Today I’m going to show you how to transfer photos onto glass using Mod Podge Photo Transfer. This is something I’ve definitely wanted to try for some time now, but the process looked extremely daunting. I’m here to tell you that it’s actually not as a bad as it looks! I’ve done all the trial and error for you (and believe me- there was lots of “error” in that trial and error) and have a few tips to help your finished product look its best!
The Mod Podge Photo Transfer basically turns your picture into a decal that can then be stuck to glass or any smooth surface. You brush the medium onto your photo, the photo transfers to the medium as it dries (into a very thin plastic-like sheet), and you peel the paper away. Knowing this will help you envision your final project as you are working on it.
There are a few key tips to make your project successful:
1. You definitely need to use pictures that were printed using a laser jet printer. Most home printers are ink jet, and that will not work, and photos printed on photo paper will not work either. Call around to your local photo copy centers and ask what kind of printers they use. I found that my local UPS printing stores use ink jet, but Staples uses laser jet, which is what you want. I placed my images into a word processing document and brought them into the store on a jump drive. They were able to plug the jump drive in and print out my documents.
2. When you print your images, get 2 copies, just in case you make a mistake on the first!
3. If your images have words, reverse the image in your word processing program before you have them printed so that they appear correctly on the final project. (You’ll notice below in my sample images that I did not do this, and couldn’t use any image that had a word on it.
4. For your first project, choose a glass jar or plate that has straight (not curved) sides/bottom. After you get used to working with this medium, then you can move up to curved plates or jars.
What you’ll need:
1. A clear glass jar or plate. Check out your local thrift store, dollar store, craft store or even recycling bin for a good selection. I used cleaned out candle jars for my project.
2. A sheet of photographs printed out on a laser jet printer, onto regular printer paper
3. Mod Podge Photo Transfer medium
4. Foam brush
5. 2 Sheets of wax paper (to work on/protect your surface and to dry your images on)
6. Water and sponge
Trim your photos from the sheet of paper and lay them out (face up) onto the wax paper.
Squeeze a generous dollop of the Mod Podge Photo Medium onto the image, and brush it evenly over the entire image. You want a very thick coating – thick enough that you cannot see the image through it. Your photo will be transferred to this coating as it dries, so if it is too thin, it will make transferring the image very difficult later. Transfer the images to a clean sheet of wax paper to dry.
Set aside to dry for 24 hours. Ensure that the room is in the 60-80 degree F range. In humid climates, the dry time may take longer than 24 hours.
Using a sponge, generously wet the back of the image to begin to soften the paper.
Begin to carefully rub away the paper on the back of the image. You can either use your finger or the sponge. I found that that my finger worked better so that I could work on it gently. You can tear the image if you rub too hard.
You may need to repeat step 4 and 5 two or three times until all the paper is removed. Allow the paper to dry between steps, then re-wet and rub again. Eventually, you’ll be left with a very thin decal of your image.
Carefully place your image decal onto the jar. If you need to trim the image due to excess Mod Podge medium, do so carefully before you apply it, or use an Exacto knife after it has dried.
Repeat steps 4-7 for each image until your jar is covered as you’d like. The Mod Podge packaging states that the images are permanent on the glass, but I sealed mine with a thin coat of regular Mod Podge to seal it.