Saturday, February 2, 2013

Image Transfer On Clay - Tutorial

I love trying new things, so when the lovely Jennifer from Wee Munchkin Photography asked if  I could put her business logo onto a tag recently I took up the challenge to find a way without having to make an expensive custom stamp.

There are quite a few tutorials on the internet for image transfers onto clay, some of them quite involved  but I distilled a few of the ideas into something that made sense to me.  The result was quite pleasing for my first go and I'm keen to try some other methods.

First I had to change the logo into a black line master on my computer (I use Gimp a free software download).  The original logo is a gold colour which transferred only faintly onto the tag.

When I was happy with the look and size of the logo I printed it onto some 'Make your own Tattoo'  paper I had from a previous project (I bought mine on Ebay) I also skipped the 'add protective sheet' part of the Tattoo paper instructions.  Many tutorials say to use T Shirt transfer paper and then bake it.  Since I use air dry clay and don't fire or bake it I felt this COLD approach would work better.

After conditioning and rolling out the clay I then placed the transfer 'face down' on the surface.  Using a wet paper towel I dabbed the back gently, making sure there was good contact between transfer and clay. It's important not to over wet or drag against the image too much by wiping.  Once transfer is in place peel off the backing paper gently.

Next step is to cut out using a 4 cm cookie cutter (or whatever size you decide), make a small hole in the top with a wooden skewer and allow to dry.  Once the tags are dried they can be sanded - NOT ON THE IMAGE - and then painted with a clear gloss sealer I use Jo Sonja's Gloss Varnish (water based).

For more inspiration check out Ceramic Arts Daily

I'm excited to play around with these new methods and to be able put something a little more detailed onto the clay like a photo.    I have so many idea's of what I could do with this technique so don't be surprised if you see it popping up in my Madeit store.


  1. Oooh.. that looks like so much fun! Can't wait to see how you incorporate the technique :o)

  2. Thanks Kylie, I just ordered some water-slide transfer paper used for decals and I'm going to experiment with that as well - it's not as expensive as the Tattoo paper. :)