Introduction: Image Transfer to Wood

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No fuss method for transferring an image onto wood using minimal supplies! I have tried several other methods with mixed results, but THIS WORKS!

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:
1. A piece of raw (unfinished) wood - lighter woods work better
2. Coarse grit (60 or 80 G) sandpaper
3. Paper cutter, or scissors and a ruler
4. Freezer paper (much more "printer friendly" than wax paper)
5. Printable mirror image of what you want to transfer
7. Clear coat (Lacquer has been used for this project)

(and not pictured, a credit card or something similar to use for smoothing the paper onto the wood) will want your phone, because immediately after you make this, you will want to take a picture to text to your mom, your sister...and especially that super-crafty friend.

Step 2: Choose a Piece of Wood

Ideally, a lighter wood, as the ink will show up better. Mine measures 5 1/2" wide x 11" tall. The size of yours is up to you!

Step 3: Sand the Surface

Using 60 or 80 grit sandpaper, rough up the surface of the wood. Go with the grain. Don't skip this step, or the ink won't absorb into the wood!

Step 4: Cut Freezer Paper to 8 1/2 X 11 In.

Using your paper cutter (or scissors and ruler), cut a piece of freezer paper to 8 1/2 x 11 inches (or to any size that your printer recognizes). Crooked cuts often lead to paper jams so try to be very accurate here!

Updated: Several have commented having also had success using transparency paper (it is already the correct size, more easily feeds through the printer and can be wiped clean and reused) as well as the leftover paper that address labels are stuck to.

Step 5: Choose an Image and Reverse It

Design your image (or choose from a free printables site). Using a program such as "Paint," reverse the image so that you have a mirror image. Feel free to use our image! :)

Step 6: Print the Image Onto Freezer Paper

Feed the freezer paper into your printer so that the image prints on the shiny side. Print. The paper holds your ink in place but will not absorb it. The slick surface is the trick to making this method work.

(I tried at least a dozen times with wax paper on 3 different printers and paper jam every time. So, try wax paper at your own risk! If you are still getting printer jams with this, try taping or glueing the freezer paper to a standard sheet of paper.)

Step 7: Place the Paper Ink Side Down Onto the Wood

Careful here - it is a one shot deal! Lay the freezer paper ink side down onto the wood. Do not re-position once placed. Using a card (and holding the paper in place with the other hand), smooth the card over the entire surface of the paper, taking care not to move the paper.

Step 8: Remove the Paper

Pull off the paper - the image will remain on the wood!

Don't like how it looks? The ink is superficially absorbed into the surface - just sand it off and give it another go!

Step 9: Apply a Clearcoat

Once ink is dry to touch, apply a clearcoat (spray is recommended to reduce smudging/bleeding) and let dry. If surface remains rough once dry, rub down with a brown paper bag (this smooths the surface without lifting the clearcoat) and apply an additional clearcoat. I applied black paint to the edges prior to clearcoat.

Step 10: The Possibilities Are Endless!

Broom parking is my original design - feel free to use it! Trick or Treat is available at for free!

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