Introduction: Transfer PHOTOS to STONE!

This tutorial video will show you how to "print on stone", or rather - transfer your laser-printed picture (color or black-and-white) onto stone.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • A stone (ideally smooth and light in color)
  • Acrylic Polyurethane* (OR ModPodge Photo transfer / Liquitex Gel Medium / etc.)
  • Brush
  • Laser-printed image (printed on regular or specialty transfer paper - see below)

This technique works even if your image is printed to regular paper. But if you go that route, you'll use the "rubbing" technique shown in my first instructable video about transferring photos to wood.
For this video, I use a special "peel-away" paper that makes the process a LOT faster.
That paper is called "Tom Palissade Transfer Paper", and can be found here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Palissade

Step 1: Step 1: Transfer Your Image to Stone

STEPS:

  • Clean the surface of your stone (remove any dirt, oil, grime, etc.)
  • Apply a layer of acrylic polyurethane (or transfer gel)
  • Quickly apply your laser-printed design, FACE DOWN onto the wet surface
  • Using your hand or paper towels, work air bubbles out to the edges
  • Try to eliminate wrinkles as much as possible. Some wrinkles are ok.
  • Let dry for a couple of hours, depending on your heat and humidity.
  • ONCE DRY, apply water using a soaked sponge or paper towels.
  • Let the water soak into the paper, until you start to see the image through the back.
  • Carefully peel the paper away.
  • OPTIONAL: Apply a coat (or several) of acrylic polyurethane over the image to protect it.

Watch the video to see the photo-to-stone transfer techniques performed.

Comments

author
Deedles (author)2016-11-13

I would like to try something like this with a picture of a deceased loved one to place at their grave. How long should something like this hold up outside in the elements? I live in the upper midwest where we have four seasons.

author
Tanzer26 (author)Deedles2016-11-13

If I was going for outside use, I'd finish up with a clear casting resin or similar. Preferably something with UV inhibitor on it. A Black only image should last quite a long time. Colors are likely to fade with sun exposure.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Tanzer262016-11-14

Deedles, I agree with Tanzer26 on this one: UV deterioration will be the biggest factor for outdoor prints. Black is the most UV resistant (or at least maintains contrast the longest) so that would be ideal, over color. Look into something with a UV protectant. This is doable! It just needs a little care up-front, and perhaps some maintenance over the years.

author
Deedles (author)TheCrafsMan2016-11-18

Thanks TheCraftsMan. I really like your indestructible and am anxious to give it a try. The memorial places charge an arm and leg for a picture on a monument and I think with your idea putting a picture on a smooth stone would be very nice. It is for my teen daughter's grave. She really enjoyed doing crafty things like this so I know she would like it. I'll give it a try. And thanks for the encouragement! It is doable!

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Deedles2017-01-25

Hi, Deedles. First, I want to say that I am so sorry for your loss.

I believe this should work, especially if coated with a UV / weather-resistant finish. The stones I used in the example have been sitting in my yard a couple months with NO topcoat on them and are holding up fine so far.

author
Deedles (author)TheCrafsMan2017-02-07

Thank you for the reply and update Crafsman (and your condolences). This is good to know how yours are holding up in the weather and your added suggestions. I haven't tried it yet as I haven't found any smooth enough rocks. I live near a river and find perfect sizes but can't find any with perfectly smooth surface. Do you have any suggestions where I can get some large ones (very minimum 12" x 12")?

author
Deedles (author)Tanzer262016-11-18

Thanks for the suggestions Tanzer26. And the tip on color vs b and w.

author
grelfod (author)Deedles2016-11-14

Unsure about the UV (have to read the can) but anything "Spar" like spar varnish or spar urethane will hold up to weather most excellently !

author
Deedles (author)grelfod2016-11-18

Thanks grelfod!

author
porcupinemamma (author)2016-11-30

I have been looking for instructions as to how to do this! Thanks you SO much for posting. I do not have a laser printer, and I'm sure everyone here knows what it is, but sadly, I don't. Can you please explain?

author

A laser printer is basically toner-based, which means instead of using ink (like an inkJet printer), it uses plasticy powder (toner) that gets heated and fused to the paper. The toner is what sticks to the stone or wood or whatever surface you're sticking it to. The paper essentially dissolves during the water + rubbing process. Hope this helps!

author
RickyM35 (author)2016-12-29

Excellent, will try this sometime soon.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)RickyM352017-01-25

Thanks for reading/watching!

author
Brittan (author)2016-11-15

Its amazing how many people just want to put their stones outside, new challenge for you TheCrafsMan, you'll have to find reliable weatherproof solution lol - You might have to learn how to use polyester resin, polyurethane polymers, synthetic resin, what a mess

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Brittan2016-11-16

I was thinking about exterior finish, and began wondering whether UV-protective membrane finishes like polyurethane or epoxy would be the way to go, OR would exterior concrete/masonry finish give better results. So I've got some stones out in the yard weathering right now. I'll see what happens over the next several months. :)

author
Krafteegrl (author)2016-11-13

What if I don't have a laser printer. Is there another way to do this?

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Krafteegrl2016-11-14

If you don't have a laser printer, you can have your image printed elsewhere on a laser printer, OR have copies made at your library, for instance.

For inkjet printers, a totally different method is required, involving solvent (like citrus solv) and rubbing, to force the ink away from the paper and onto the surface. That method does work on wood, but I've not tried inkjet solvent transfer on stone yet.

author
Krafteegrl (author)TheCrafsMan2016-11-14

Thanks so much, CrafsMan. I will check this out :)

author
LisaBcrafter (author)2016-11-14

I would not use it for tatoos as I use this medium a lot and found that after extensive use I started having very bad headaches. Not for sure if it was the medium or not, but just a warning.

author
its alive (author)2016-11-13

does it work as tatoo?

author
TheCrafsMan (author)its alive2016-11-14

I have not tried it on skin. My main concern there would be the gel medium and whether that would cause any reactions in the person. I'd have to research what type of substance is used in temporary tattoos. Once we know that, I bet it would work using this. Hrm....

author
its alive (author)TheCrafsMan2016-11-14

thanks i´ll apreciate your efforts

author
NizzyAmps (author)2016-11-11

There may be others but you are truly THE Crafsman

author
TheCrafsMan (author)NizzyAmps2016-11-14

Awwwww man! Thank you so much for that! :D Too kind.

author
AliceH38 (author)2016-11-13

I am definitely going to try this. Looks really easy.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)AliceH382016-11-14

It is - easy and fun! Hope you enjoy it!

author
SteveN97 (author)2016-11-13

This is great, definitely going to try this on some pebbles, thanks

author
TheCrafsMan (author)SteveN972016-11-14

Hope you enjoy it! (Careful, though... you may wind up with prints all over your yard. I've done already got a flock of birds scattered around mine! ;) )

author
Dakotamouse (author)2016-11-13

That put a smile on my lips! Thanks for the fun video.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Dakotamouse2016-11-14

:D You're very welcome! Thank you for watching!

author
DavidJ11 (author)2016-11-13

Brilliant, and very clearly described. Thank you.

I'm lucky enough to have a laser printer, so as soon as I find the varnish I'll have a go.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)DavidJ112016-11-14

Thank you! If you can't find the acrylic poly, you may be able to find Mod-Podge or Liquitex Gel Medium more easily, as they are in most arts and crafts stores.

author
NancyN41 (author)2016-11-13

Great video!!! Will be making these with my daughters. Thanks for being such a great teacher!!

author
TheCrafsMan (author)NancyN412016-11-14

So glad to hear it! Y'all have fun! Thanks for watching! :D

author
SusanP90 (author)2016-11-13

fun, fun; going to head to the river

:)

author
TheCrafsMan (author)SusanP902016-11-14

There you go! :D

author
hoka (author)2016-11-13

I would love to meet CrafsMan! I cannot wait to try this one! Keep them coming CrafsMan this was a delightful video!

author
TheCrafsMan (author)hoka2016-11-14

CrafsMan would be delighted to meet you too! Thanks so much for watching, and for the encouragement!

author
spiderbear (author)2016-11-13

Very, Very cool instructable!

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TheCrafsMan (author)spiderbear2016-11-14

Thank you so much!

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groice (author)2016-11-13

great job

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TheCrafsMan (author)groice2016-11-14

Thank you!

author
Mikel99 (author)2016-11-13

Terrific thanks

author
TheCrafsMan (author)Mikel992016-11-14

You're very welcome!

author
SiegHolle (author)2016-11-13

wow excellent

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TheCrafsMan (author)SiegHolle2016-11-14

Thanks for checking it out!

author
Brittan (author)2016-11-11

Life becomes simple with you !! Thanks

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TheCrafsMan (author)Brittan2016-11-11

Awwww, you're too kind! Thank you!

author
rakuspirit1 (author)2016-11-10

This was great! Thanks for making it seem so simple and do able. I can't wait to try it.

author
TheCrafsMan (author)rakuspirit12016-11-10

You're very welcome! Hope you enjoy, and thanks for checking it out! :)

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