Easiest Image Transfer Ever

I love the idea of image transfer, but it’s always seemed far too complicated. I’m not really up for things that have more than 2 or 3 steps, or that take a very long. The whole “…then leave it overnight” thing just doesn’t work for me. However, I recently read the following: “Use parcel tape on an image in a magazine, rub your finger over it, then soak [overnight] & rub off the paper.”

Seemed too good to be true.

Parcel Tape Image Transfer: Step 1

It seriously isn’t. I literally did exactly the above. . . Rubbed it a bit, didn’t wait around at all, then plunged it into a bowl of water. “Isn’t the word ‘plunged’ a bit melodramatic?”, I hear you ask. Why no: no it’s not, I was that excited.

I swished it around in the water for a bit. My top tip for the rubbing process is to use your index finger, and to do little circles — first in the middle of the back of the image, then work outwards. Just seems to be the easiest way to get off the paper backing. Also: you may need to go over it two or three times, or else you may still have bits of paper residue on the back.

The one above is my favorite, but I also did this . . .

. . . which I like in a slightly creepy way. Second tip: you should probably get special clear glue. I used super glue and you can see where the image moved around after my first placement, when some of the image came off. Actually, I now think this ‘mistake’ works well for this red one. . . Also for this next one:

For the blue bird one, however, I didn’t want any bits missing so I had to be super super careful with the placement of the tape.

I also think this would work very nice for votive candle holders & on mirrors, but this is all I’ve done so far. By the way— this only works with magazines. I tried just printing out an image on paper, but that mostly just came off with the paper. Might work better printing with fancy photo paper, which I haven’t got round to trying yet. If anyone else has, please let me know. Enjoy.

Love, Em.


Easiest Image Transfer Ever — 20 Comments

  1. I, too, am confused. Maybe i don’t know enough to start with, but what paper has to be rubbed off? if the image is on the tape and you then press the image on the tape onto something, which paper has to be rubbed off? And where does the glue come in? I am going to lie down in a darkened room, now, and think of a sandy beach and the surf…………….. i am a complete failure……….

    • For one you are not a complete failure. Proof of that hhere. You asked the question so that shows interest in learning. A failure would not have asked the question.

  2. So sorry.

    Take clear parcel tape. Lay it on top of image in magazine. Cut out both image and tape as one item. Rub your thumb over the tape, sort of pressing the magazine paper attached to it, against it. Then put it in a bowl of water and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Then put your hand in the bowl and using your index finger rub little circles on the magazine side of the tape/magazine combo so that the magazine paper comes away from the tape, leaving only the ghostly image on the tape. Does that make sense or am I still being confusing?

  3. that comment cleared it up for me too altho now I’m gong to have to try to find clear parcel tape I’ve only seen brown tape really apart from sellotape??
    bless your mum she sounds like mine =)

  4. If you want to use a printed image (not from a magazine) you need to use a laser printer. I guess Inkjet printers don’t work, but I had great luck with a color laser printer!

  5. Okay, I still have a question … so do you end up basically with the picture on the parcel tape? Then, do you glue the tape to wherever you want it to go?
    I do not really get what the difference is to just glueing the paper image to whereever you would like it to go?

    Or did I misunderstand this?
    Or is it just the way the transferred image looks a bit different to the original and that is why you do it?
    I kinda had the perception you would transfer it directly to whereever it should be – but you still have to glue it, right?

    Sorry for all those questions.
    Love the way your transfers look!


    • Good questions. What you get is a sort of ghost of the image on the tape, this means whatever you attach it to shows through as the background. I liked the way the images looked with the metal background showing through, but with this method you could put any color or pattern behind the picture.

      As to the glue thing, it depends. I found glue messed up the image. If your just putting it on something then there is still usually enough sticky left on the tape to hold it. However if you want it really waterproof or want to put resin over the top I found you had to put another piece of tape on the back so you could glue it without the ink running.

      Thanks for the questions

    • Yes, some kind person wrote in and said laser printers work and inkjet doesn’t and I tried it and it totally works, yay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>