Blog: Image Transfer

Mother’s Day Photo Transfer Keepsake

A while ago I made some photo transfers on galvanized metal plates and Kim really liked the look and so she asked if I could show her how to do it so that she could make a cute gift for her Mom for Mother’s Day.

The fun part about doing a transfer on the metal is that you have the metallic sheen in the transfer but also the visual texture of the tin adding almost a painterly quality.

Gloss Gel, a brush, a galvanized tin and photo as well optional some stamps and a stamping pad are the supplies needed. Kim decided on a galvanized heart box for the transfer.

Something that is really important regarding the photo is that you need a high contrast laser print and that you will need to reverse the image before you have it printed out because the transfer will mirror your photo, words, buildings, people etc.

Cut the image to size – Kim cut along the edges of this photo -aren’t her sister, she and her Mom the cutest?

She made sure the photo would fit onto the heart shaped lid of a tin box.

Scoop some of the Liquitex Gloss Gel out of the jar. You can later put the unused gel back into the jar. The reason why I like to use glossy Gel Medium is that the glossier the medium, the more translucent the transfer will become.

Using a paddle brush to cover the tin (you can use any brush- but I prefer the paddle brush because it helps with an even distribution of the medium and and makes it easer to smooth out brushstrokes)

Even though the photo is smaller then the lid Kim covered it entirely because will even the glossy sheen once the gel is dried.

Then spread the gel also over the photo. You don’t want to cover any of the surfaces to thickly and you need to work fast to prevent the gel from drying.

Then place the image facing down onto the tin

and burnish it down. Carefully get rid of any bubbles that may have accumulated beneath the image by using a plastic card or squeegee.

Start at the center and work towards the outer edges of the adhered image.

Set the tin aside and let it dry for several hours.

Wet the back of the image transfer paper applying some water with your fingertips.

Start rubbing the back of the paper off in a gentle circular motion.

The image with start to appear as the paper pulp is removed. Work one area at a time until most of the paper is rubbed out. Let the image dry in between. The remaining paper will reappear and will show you which areas might need more rubbing. Work gently and stop before the transfer gets scratched or damaged by further rubbing.

Apply a final coating of a little bit thinned down Gloss Gel to the entire lid of the tin. Make sure to carefully work the gel into any areas where are tiny bit of paper might remain. The Gloss Gel will seal the surface and make those bits of paper invisible once dried.

Let dry.

Kim then added some stamping with StazOn and my Love Tag and Love Knots stamps.

And there you go, a personal little keepsake box filled with some sweets, a bunch of flowers and you are ready to go for Mother’s Day.

I love the transfer on metal – there are many options using tin – for example tin plates with a transfer for a journal or else! Hope you give it a try if not for Mother’s Day then maybe some other time :)

Here are some of the supplies Kim used for her Keepsake box



Comments (1)

  • stephanie

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    what a great project! thanks.

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To Be Imperfect Means To Be Real

“To be imperfect means to be real” – I thought it was a perfect quote for a spread featuring an image transfer :)

I love how imperfect image transfers look and how they can lead to a grungy and interesting page. I wrote the journaling with a soft pencil as I felt that would fit best with the overall look.

I added some stamping with my Grannies stamp and also stamped some circles with a lid and made some marks with a stiff brush.

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread


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Not in this Century – Art Journal

“She knew the world was hers….She also knew not in this century”

My great-grandmother as a cut out image transfer. She was a city girl all her life hence the city background.

I layered my Grove Street Stamp in pink over the Circle Drive Stamp – – I like the outcome- I need to play a bit more with layering the different circle designs on top of each other and will make sure to share.

I masked her off with post its to stamp the buildings around her and I like the look of combining the bold Midtown Foam stamps with the finer building stamps with my rubber stamps.

Do you use vintage photos in your art journals?

Here are some of the supplies I used:


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Love is in the Air – Art Journal Page

I was playing with some transfers and used the engagement photo of my great-aunt Margot and my great-uncle Hans. I love this photo.

She turned all pink layered over this ares :) All in all a bit too pink for me- so you can see I needed to grunge this all up a bit with some stamping but it was fun!

Love stamping with manufactured stamps but also with lids and other bits and pieces I find on my work bench to break it up a bit.

It was fun to try some different colors – and go crazy pink- LOL . Valentine’s Day is not a huge thing in Germany to be honest so the whole concept around this is kind of fascinating for me, but of course I do enjoy the wonderful flowers and gifts from my US-born husband ;)

Hope your day is filled with Love!

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread


Comments (2)

  • pam hansen

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    ❤️❤️🤩

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  • Sue Clarke

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    Always nice to see Margot on a layout or art journal page.
    My favorite items to use on paint are lids from plastic jars I have at home.

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