Image Transfers

Image Transfers

Well, Happy New Year to everyone!!  Where did 2015 go?  Where did I go?  I’m here and there and as always, catching up to life.

So, as some of you know, I love image transfers.  I mostly love transferring them on to soft surfaces, then use them in my art. One of my favorite surfaces are tea bags.. used ones.  I’ve done this several times making art gifts for friends, just because.  I love sending a surprise gift when they least expect it.  Especially if it’s so meaningful to them.

Here are a couple pieces I did for friends who had lost family members.  I love taken a youthful picture (that I grabbed off of their Facebook page… I’m not a stalker, honest) and transferred the image on a used tea bag or muslin fabric.  Surprise little gifts with meaning.  These were done on coasters.

The one on the left, I was able to capture a hand written note that my aunt gave to her daughter. This was on a tea bag. The one on the right, was a friend’s father. That was on muslin.

Since we all drink tea in our house, I have plenty of dried bags to use.  My husband is an old fashioned Irishman and drinks the basic Lipton tea. These seems to have the most dying effect that makes a nice vintage/iron look.

20160131_183014     20160131_150414

Let the bags dry with the tea in them. Once dry, cut off a top and shake out the dried tea. Gently pull them apart down the center seam.  Some of the berry teas work well, as they leave a purple hint behind.


As you can see, I love the catholic icons. Bottom center photo is my parents on their honeymoon in Syria.

My favorite transfer method is using clear ink jet printer transparencies. Print them on the dull side. I always rotate my images horizontally.  I use polymer medium (not the gel that is thick, the liquid that you can shake in the bottle) to transfer on your surface.  It takes a lot of practice and even now, I still do the process a few times before they are completely transferred. If they are not perfect, that’s perfect to me to give that worn, vintage look.  These are now ready to put in any of your art. Collages, journals… etc.

Below, is a recent wedding gift I was commissioned for.  I used tea bags as the first layer. onto a wood board.  I transferred the e.e. cummings poem (the bride’s favorite), then the picture of the couple onto muslin. I used molding paste, stencils, acrylic paints and some embellishments to give it a little blingiddy bling.




From what I was told, the couple loved the gift. Whew!


Well, thanks for checking in with me.  I love to hear from you and all your comments.  I appreciate them so much.

Let me know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.

Judy ♥ 


21 responses »

  1. Happy to see your post this morning! I love transfers, too, but just can’t seem to do them well. Practice, practice as you said. The wedding gift is wonderful!

  2. Judy!!!
    The commissioned piece you created is just absolutely stunning!!!
    I so love how you use the teabags in your art- truly they give such a a beautiful vintage appearance!
    The first two pieces are just beautiful as well and so very heartfelt! You are so sweet Judy!
    am happy to see you back creating!! More please! xoxo

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this process, Judy! You make it sound so easy, but I may need a sit-down demonstration at some point. (Perhaps another lunch date!) Your coasters are such a very special gift, as is, of course, your commissioned wedding gift. It also looks like you keep a personal journal of the transferred images of those catholic icons. That’s a treasure, too. Hugs to you and your Irish tea drinker!

  4. I read this earlier and am popping back in to comment. What a superb job of the transfers!!! I saw that wedding piece in person, what a loving gift. xox

  5. I love your image transfers. They are so beautiful. No wonder that wedding gift was so well received. I’m so glad to see you back on your blog! xoxoxo

  6. This is brilliant! So glad Marjie featured you, I so love the idea of this and your finished piece is stunning!!

  7. I came over from Marjie’s blog to have a look – your transfers are beautiful, I just love how you use tea bags too! Great post, thanks so much for sharing your technique.

  8. I am totally confused. How did you get the pictures onto the tea bag? are you making stickers that you then adhere to the tea bag. Please send how to. Regards Tracy

  9. Hey Tracy.. first, the lovely couple is not put on the teabag; they are on muslin. I use transparencies that go in the printer. I print on the rough side, but make sure you flip the image or words or they will come out opposite. Cut your image.. leave an edging to pull up from. Spread polymer medium on the teabag and the image, but be careful not to smudge the ink. Like spreading butter. Lay it down on the teabag and burnish with a soft cloth or your finger.. don’t press too hard. Let sit about 10 minutes and lift up a corner to see if it’s started to transfer. Sometimes it takes several tries to get it right. The reason it looks like a sticker is because of the gloss from the medium.

  10. oh ! que c’est beau . je suis près de Paris mais je vais vous suivre, c’est certain ! Merci . Oh, it’s wonderfull , I live near Paris but … I could follow you, it’s sure 🙂 Thanks :)))

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