Paper-To-Canvas Transfer

There's nothing I love more than doing something hands-on. If I see something I like, I'd rather make it than buy it. Maybe I get that from my Dad who is always remodeling/building/fixing something.
One of my best friends & bridesmaids gave me a canvas portrait as a wedding gift & I've been trying to figure out how to make my own ever since. When I saw this by the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess (once you see their canvas, browse around & fall in love with everything else they have created), I knew I had to give making my own canvas picture a try.
I went through all of my wedding & engagement pictures, but I was using a left-over canvas & it is a weird size. None of the pictures would have looked right, so I chose one of my favorite quotes of all time. J & I were watching a reality TV show when we heard it & thought it was completely appropriate for us & our relationship. The only problem is, I have no idea where it originated.

What you'll need
Stretched canvas
Laser copy of whatever you want to transfer
Gel medium (Liquitex, found in the paint section)
Paint brush
Spray bottle filled with water

Like I said before, my canvas was left over from a previous project. I got it from Hobby Lobby as a set of 2 for $7.99 & it is 15.5x20 (weird, I know).

I went to staples to have the quote printed out. It was actually printed on 2 11x17 sheets of plain ol' paper. This gets a little confusing, but because when you go to transfer the image you need to lay it the image side of the paper touching the canvas, the image will be reversed. When using an actual picture this wouldn't be a big deal, but because I was using words, I had to reverse the image so when it was laying face down it actually looked right. Does that make sense?
This picture is how the sheets looked when they came off the printer, but when I'm doing the transfer, I will flip them over so the inked side is touching the canvas.

I used this gel medium by Liquitex. I found it at Hobby Lobby. This little container costs about $14, but I only used about 1/3 of it for this huge canvas.

You want to spread a thick layer of gel medium all over the canvas.

Then lay your image face down onto the gel medium. See how you can actually read it now?

Smooth it out as best as you can without moving the paper. Let it dry for at least 3 hours. When it is completely dry, it will be wrinkle-free.

When you're positive it's dry, spray one corner with water & rub the paper. The paper will begin to peel off.

Make your way around the canvas spraying with water & rubbing, revealing your image. This is very messy & takes some time. Lay down newspaper or do it on a surface that's easy to clean.

You might rub too hard in some areas, taking off the ink. Don't panic! If it's not perfect, it's more yours than anything you could have bought.

When you get all the paper off, put a top coat of Mod Podge or gel medium over the top of the image. I opted for Mod Podge because it's half the cost of the medium & I want to do this over & over & over again with ever canvas I put my hands on...

Thank you to A Beautiful Mess for demonstrating this- it turned out beautiful!

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