Monday, July 8, 2013

Transferring an Image to Marble

I finally scratched a project off of my never-ending "to do" list.  Actually, I scratched two projects off the list.  I did something with the transfer gel I bought many moons ago, and I did something with the piece of broken marble that had been stashed away in my garage.

My inspiration came from the very talented Rosemary at Villabarnes.  Rosemary has several tutorials on her blog for transferring images, but it was the one where she used the Splendid Transfer method of transferring an image that got me thinking about a few pieces I had.  A few years ago I bought an old desk with some marble in the top; the marble was cracked in half, but I knew I'd eventually find a use for the pieces.  The two halves combined measured 9" x 14", so I broke each half into a few smaller pieces.

tutorial on how to transfer an image to marble
I love this sweet image available in Rosemary's Etsy shop.  Both the original and reversed images were included in the download.  If your image includes numbers or letters, be sure to reverse it before copying.  You'll need to use a laser printer for this process, ink jet copies won't work.  Just about any copy center will have a laser printer you can use.

image transfer gel
Instead of using the Spendid Blender transfer method, I used this transfer gel that I bought from Robyn Story Designs.  I used a foam brush to apply the transfer gel to the image, then smoothed it firmly in place making sure I had all the bubbles out.  I waited a few hours before I started rubbing off the paper even though it said to wait just 20 minutes.  You can also use Mod Podge or a gel medium from the craft store for this method.  Maggie from Little Miss Maggie has a really good tutorial for using Mod Podge to transfer images.

image transfer method
I used a foam brush to dampen the paper, then began to rub very gently with two fingers.  You can see that the paper rolls off in little pieces.  When the paper dries, just apply more water and start rubbing again.  

image transfer tutorial
The image disappeared when the paper dried out.

transferring an image to marble
I wet the paper again and started gently rubbing.  Notice how the image is getting clearer as the layers are slowly rubbed away?  You need to be patient with this process so you don't rub away your image.  I went through this four or five times.

Of course, I couldn't stop with just one...
transfer an image to a broken piece of marble
I found this pretty image at The Graphics Fairy.  No need to reverse this image before transferring.

how to transfer a family picture to marble
Last but not least, I transferred a photo of four generations of my dad's family.  Clockwise from top:  my grandmother, great-great-grandmother, aunt, and great-grandmother.  I scanned the oval photo, reversed it, then reduced it because it was too large to fit on this piece of marble.  I really didn't need to reverse it, but I knew it would drive me crazy knowing it was reversed. You can even see some of the lacy details of my grandmother's dress.  

image transfer tutorial
I didn't seal any of these pieces yet, it's probably not necessary since they're just for display.  I'm hooked!  Now I need to try some of the other transferring techniques on my long list.

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