Monday, May 23, 2011

Image Transfer Garden Picks - Tutorial

I love these garden sticks that I made. I have wanted to try image transferring with acrylic gel medium since my daughter asked me to buy it. She is an artist - and I love the ideas she brings home from art class. Here is how I made the garden sticks....

1. Make your transfer. Find images of the garden stuff you need and make labels on your computer. I found some of my images on the Graphics Fairy blog. I have links to the specific images below. Reverse all the printing. Take this to a copy place and get them to laser print the image. Cut out each transfer.

2. Prepare the wood - I put my transfers on basswood that I bought at Michael's. I wanted my garden picks to be vintage looking so I used wood. I originally was going to use tiles - and I might do that next year. I am not sure how these will fair out in the weather - but this is a creative trial so I guess I will find out. I did stain these so I am hoping that will protect them enough.

3. Cut the wood to fit each transfer. Sand the edges.

4. Now for the gel medium. I bought Liquitex Matte Gel medium. I went into Michael's to buy gel medium and there are so many different varieties that I didn't purchase it the first time around. The clerk at the store had no idea what to use so I went home to surf the internet and did some research on what to get. I decided on buying Liquitex matte gel medium.

5. Apply the gel medium to the transfer. In my studies I read that you can apply the medium with a brush or with your fingers. I opted for the fingers because it is less clean up. I only applied the medium on the image - but I did read with wood to apply it to both surfaces. I will try both surfaces next time.

6. Adhere the transfer on to the wood surface. Press out the bubbles and let dry over night.

7. Remove the paper. Wet the paper and remove it.

8. Wet the paper again and remove what you can. With the wood being very thin, it will curl up a bit - so try not to use an insane amount of water. Bits of the image came off during this process - which is okay for a vintage effect. I am thinking if I apply the medium to both surfaces in the future this won't happen - but it was okay for this project.

9. I used my fingernails to get some of the paper off - and then wiped again with a damp cloth. Getting the paper off took some time - but eventually it will come off. Let the wood completely dry before the next step.

10. Stain the wood. I did a couple of coats as these are going to be outside.

11. Collect and prepare stakes. I used some sticks from a broken lawn edge fence that I bought at a $store. I cut the ends to make a v shape.

12. Glue wood pieces on stakes. Let dry.

Here are three of my garden stakes with images I got from Graphics Fairy. Click on the words to 
go to the direct link....

 I added on some of these stakes "Ferguson Farms" to personalize it as that is my last name. 
This project was a lot of fun! I love trying new things.

Linking up to....
The Stories of A2Z

lil luna link party buttonChocolate Drool and KissesTip Junkie handmade projects


  1. These are sooo beautiful! I really love how they came out!

  2. These are so neat! I have been doing a similar thing with Mod Podge - but I never realized you could do it with color images...duh! What an awesome project. Thanks for sharing it. Came by from Tip Junkie and will be back!

  3. OH These are SO pretty!!! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

  4. I LOVE this... I love it so much I featured you over at WhipperBerry today!


  5. I love the vintage look they have. I need to get a hold of that transfer medium. They possiblilities seem endless with that stuff. Great job!

  6. Sue your plant markers are super cute. I love the vintage antique feel they have...such a cute way to pretty up the garden. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this on Sunday - I am a little behind getting to the comments though. Have a wonderful week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  7. I love these! Found you through your can project on Graphics Fairy.

  8. Great tutorial! I love it! You did a wonderful job and I bet your garden looks great!