Ever have so many gorgeous photos that are just all hanging out on your hard-drive never to see the light of day? Then here is a fun project to help you release those beautiful butterflies (aka photos) out into the world and enjoy their awesomeness! I think it is super important to not only take incredible photos, but edit them down to your favs and do something with them, display them, enjoy them. Today I will share with you a photo art project on how to transfer your photos onto tiles and make drink coasters.
*Note: Contest details below after tutorial:)
Tools you will need; 2 foam brushes, sandpaper, images printed on regular photocopy paper (or laser printed, do NOT use inkjet prints as it does not work), a container of cold water (1/2cup), 4-4×4 tiles, cork circles for the bottom of tile, and a gel transfer medium (I used Tilano Transfer Medium and I love it, they are here in Vancouver or you can order online, but I have seen a few others out there as well like Mod Podge although I have never tried this one). You will want to put down some newspaper or something to protect your surfaces and also paper towels are handy to have for because this project can get a little messy with a capital M;)
I picked a few fav flower photos and resized them in photoshop to 4×4, printed them at Staple’s on a standard 8.5×11 letter paper with 4 images to a page and then cut images out to size.
Step1: Seal the image. You need to spread the medium in one direction, from top to bottom until you have covered the entire image, then go across left to right and once again from top to bottom. You are basically creating a crosshatching effected which will strengthen the image, do not work the image too much or you will lift it. In this demo we just show one image being transferred onto one tile, but at this point you should put the medium on all 4 images and let them dry. You can blow-dry them for a couple of minutes to speed up the drying process or just give them 20-30 mins to dry.
Step2: Once the transfer medium has dried on the images you can prep you tiles for the transfer. Again here we are only preparing 1 tile, I would suggest just do one tile at a time otherwise the other tiles can dry before you are ready to add the image. You want to do the same effect of crosshatching here as well. Spread the medium in one direction, from top to bottom until you have covered the entire tile, then go across left to right and once again from top to bottom. There should be a visible layer of transfer medium. Don’t worry to much if you slope over the sides, like in the below image as you can either wipe it off when wet or sand it off after it is dry.
Step3: Now you are ready to adhere the image to the tile, you want to line up the image before you stick it on because you cannot move it once it has settled (well unless you want a blurry effect, which could be cool, it is art after all!). I like to line up one corner, place the image side down on the tile, then put my finger in the middle to secure the image and start flatten out the image on the tile. You can use your fingers, credit card or a spreader, anything to smooth and flatten out the image and make sure there are no bubbles or air pockets. Try not to get the transfer medium on the white part of the paper as it will be challenging to get it off once dried (top tip believe me!). Now you need to either let the tiles dry for an 3hrs or you can pop them in the oven on the lowest heat (170) for 20mins (this is what I do because I have no patience, I want to get to the reveal part asap, ha!).
Step4: Here you need to use a new foam brush or you can use the same on as used for the transfer medium if it is throughly cleaned. Put the brush in cold water, then ring it out and gently wet the paper and you will start to see you image revealed! Gently rub paper off of the tile and voila your image has been transferred:)
Step5: If the paper is being stubborn, don’t hesitate to add a little more water until no trace of paper remains. Eeeeeeps, look what you have just created, a perfectly imperfect beautifully original piece of art. I used smooth tiles, but they still have some varience in them and that shows through, truly creating a one of a kind piece. Almost done!
Step6: Now you have to sand the edges to get rid of any extra paper and/or medium, careful not to tear the image, although a little messy boarder is kinda fun! After sanding wipe off any trace of dust and give the tile a last coat or two of the transfer medium (crosshatching) to seal the image in. I also spray the tiles with Acrylite for UV protection, this is optional, the Tilano Transfer Medium is top notch, so prob overkill;) The tiles are stain resistant and can be wiped clean with a wet cloth. I have used these drink coasters loads of times and have never had a wine or coffee stain to date, they are awesome!
Step7: Congratulations you are done! Wrap them up and gift them to somebody you love or even just enjoy them in your own home:) Play, shoot, share and most of all have fun! If you found this tutorial helpful please share with friends and family and if you need Professional Photography Services for your business let’s chat:)
*Contest Details: To win one of the below sets of Custom Drink Coasters that I made myself with my most treasured flower photos you must leave a comment saying what trait you absolutely LOVE about your Mom that she has passed onto you, please comment here (on this post), or find this same post on on Instagram or my FB Page . (*Please note: You must be following me on IG or my FB Page to be qualified to win) My Mom has always had a mad passion for reading (and coffee, but that is another story, ha!), she would always be reading, reading, reading, it used to actually annoy me a little, until she started recommending books to me (like Amazon before Amazon, haha)…take this you’ll love it, try this one it will make you cry, this is the best love story ever, such a super mystery you’ll never guess who the killer is, so on and on it went and eventually I fell in love with my Mom’s passion for reading. And now I am proud to say I have raised two bookworms myself:) So go ahead and enter the contest and good luck! I will choose a winner Tues.., May 3rd at noon (PST).
If you would like to purchase any of the below Custom Coasters please email me with the # of the set you would like and quantity to firstname.lastname@example.org , they are $40/set (shipping extra, I can provide details depending where you live) or I will also have a pick-up on Sat.,May7th 9am-12pm at my home in South Surrey if that is more convenient and you want to say “Hi!”, all coasters will include the packaging as show below, in the last image of this post. Thanks! Michelle xo