How to Make Wood Ornaments Using Image Transfer Technique
Difficulty Level: Easy
Color Inspiration: Black, Red, White, and Gold
• Inkjet Printer
• Standard Printer Paper
• Wood Slice Ornaments
• Digital Flower Clipart
• Wax Paper
• Gold Craft Paint (optional)
• Small Paintbrush (optional)
[for table setting styling]
• Black and White Check Place Mats
• Mini Tabletop Christmas Tree
• Red Berry Picks
• Beaded Gold Garland
1. We'll first start with designing your flower clipart on your personal computer. I recommend choosing a colorful vintage style that doesn't rely on sharp crisp edges as you won't get crystal clear image transfers on the wood. It is meant to look gorgeously worn and soft! I used Create The Cut's Ruby collection.
Sourcing Tip: While there is a ton of clipart out there you can use, I especially loved the fresh modern-vintage take on Create The Cut's Digital Floristry via Etsy. If you have Photoshop or another design program, you basically build your own bouquet or floral arrangement using their collection of clipart! All files are on a transparent background making it a clean print image. And if you don't want to create your own, they also include a few of their own pre-made digital floral arrangements for quick and easy printing.
2. Once you've settled on your flower designs, you'll now get ready to print. The width of your wood slices will determine how big to print your flowers. The ones that we used from from Rachael's Scraps via Etsy were about 3 1/2" wide, so my digital flower designs were a little less than 2" wide. In your print settings, be sure that your image prints accordingly. (In Photoshop, you can size down an image by "Scaled Print Size" in percentage in the Print window, and it'll automate height and width for you.)
3. Cut wax paper to the size of your standard printer paper adding about an extra inch on the long edge. Fold over this extra inch to the top-back of the paper and securely tape the wax paper to the printer paper. Do not tape the bottom of the wax paper as this could cause a messy print -- it should be free-flowing! Insert wax paper sheet (tape edge first) into your printer's cassette tray ensuring that your wax paper will be the side that is printed on, not the printer paper.
4. While your flowers are printing, lightly wet your wood slices with clean water. This helps the ink soak into the wood and dry nicely!
5. Carefully remove your printed wax paper from the printer. Avoid touching the ink at all as it's literally just "sitting" on top of the wax paper and will smudge very easily. Cut out your flower design. (It's fun to see how "light" it looks -- much like a temporary tattoo -- but it's actually really vivid in color once applied!)
6. Place the wax paper ink side down on the wood being very careful not to move it once it's in place as it will smudge your design. Taking a folded piece of cardstock, "scratch" the design onto the wood. Make sure the ink has transferred properly by lifting a corner and remove wax paper when you have the result you want.
7. Allow your wood slices to air dry before doing anything else with them. If you choose, paint a gold rim around the wood slices. Thankfully the slices have a built-in guide for you! Add a little gilded touch that's subtle and pretty. Or go au naturel! Both look gorgeous for the holidays.
Holiday Wedding Ornament Ideas and Tips
There are so many ways to personalize these ornaments for your wedding or bridal shower favors. Add a date, add a name, add your wedding logo. This easy image transfer technique can be used for anything! As mentioned above, this technique on wood isn't the best when you need crisp edges, so keep that in mind when contemplating text. However, if you do want to add text, cutting out vinyl with your electronic cutting machine (e.g., Cricut) would work wonders for it especially if you want a metallic!
Now what do you do with all your ornaments once they're finished? Set up a Christmas tree at your event and have everyone take one off the tree! So guests know it's not just decoration, create a sign that says "Please take an ornament!" and place it right next to the tree... or you might end up with a whole lot of ornaments after the event! That could be a good or a bad thing depending on how much you love the holidays!
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