Bicycle Box {Image Transfer Project}

Bicycle Box {Makeover with Chalk Paint and an Image Transfer} -

Hi friends!  I hope all of my American friends had a wonderful holiday weekend.  We had gorgeous weather and spent a lot of time together as a family – my favorite kind of weekend!  I also carved out a little time to finish this image transfer project I’ve been working on.

Here’s the “before” if you remember this box from my treasure hunting post last month:

Bicycle Box {Makeover with Chalk Paint and an Image Transfer} -

First I painted the box in Old Ochre Chalk Paint® (the same color as my nailhead vanity makeover).

I found this bicycle image from The Graphics Fairy website (thousands of free images- go check it out!) and sorta followed this tutorial from matsutake to do the image transfer, with a few adjustments.  HERE are all the image transfer methods that The Graphics Fairy recommends, based on what kind of project you’re doing.

1.  First I printed the image on a test sheet of paper.  (Inkjet printer)

2.  I laid a sheet of transparency paper over it and applied Elmer’s washable glue over the bicycle image (directly on the transparency) with a small brush.  I let it dry.

3.  I brushed a coat of Mod Podge over the top of the box where the image would be.

4.  I printed the bicycle image (mirrored, because I wanted it facing left) onto the transparency. It printed onto the dried glue.

5.  Immediately I flipped the transparency over onto the box and rubbed and pressed like 100 times, and then I let it sit for a long time.

Bicycle Box {Makeover with Chalk Paint and an Image Transfer} -

Here’s what I hoped would happen:  There would be a crisp, clear image of a bicycle on top of the box.

Here’s what really happened:  Some blurring, lots of peeling glue, and a few parts of a crisp bicycle image.

What went wrong?  I don’t really know.  I didn’t want to wet the box like in matsutake’s method because I was afraid it would ruin the paint job- or the box.  Maybe I didn’t let it sit long enough, but the glue was totally dry when I removed the transparency.  I’ll keep searching for an image transfer method that will give me the crisp graphics I want.  (If you have any tips, let me know in the comments!)

Bicycle Box {Makeover with Chalk Paint and an Image Transfer} -

I sanded away the peeling glue and there was still enough of the bicycle to work with, so I waxed the box with both clear and dark wax and made it look more aged.  Even though it wasn’t what I originally wanted, I really like it now!

Bicycle Box {Makeover with Chalk Paint and an Image Transfer} -

The image looks like it’s been there forever and just faded over time.

And here’s a closeup of the cool vintage scale I bought while thrifting in Indianapolis a couple weeks ago:

Vintage scale -

Do you have any success stories (or failures) with image transfers?

I’d love to hear about them!


Recent Awesome Posts:

* Dry Brushed Chair {Flower-Themed Furniture Makeover Day}

* Confessions of a Messy Garage (and some organization tips!)

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on Bicycle Box {Image Transfer Project}

  1. Tasha Lynn
    May 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm (4 years ago)

    I was thinking that some printers and computers you can set it to print the mirrored image. Saw pic to your computer and play around with the pic.

  2. terry wilson
    May 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Go with a laser printer. You can try transfer paper, or butcher paper or tissue paper. Give the laser a try

    • Jen
      May 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Terry- I don’t own a laser printer so I’ll have to check out printing it at a print/copy store.

  3. Marie@The Interior Frugalista
    May 27, 2014 at 11:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh yeah, I tried the freezer paper transfer method on a linen table runner and got the same result you did with the bike. I’ve had the most success with a) printing onto wax paper and rubbing the image onto the wood, b) printing on paper and modge podging the image onto the wood and then removing the paper once dry by wetting the image and rubbing away the paper, or c) printing on paper and using carbon or graphite paper to trace the graphic onto the wood and painting over it with an art brush or paint pen. I’ve heard the citrasolv method is pretty good but I can’t find it anywhere here in Canada.

    • Jen
      May 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for the tips, Marie! I have some wax paper so maybe I’ll try that technique next.

    • Jen
      May 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you Paula! I think the pulls help make it look kind of “antique” too, so thankfully it all works together. 🙂


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