In this tutorial I will show you how to to transfer printouts onto leather without it cracking when you are done!
Step 1: Pick Your Prints
Remember to reverse the picture in your photo editing software otherwise the image will show up backwards after the transfer. I forgot this so we had to pick super heroes that could be reversed. The idea was individual badges could be created, the result was not expected.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Pictures and Mod Podge!
Make sure your leather does not have a finish on it, if it does the transfer will go poorly. you can use fine sandpaper to rough up the surface if you are unsure.
Use a brush on the picture to be transferred, use enough of the Mod Podge to give the picture a thick coat.
Turn the paper over and smooth out the bubbles.
Wait 1 day for the leather to dry.
Step 3: Rub It Out
Use warm water and soak your leather, you will see the paper saturate.
Take the leather out of the bucket and run your hands with slight pressure over the paper and it will rub away the extra paper leaving the ink behind.
Add more water if the leather starts drying out.
Let the leather dry for another day before sealing.
Step 4: Leather Dried
when you come back to your project the leather may look fuzzy with paper haze still remaining.
Most if not all of this will disappear with a sealant.
If you think you can rub more paper off then use warm water again and let the project dry again before continuing to the next step.
If you do not use a sealant the transfer will dry and crack when you bend or flex the leather.
Step 5: Add Sealant
Acrylic Resolene is your friend.
Use a paint brush and evenly coat your ink transferred picture.
Use even strokes to remove the bubbles.
Let it dry and you will see the white haze has disappeared.
Step 6: Edging
Now that you have your transfers, cut them out and use edge dressing to give them a cleaner look. We needed unique labels for gadget bags so our next step was to add industrial Velcro. Peel off the sticky part, attach it to the leather, then sew it all down if you have a machine that can handle it.