When I was working on the match box shrine the other day, one of those "happy accidents" occurred that I am thrilled with, and have now replicated... so I am going to share it with you.
I used the packing tape transfer method to transfer some graphics to the match box. I love this method, it could not be more simple. The only downside to it is that the tape is shiny. Now, I have used a matte finish over it, and that does tone it down, but it does still leave the edges to deal with and so on.
While adding the tape to the matchbox, it really did not want to stick well, so I stuck it on with a thin layer of Mod Podge (can I say one more time I love this stuff??). I'd left it over night and was working on it the next day when I decided that I wanted it to look a bit worn and older, so I thought I'd try a little sandpaper on it. As I was gently taking off some of the shine of the tape, one of the corners pulled up. Grrrr... it's always something isn't it? I thought that maybe if I pulled gently on it the edges would tear off and I could finish up.
Well, I tugged...and the tape came up... and it kept coming up. And here's the fun part... the image stayed there. Now, isn't that a happy little accident. I knew I had to try it again to see if it actually was an accident, or if this was something that could be repeated. So, I painted a few ATCs with acrylic paint and let them dry thoroughly. Really, in spite of my impatience, this whole drying thing is really important as I found out.
I used a couple of images of photos I've taken at the cemetery, and covered them with packing tape, and carefully, but firmly, burnished the image onto the tape using the back of a teaspoon. You have to be careful to not stretch the tape when you do this step or you will distort the image.
Then I soaked the back of the paper with water and gently rubbed the paper off, leaving just the image on the tape.
I attached the tape to the card using a thin layer of Mod Podge and then I went to bed. I know if I hadn't, I'd have wanted to take the tape off before it had dried completely...try as I might, patience just is not my virtue.
And, in the morning, itching to see if it really worked, I gently peeled away the tape. And would you look at that...
The image stayed in the card. Now, how is that for cool? And, since I used the matte Mod Podge, the image isn't shiny.
And, it works with color copies too...
So, here is what I have learned (so you don't have to repeat the same mistakes, you can make your very own!)...
The copies really need to be done with toners not ink jet. The ink jet copy ink is water soluble, it runs when liquid hits it, so it won't withstand the water soaking when you remove the paper.
You can use copies that are wider than the strip of tape. Just make sure to overlap the tape slightly and be sure to burnish well where you have joined it.
What you can't do is put the transfer directly on top of other paper, it seems to pull the paper away when you remove the tape... experience speaking again on that one. The angel I had originally put on this card pulled the paper right up when I removed the tape. I added another layer of tape, and covered that with an acrylic paint to see if sealing it would help. I found that it did, so you CAN put the transfer on top of paper if you have sealed it with something like acrylic paint.
Let everything dry COMPLETELY. As sad as it makes me to say, patience is such a key here (damn it all). The tape you transfer the image to must be completely dry... The background you put the image on must be sealed and completely dry... The Mod Podge you use to adhere the transfer to the background must be completely dry before you try to lift the tape. And don't try to hurry it along with a heat source... experience again... it makes a mucky mess. You can trust me on that one.
The image will ONLY adhere to where the Mod Podge is actually making contact between the background and the transfer, as you can see in the card above. Makes sense when you think about it, but that means you need to take care when you adhere it. I apply a thin layer to the back of the tape, and a thin layer to the background I want to attach it to, and then CAREFULLY use a brayer to get rid of any air bubbles. Of course, you can skip this step and see what happens... that's always fun too.
And, finally, remember that the image you transfer this way has an almost transparent quality to it. It will not be opaque, so if you want a really solid image, this probably won't be what you want to use.
I'm off to play with a book I am altering... I'll share that soon (when it's completely dry, of course)!