I have a problem. I want to make everything. Like, everything I see…..I want to make it instead of buying it. My brain works on overdrive figuring out how I could make something for so much less than the price tag. But there are not enough hours in the day, fingers on my hands, or space in my house for all the supplies.
We moved into our current house about 2 years ago and I still have bare walls in about half our rooms. And that’s mostly because I have dreams of making really fun things that excite me……but I just never quite have enough time. However, something triggered in me a few weeks ago when I realized this baby boy is coming in only 6 short weeks and his nursery wasn’t set up and I haven’t gone through any of Oliver’s old stuff to see what more I need to buy, etc. Oh, and then the panic set it that I haven’t finished the other kids’ rooms either. And by haven’t finished, I mean, they have never been started. And I told myself months ago that I REALLY wanted all the kids rooms finished before the baby comes. We’ll see if that happens…..but I at least wanted to finish putting together the baby’s nursery. And I finally gave myself permission to not make every single little thing that I thought would be cute to add to his room.
However, one thing I did decide to go ahead and make, turned out SO FUN!! They are these little creatures that I transferred onto wood for this baby boy’s Woodland themed nursery. (And no, we haven’t decided on a name yet, so I’ll keep referring to the baby as “he” and “him”.)
And ACCCKKK…….I’m dying over how cute they turned out! And how perfect they look over the baby crib!
Even though there’s still a bit more to do to consider the nursery “finished”, the majority of it is DONE!
And these image transfers are my most favorite part! Aren’t they perfect on these slices of wood?
I don’t know what it is about adding baby animals to a nursery….but it just makes the whole room happy!
That rope shelf is an example of seeing something that I knew I could make for much cheaper, but I decided to just buy it instead (using my 40% of coupon of course…haha!). But it’s perfectly “woodsy” and holds more of the decor very nicely!
Over on the other side of the room, I did another image transfer of little baby and full grown animal tracks on this slab of wood. Hangs perfectly beneath that stuffed bear head, right?!
I learned how to do this technique about 2 years ago and have tucked away the idea until now. You’re going to be SHOCKED by how easy it is! Oh — it’s also SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying large canvas prints of your photos (which gives you that similar 3D pop-out look). This technique also gives your photo such a fun rugged look. I can hardly wait to transfer more images of my kids onto wood…..and then hang them in our entryway! (See?!?! My to-do list is ever growing!)
Now, you could add images to any ol’ slab of wood. And the cheaper the wood, the cheaper the project….but you can go as fancy as you want with your wood as well. It’s up to you!
What a fun addition to this baby boy’s nursery though. It gets me all excited to meet him in just a few short weeks (technically 6, but who’s counting?!)….and introduce him to his new little woodland buddies! :)
Do you have some images you want to try transferring onto wood?? Let me show you how easy it is to do!!!
- Printed image (using a LASER JET PRINTER) onto regular weight printer paper.
- Gel Medium (I bought some at my local craft store but found the exact same stuff for MUCH cheaper —> HERE)
- sponge brush
- wood surface
- white acrylic paint (optional)
Okay, first of all, decide on your wood. I found these super cool slabs of wood at Michaels and they worked perfectly for my little woodland animals. But you could use very inexpensive ply wood from the hardware store (check the scrap bin) or even an old 2×4. Your options are endless….including how big or small you want it. Once you decide on your wood, you’ll want to add a layer of white acrylic paint to your surface. Let dry completely. (SIDE NOTE: you can skip the paint but if you look at your image…..anything that’s white in your image will take on the color of the wood, unless you add some paint down first. You can always experiment on some scrap wood to see what you prefer!)
Next, your image. For this project to work, YOU MUST print your image using a LaserJet printer. I happen to have one in my home office that I use (for anything 8.5 x 11 inches or smaller)……but don’t worry, you can print for very cheap at your local printing store (i.e. Staples, Kinkos, etc.) You can also print very LARGE prints at your printing store if you want to transfer something really big. Just ask for their “engineering print”, which you can do in black and white or color….and it’s only a few dollars to do. Yes!!!
Oh, and VERY IMPORTANT…..be sure to print a MIRROR IMAGE of your picture! This is especially crucial if you’re printing words!
Once you have your image, cut around it, making sure to not cut off any details.
Then, use a sponge brush to add a layer of your GEL MEDIUM (found HERE) to your wood surface, right on top of your dried white paint.
You want a nice smooth layer that’s nice and thick not globbed on. It’s kind of hard to see how thick it is below but there’s a nice thick layer on my wood. The reason being, is that you want this stuff to soak in the laser ink so none of it rubs off when you remove the paper later on.
Then, place your printed image FACE DOWN, right onto your gel medium. Press down with consistent pressure, using the edge of a craft stick or ruler to smooth it out, making sure that the image is completely flat and pressed into the gel medium.
Let the gel medium dry completely. (I usually let it dry over night.)
Then, using a wet rag, soften up the printer paper and then begin rubbing the paper free from your wood. You will notice that the image remains stuck to the board, will the paper kinda rubs off. (If it’s not rubbing away very easily, add more water.)
Continue rubbing off your paper with your wet rag. The more paper you remove the better clarity you will have of your image…..but you don’t want to scrub so hard that you scrub right through to the wood.
Once all of you paper is removed, let it dry completely. Now, you can rough up your wood a little more and help fade some of the painted edges and lines by using sandpaper on the surface. Be careful around the edges of your image or directly on top of your image, as you don’t want to sand through the image…..unless you are going for a more distressed look. But you can also sand through any excess lines of your gel medium if they’re showing up as well.
And that’s it!! See how easy that was?!??!
Now, go proudly display your piece(s) of art…..on every wall of the house!!!