Crafts/ DIY/ Nifty/ Paint

{image transfer tray makeover}

Image Transfer Tray Makeover from {nifty thrifty things}

I have to admit that my mom and I were a little discouraged when we met up for a craft date yesterday. The last time we crafted together, the results were.. well.. mediocre. We only ended up with one of the originally six paper mache tea lights. All others landed in the trash..

But this project turned out great! We were really pleased with the results! :)

My mom had found the tutorial on a German blog called "dekoherz" a couple weeks back and we just had to give it a try.
I had this old tray laying around that was just waiting on being brought back to life.
So, this is what I did:

Image Transfer Tray Makeover from {nifty thrifty things}

I used chalk paint to paint the tray an off-white color and decided on an old french advertisement graphic from The Graphics Fairy.

Image Transfer Tray Makeover from {nifty thrifty things}

What you'll need:

  • copies or prints from a laser printer (color or black & white)
    • if it has writing on it, make sure to reverse the image
  • photo transfer medium (I believe Mod Podge makes it in the US)
  • a tray (or other surface)
  • a flat brush
  • a sponge
  • hair dryer

Image Transfer Tray Makeover from {nifty thrifty things}

How to:

  1. Pick an image or graphic and print it mirrored.
  2. Give both the surface you want to transfer the graphic on and the printed paper (on the printed side) a good coat of the photo transfer gel.
  3. Place the coated paper, printed side down, onto the surface and use a squeegee (or old credit card/discount card) to smooth out the paper. Wipe any excess gel off with a damp cloth.
  4. Blow dry for about 10 minutes and let cool.
  5. Now the fun part! Use a sponge to wet the paper and then start rubbing the sponge over the graphic until the paper starts to peel off. All that will be left is the water-proof ink.
  6. Let dry and seal by applying another coat of the transfer gel.

You can also use this technique on metal, glass, fabric, .. pretty much anything you can think of! :)

Image Transfer Tray Makeover from {nifty thrifty things}

I'm partying here! ❤

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Monsterscircus
    Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    WOW Vanessa, your mom and you are really an awesome and creative team! This really looks like a fun project and I love the result! That’s on my to do list! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful week!

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Saturday April 6th, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Thank you so much, Mette! :D
      Please let me know when/if you try it! I would love to see your project!
      I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and wonderful weekend!
      Hugs! Vanessa

  • Reply
    zhing
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 08:18 AM

    wow that’s gorgeous! :) its so fun that mum joins you in craft parties!!

  • Reply
    Amanda McSeveny
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 08:56 AM

    That tray is stunning. Was a real ugly duckling before your transformation. Love these types of projects.

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Saturday April 6th, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      Thank you so much, Amanda! :)
      I will definitely use that technique again – I love it!
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    amy
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 09:19 AM

    sooooooo schön geworden dein kleines tablett!!!
    kuss mama

  • Reply
    Lisa@hooplapalooza
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 02:50 PM

    ok this is waaay cool! i gotta do this :)

  • Reply
    Lynda Bergman
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 02:59 PM

    Thank you for the tutorial. Love your new tray!! Lynda

  • Reply
    Kari @ The Micro Farm Project
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 04:30 PM

    Wow, I can think of all kinds of applications for this. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Saturday April 6th, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Oh, I know! I already have another list of things to transform, hehe.
      Thank you for your sweet comment, Kari!
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Tanya
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 06:03 PM

    This turned out so lovely!!

    xo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

  • Reply
    Audrey Zumwalt
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 08:48 PM

    Really nice Vanessa. I have not tried the hair dryer method. I will have to try this. I do not see an image of the paper … maybe is because you used photo transfer instead of mod-podge. What a great way to make a tray pretty. Thanks for sharing.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      Thank you so much, Audrey! :) I love this method!
      What do you mean by the image of the paper?
      I hope you’re having a great week!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    julie
    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    wow thats pretty and what great idea to upcycle an old tray. thanks for sharing God Bless.

  • Reply
    Gwen
    Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 01:22 AM

    That is amazing, Vanessa! I just downloaded a slew of images from The Graphics Fairy and was wondering how to use them! I’ll have to find some of that Image Transfer Medium… how cool.

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      Well, I guess it just came at the right time then, hehe.
      How have you been? How’s life treating you?
      Thank you for your sweet comment!
      Hugs! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Tracy @thecityofmotherlylove.com
    Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 03:42 AM

    Very cool and different! Just pinned it =)

  • Reply
    Christina
    Friday April 5th, 2013 at 07:35 PM

    Wow…this is amazing! I love it so so much and can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the great inspiration.

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Thank you so much, Christina!
      I’m happy to hear I could be of inspiration. :)
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Katie
    Saturday April 6th, 2013 at 04:12 PM

    LOVE this tray. Can you believe that I own the Mod Podge photo transfer medium and yet I’ve been scared to do anything with it…

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Katie! :)
      You should definitely give the Mod Podge a try! And then let me know how you like it, hehe.
      I hope you’re having a great weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Megin
    Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 04:51 PM

    Love it! I haven’t heard of the the hair dryer techniques ~ might try this!
    I’m visiting you today from Nifty Thrifty Link Up. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Medicine Cabinet Makeover

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Wednesday April 10th, 2013 at 09:38 PM

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Megin! :)
      Please let me know if you try the hair dryer technique and let me know how it works for you.
      Have a wonderful day!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Laurel Stephens
    Sunday April 7th, 2013 at 05:10 PM

    I love your cute French tray; the transfer is perfect!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    Friday April 12th, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    I have been wanting to try this image transfer technique! Your tray turned out gorgeous. I’m glad this crafting session worked out better for you and your mom :)

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 14th, 2013 at 09:54 PM

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Nicole! :)
      Please let me know if you ever try this technique and how you like it!
      Have a wonderful remaining weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Martina
    Saturday April 13th, 2013 at 02:20 PM

    Hi Vanessa!!
    This was a great makeover!!
    I used to do something similar using decal paper, but this is an alternative method that I definitely have to try!!
    Just hope to find the Photo Transfer Medium though… I live in Italy, I have to find out whether it exists!!
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Martina
    from http://www.webbywonder.com

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday April 14th, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Martina, thank you so much for your sweet comment!
      I am sure you can find the Photo Transfer Medium in Italy, if I can find it here in Germany. ;)
      The brand I bought was called Hobby Line. I hope that helps! :)
      Have a wonderful week!
      XO! Vanessa

  • Reply
    TidyMom
    Sunday April 14th, 2013 at 06:25 PM

    this is BEAUTIFUL Vanessa!! I love it!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my I Spy Sunday party wrap up post! http://tidymom.net/2013/i-spy-sunday-creative-ideas/

    Have a fabulous rest of the weekend!

  • Reply
    Robin @ Simply Southern Baking
    Monday April 15th, 2013 at 02:53 PM

    Love this tray!! Just pinned it. Found you on Tidy Mom’s I Spy Sunday.

  • Reply
    Tried&Twisted
    Tuesday April 16th, 2013 at 01:49 PM

    Beautiful! It looks like a breeze to-do too!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    Tuesday April 16th, 2013 at 05:04 PM

    hi!!
    I’m SOOOOO impressed that you transformed your tray into a real thing of beauty!!

    I’m curious about a couple of things. I tried doing the photo transfer onto freshly sanded (not painted) wood. It was mostly successful, but I fuond that it was an exceedingly delicate process. Some parts of the image were easily rubbed off. Did you have that problem?

    My other question is about how well the transferred image holds up to use. Is it washable with a damp rag? Is it waterproof to any degree?

    I cannot wait to try this!!

    thanks so much.

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Tuesday April 16th, 2013 at 09:07 PM

      Thank you so much, Kathy! You’re too sweet! :)
      I actually went over the print (to scrub it off) with the wiry part of the sponge and it didn’t rub off at all. It also is holds up pretty well so far. No problem cleaning it off with a damp rag.
      Please let me know how it his technique turns out for you.
      I hope you’re having a wonderful week!
      XO’s from Germany,
      Vanessa

  • Reply
    Beverly
    Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Wow, I love how this turned out. I have a tray that I need to do something with. You are inspiring me.
    Thanks for all the details on how to do it.
    Have a great day, Following you via Twitter and Facebook.
    Bev

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Saturday April 27th, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am so happy I could inspire you to redo your tray! :)
      Let me know how it turned out!
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      xo! Vanessa

  • Reply
    Anne @ Domesblissity
    Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 01:28 PM

    You know I saw this a while ago Vanessa and stored it in my favourites to do as I have pretty much the exact same tray. Even my daughter said how nice it would be made over. I’m no closer to doing it than flying to the moon but I just wanted to say how much I love it and thank you for linking it up to Thriving on Thursdays. I’m featuring this at tomorrow’s party.

    Anne xx

    • Reply
      Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
      Sunday May 5th, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Anne! :)
      Please let me know when you get around to redoing your tray! I would love to see it!
      Hugs! Vanessa

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