Thursday, December 1, 2016

Image Transfer With Acetone

After a few years working with stencils (which you know I love) and trying a few signs using tracing and hand painting I wanted to learn another way to transfer images.

A wonderful artist, Rosemary Barnes, who writes the blog Villabarnes, posted how she transfers lasers printed/photocopied images to wood, plaster surfaces, metal and cloth using acetone. She uses a blender pen (which she discovered worked well with acetone when the pen went dry). Please read her post because she provides very good information.

I had read Rosemary's original post ( September 2015) and when she reprinted in September 2016 my interest was rekindled.

Cathy at Dear DIY writes about her acetone transfer projects very clearly with good photo backup. Good suggestions included in her tutorial.

I watched You Tube videos about using acetone to transfer images, just searched acetone transfer.

Then a few hours playing around with laser printed image transfers to wood, fabric, painted backgrounds, bare wood and tin happened.

This is my learning curve on how I used acetone, a small paint brush and a tablespoon as the burnisher (could not find a blender pen at Michaels) to transfer Graphics Fairy French themed images to light fabric, canvas fabric, unpainted wood, a chalk type painted board, an acrylic painted board, brown paper and galvanized tin. 

I started very simply, using the word PARIS (printed on Laser printer). I used one of my printouts that I DID NOT print backwards. I added that word to a piece of wood from a piece of a cutting board.

The second (top word), Paris, was easier to 'see', the first try not so good. Learned more about burnishing and amount of acetone needed to wet the paper (had to add to transfer paper as it dries very quickly, learned to work in SMALL areas and not flood the entire transfer area.

After that I tried transferring an image to metal. I have added stencils to metal and liked the idea that a graphic could be added using acetone.

I was not too successful - the RIS looked fairly clear but the PA (even when I printed out the letters again and matched them up and redid the process was not a success. More practice needed here. I cleaned off the PA letters with acetone and should have also WASHED the area to remove the acetone. I did, tried the transfer again with a similar lack of success. 

Next I tried adding text to a piece of a canvas bag and was very curious to see how acetone would transfer text to cloth.

Again, not too successful. I learned that working on one small area when adding acetone and then burnishing that area before moving on to another small area etc. until the image is completed is a better way to work. More on acetone on fabric two pictures down.

I tried card stock paper for a transfer. This has good possibilities. Quick to transfer and fairly clear.

Perhaps over-wetted with the acetone, perhaps moved the paper with the text too soon. I will be trying this again.

Next try was over latex paint on a bread board. Shiny surface. This time the image was reversed (but that was the best part of this attempt). The paint seemed to not allow the transfer to stick.

Tried out fabric, used a very well worn tea towel. Good match, good absorbency, more to learn but this is a winner mix. Using a reverse printed word for something you want to share is a good idea. I had printed out many Graphics Fairy images/words and forgot to reverse some of them. Learned.

The best success today was using a bread board painted with chalk clay paint. It appeared to have good absorbency, I hadn't waxed it before trying out the acetone transfer. I did wax and polish afterwards and was pleased with the final result.

Below are other attempts. The transfer to a round block (unfinished wood) went well. The transfer to the well washed cotton tea towel was successful.

Transfer to a chalk clay paint was ok, I can see additional possiblities with this mirror becoming very shabby chic.

After finishing the bread board with the wreath and bee I could see that although the transfer was ok there was smudging in some areas. Dipped a q-tip into the acetone (not dripping, just wet) and gently tapped and cleaned some of the areas. It was not totally successful but I did learn the cleaning up could happen.

Below is my best example from this new to me transfer method.

I learned from Cathy that a black small tip felt pen can be used to darken areas where the transfer was not as clear/dark as desired. I haven't tried that yet.

In this paragraph the words are paraphrased from Cathy's post. You will need a laser printer for this method. The Acetone dissolves the toner and when you rub the back of the paper to transfer the dissolved image is absorbed on to an absorbent surface like paper or fabric.

There are health warnings when using acetone.

Before you use this method to transfer images please read about the dangers of using acetone.

Work outside in fresh air/well ventilated area (read the labels on the can of acetone

Use pure acetone (Rosemary said do not use nail polish remover)
Wear protective gloves
Focus on the work you are doing, keep pets and family away from the fumes.

How did it work?

Did the best on a piece of cardstock
Brown paper bag  (nor shown) - sort of ok


OK success on a well used cotton tea towel, sort of ok on a hem cut off some kackie slacks, not so good on canvas


OK on unpainted hardwood
OK on chalk painted bread board
OK on an unpainted toy block
not too good on a latex painted bread board

Metal (tin)

I need to learn more about transferring to tin. Some letters tranferred, some didn't adhere.

What Did I Learn?

The more porous a surface the clearer the transfer. Paper was the best transfer and a chalk-type-paint surface 2nd best in my explorations.  Untreated wood also worked quite well.

My Supply List:

Various bases for the transfer (wood, painted wood, cloth, bare wood, paper)

Acetone (put a small amount in a small GLASS jar (plastic melts) - it evaporates fairly quickly) and use that for dipping your small brush in before wetting small areas of your stencil
Small paint brush (I used 3/4" artist brush)
Laser printed images (heavier paper seems to work better, I used 20 lb)
Tape (easy to remove tape)
Plastic gloves to protect your skin from the acetone
Newspaper (to cover your work area)
Back of a tablespoon to burnish acetone wetted images

Safety from FUMES fro ACETONE

I used a small TV folding table and worked in my open doorway - table outside, stool inside to make sure that there was fresh air. It was raining or I would have moved outside to work.

Thank you to my friend Judy who worked with me on this project - we took turns figuring out improving what we were doing transferring images and making the samples while the other took pictures.

Thanks for stopping by today.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Making Christmas Decorations

A while ago I read a blog that reminded me of a childhood craft. I picked up a Christmas magazine at a church sale, looked online for easy directions, Squido had a picture sequence for folding the pages to make a tree. The magazine from the church sale had 243 pages ! 

What was I thinking of !
Folded magazine pages to make a Christmas Tree.
I added a star on a wire stem.

Here are my picture sequences:

Kept folding, taking breaks, folding some more etc., and finally finished.

Clipped the ends together, then glued the first and last pages to keep the tree shape, added a silver sparkle star with a wire. 


Project # 2:

Angie from Knick of Time used a crate, tree branches and white lights for a decoration - here is my version of her great idea.

Used a thrifted basket, added the stencilled word DREAM (stencil from Michael's) and used chalk-clay paint - Johnston Daffodil - from CeCe Caldwell and a stencil brush. Cleaned up any smudged edges with a damp Q-tip.  

Rummaged around in my Christmas bins, found two round lighted circles, removed the strings of red and green tiny lights and arranged them in the basket then added holly branches bought a the church sale last weekend. Plugged in. Christmas decoration finished. Added a wooden soldier with wooden children to the scene.

Project # 3:

Making bouquets using a mix of shiny Christmas wire stemmed decorations on hand.

Picked out 3 branches that looked good together, wired the stems together, added them to various pretty containers, grouped.

Project # 4:

I had a rusty tree saw (from a church sale) and decided to add SOAR on one side and IMAGINE on the other. Used Hemp Oil (MMS) for the finish.

The plants are layered at the window - I brought in 3 red Amaryllis (that I may have summered successfully in my garden) - the rain has been almost daily for 2+ months but they don't feel soft. The Christmas Cactus spent the summer and autumn outside too and that seems to make them want to bloom. The Cyclamen on the left was a gift at my Mom's funeral (March 28, 2012) and I am so happy that it keeps on blooming.


One month from the 25th and it will be Christmas.

Each day and then each month 

has raced by this year. 

Thank you for visiting today.

Featured by:

Jody of Rooted in Thyme Dec 1/16

Linda H of Reviews, Chews and How To's Dec 1/16

Donna of Funky Junk Interiors Dec 2/16

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

November Thrift, Fix, Paint, Stencil

This month my vintage sharing is a mixture of re-finding, thrifting, church sales and repairing.

I had to do some stencil work on a tin sign - the price label on the front tore some of the paper beside the Eiffel Tower when I removed it (didn't know the tin had a paper picture, thought it was a tin picture, learned something new)

I stencilled words (very pale grey) in several areas and the problem area blends in now. 

The vintage Round Gong hanging from a frame mounted on a Rosewood base has a 'married' striker which I painted black and waxed. 

A small french sign with glove picture needed the black refreshed and waxed (and the back painted/waxed). The thrifted pink gloves added a bit of romance to the picture.

DH brought home this lovely curb find barn red chair and I tried out a new (to me) stencil from Michaels in Dover White.

Sequence: picked out the stencil, used green tape and a ruler to carefully position stencil (then discovered the pending repair under the chair). Used Dover White chalk type paint and my short stencil brush. Carefully lifted stencil up from the chair. Removed tape, washed stencil, cleaned brush, put away supplies.

Waxed entire chair and polished, then discovered that the plywood on the back was separating (likely because it was a curb find and rainy weather and had been in our home drying out for a few days) so DH glued, found another area separating, glued etc. until the back was ok.

The metal frame below is an old find, unearthed while looking for something else. Added a graphic from Graphic Fairy and a new backing using cardboard after I added a piece of keys pattern scrapbook paper from Michaels.

The two jugs look very similar, one is vintage and one is a repro. The cow butter dish is new. The vintage jug is the large, on the right. Night photos are not my first choice but I can live with the result.

Very different bottom markings. Love finding ironstone.

I upgraded the small grey bathtub pictures by adding brown paper to the backs, zigzag hooks and waxing/polishing the frames. The heavy brass candle sticks took a bit of cleaning too, wax removal and some polishing with a cloth (not with brass cleaner).

The holly cream and sugar on a tray went into my booth and out with a new owner.

This grouping with a cheery Tweety cookie jar, button decorated cloth tree, carved wooden angel and a green chip and dip set along with a copper/brass horn and a Christmas tin are all in my booth.

Again, the finds below are in my booth. The Burlap sign needed the frame touched up and waxed. The beaded Christmas decorations are displayed on a wire tree. The red glass comport and bells were good seasonal finds.

The little dutch themed ornaments were found at another church sale, always looking for blue/white ornaments when thrifting.

The green 'pepper' shaped cast iron pot was a nice surprise as was finding another mid-century green chip and dip set. Stoneware Cookie Jar was a (can you believe this) curb side find ! The Green Market teapot and the little 1 cup teapot were also found at the same sale.

In my area garage sales are mostly finished until late February or early March. Church sales will be ending by the last Saturday in November. The thrift stores remain open and sometimes there are vintage items to be found.

I use the quieter winter days to look around my home and storage sheds for earlier finds that suit the season. As well I work on repairing pieces, stencilling, cleaning and reorganizing my booth spaces, catching up on the paperwork that goes with having a reselling business and sometimes even sleep in on Saturday morning.

Featured by:

KerryAnne of Shabby Art Boutique (Nov 24/16)
                Tarah of To Grandma's House We Go (Nov 29/16)

Thank you for visiting.

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