day of the project, so I waited 36 hours just to be safe, and it turned out great.

Next use a water and  a sponge to wet the entire surface of the image. Let the water soak in for two minutes.

After two minutes, rub the sponge over the surface of the image in a circular motion to rub off the paper.

Make sure that all of the paper is removed. If you rub your fingers over the image and paper pieces are still rolling off, then keep scrubbing. 

Once all the paper is removed, let the image cure for 72 hours. After this time period, your towel can be machine washed and dried, just make sure to not dry clean it or iron over the image.

Now, you're done! Enjoy sprucing up your kitchen with a personal touch or giving a gift that is handmade!