The main reason to have this blog is to see if there are some ways that I can generate income while still staying home with my children and save for our adoption. I’ve thought about a couple of different things and have some stuff in the works, but the one I was hoping to try first is gel transfered photos onto wood. I’ve been doing it for a couple of months now and the engineer in me has made it into a science fair project. How much gel is best? Do you sand before or after? How much of the paper do you take off? How long do you leave the picture on? There are a lot of tutorials out there on the subject, but when it comes down to it – you really just need to use trial and error to see what works best for you and your resources.
I’ll let you know how I do, but I hope that if this isn’t something that you want to do yourself that you might think about asking me to make one for you. If you have time would you look at the products I made and tell me what you think you would pay for them? I want to be affordable without being so cheap that the money doesn’t reflect the work put into it. It’s hard for me because I know I am always looking to get things for cheap, which is why I often just make it myself, but in the new year I want to be respectful of that which requires time and effort for others and bless those that make things by hand.
These are pictures of wonderful friends of ours. They were kind enough to let me take their family pictures. There was this cool gnarly tree that we took some pictures in and I thought that it would look great on the wood. I changed the color of the picture to black and white and then you put a thin (very thin layer) of the gel medium. I use a good paint brush and paint a thin layer on the wood and on the picture. Then I put the picture on the wood and use a credit card to smooth it out. The best thing to do is to try and get rid of as much of the gel as you can, and smooth down. This is dangerous, you have to be slow so as not to rip the paper but quick enough that it doesn’t dry (it dries quickly if you put a very thin layer). You can see from the picture above of the little girl that I got a little fold in the paper messing up her face, and then I didn’t get all the paper off… this was an early attempt.
I made this one later. The key is to take your time. The longer you leave the picture on the wood the better the picture colors will show through. To get the paper off I hold the wood under a soft stream of water in the kitchen sink and you just rub your fingers across it a little at a time. Sometimes I do it for a little while and then let it dry and do it again. You can actually mess it up a lot at this time. If you look at the picture below you can see all sorts of mistakes that I’ve made.
Luckily, I made these blocks double sided. So the mistakes aren’t so bad because you can just turn the block around. But let’s talk about the mistakes, the first one is the pirate. I couldn’t get all the paper off. In the second one I rubbed the picture too hard, the third was a bad piece of wood and on the fourth and the fifth the gel medium got on the top of the paper, which makes it hard to remove all of the paper.
The wood pictures are cute in and of themselves, but I think the charm is in when they are cut with the scroll saw. My other favorite part is any white in the picture or light color lets the wood grain come through. If you have time please let me know what you think of these, and how much you think a fair price would be.