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I keep asking myself if it’s too early to post Christmas crafts. I’ve waited and waited until it’s more socially acceptable, but I’ve also accepted that I’m one of those crazy people who likes getting into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. I mean, come on, there are so many craft possibilities!
Today’s craft is one I’m particularly proud of. You see, I can’t draw. At all. I have no artistic talent for drawing and so I thought that crafts like this would be off limits for me. But I discovered a trick, and now it doesn’t matter that I can’t draw. The same applies to all of you other artsy people who aren’t confident in your drawing abilities too! This craft is very simple and requires very little actual talent. 😉 So, let’s get into it, shall we?
Clear Plastic Folder/Sleeve or Transparency Sheet
- Measure the size of your wood slice and design an image to be the right size for the wood. The “right size” all depends on what look you’re going for, but I try to fill half the space total across the whole ornament.
- Sand your wood slice so it’s smooth and will absorb the ink. If you bought the wood slices I tagged, you can skip this step.
- Take one side of your Clear Plastic Folder/Sleeve or Transparency Sheet and cut it so that it looks like a normal sheet of paper. Make sure you cut off the pocket if the folder had a pocket.
- Load that sleeve/sheet into the printer just like you would with a regular
- If you are printing out a word or an image that you want facing a certain direction, be sure to flip the image before printing it. You can easily do this in the Paint program that comes with most computers.
And here you see what the image looks like after it’s flipped. Yes, it is backwards, but with how we transfer it onto the wood, it’ll read correctly, I promise!
7. As soon as the image/word is printed, flip the plastic sheet over onto the wood, placing the image where you want it to be located on the ornament. Do not move the plastic once it’s on the wood. If you mess up with the placement, quickly remove the transparency sheet, sand the wood to remove the ink, and start the process again.
8. Use your scraper tool (or substitute suggested above) to run over the plastic sheet several times, pressing consistently on all parts of the image to transfer the ink onto the wood.
9. Remove the plastic sheet and wipe off what little ink remains on that sheet with a tissue or paper towel.
10. Loop your hemp twine through your ornament and hang on your tree.
Now that the basic tutorial is done, here are just a few things I’ve learned throughout this process.
Substituting Plastic/Transparency Paper With Freezer Paper
When I was first researching how to transfer an image to wood using an inkjet printer, there was a source that recommended using freezer paper, since that has a similar surface that doesn’t immediately absorb the ink. This may work for some people, but it didn’t work for me. My printer decided to try to eat the freezer paper and made a big mess. Then I tried taping the freezer paper to cardstock, but that still didn’t go through smoothly most of the time. In the many times I’ve done this craft, I’ve never had a problem with the plastic. Now this may depend on your printer, but that’s my experience.
Transfering Colors to Wood
This method will only work with images of certain colors. For example, printing a white image onto the wood will not work nearly as well as using an image with more bright and vibrant colors like reds and greens. Black also works well, though that leads me to my next point.
The Image Will Not Transfer Perfectly
What do I mean by that? The image will look a bit fuzzy, and if you’re not careful with evenly running over the image to transfer the ink, some spots may have more ink than others. Personally, I like that rustic flair that it’s not 100% clean.
To Get a Cleaner Image
When you print your image, go into your printer settings. There, you should be able to select the quality print you want. Choose whichever one uses the most ink or has the highest quality print.
Sealing/Preserving The Ornament
Modge Podge is a crafter’s best friend, and it works perfectly here as well. 🙂
I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface with this craft. There are so, SO many possibilities with what images you put into it and how you decorate with ribbons, jute twine, etc. Not only that, but this craft is a major encouragement to someone like me. I’ve always had a creative soul, but I never found an outlet for it because I could never draw. With crafts like this, ANYONE can release their creativity and make a unique, personal ornament.
And so, with all that said, get to it! Go make something perfect for you and yours this holiday season.