Monday, September 9, 2013

Graphics Fairy Transfer

Months ago, I picked up a silverware box at Goodwill.  It was black with a black velvet interior.  It was only a dollar or two, so I figured that I couldn't go wrong - certainly, I could turn it into something.

I've been a subscriber to The Graphics Fairy blog for a long time.  I love looking at all the beautiful things that so many creative people have made.  It's also amazing how many nice graphics they have.  They have lots of florals and French topography.

Since, I'm really starting to love anything French, I decided to try a Paris Apartment Sign.  I printed it in reverse so that when I laid the copy on the box, the letters would face the correct direction.

As usual, I forgot to take a picture of the box before I started.  Here is a picture after I had applied two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey.  (the box is actually sitting upside down because I had just added a coat to the bottom)

Since, this was my first time trying a transfer on chalk paint, I wasn't sure if I should wax it first or not.  I decided to add a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax.  Then, I did a little distressing with 220 sand paper.
Next, I printed out the design in reverse, as I mentioned before.  Using a regular brush, I applied Golden Matte Gel Medium on the area of the box where the design would be.  I brushed gel medium on the paper and, carefully, placed it down on the box.  I don't know why I didn't cut the excess paper away from the design before I attached it to the box.  It was crazy, but I continued on.  I used an old credit card to rub across the design to remove the bubbles and wrinkles.  I feel like I applied a little too much gel medium because so much was coming out on the sides.  I just wiped it away.  I left the access paper "un-glued" because I didn't want to have to rub all of the paper away.  
I let the box sit overnight to completely dry.  The next morning, I took a deep breath and spritzed the paper with water.  I didn't soak it, but I did get it wet enough to get the paper breaking up when I started rubbing the paper with my fingers.  This is the part that takes the longest.  I just kept rubbing off paper, spritzing more water, rubbing off paper, spritzing more water, etc. etc.
I got to a point where I wasn't really getting any more paper off.  There was still sort of a shadow around the design, but I kind of liked it.  I sanded the top of the box to make it look older.  I added another coat of clear wax and that was it.
This isn't the best picture, but I am pretty pleased for my first try.  This box still has the dividers in it for silverware.  It would be great for jewelry.
I still want to put a design on the coffee table that I chalk painted.  However, because of the size, I think I might transfer the design onto the table with carbon paper and then paint it.  I'll definitely use a Graphics Fairy design.  I'll just take it to the copy center and have it enlarged.


  1. LOVE IT! Francesca

  2. Saw your project on the Graphics Fairy - Gorgeous! Did you use an inkjet printer?

  3. Beautiful! Do you print the design on regular printer paper? Thanks, Maureen mb99999@yahoo dot com

  4. You did a beautiful job! Thanks for sharing!
    I'm having trouble finding where to purchase the Matte Gel Medium. Could you let me know where you got yours?

  5. Very neat, CeeCee! You asked yourself the question: "I don't know why I didn't cut the excess paper away from the design before I attached it to the box." Since transfers done this way (with gel medium, matte medium, etc.) leave a seam near the design itself, they can look sort of decal-like. Therefore, I've started printing (at Staples) my reverse images on 11x17 paper for these silverware boxes so that the edge of the transfer goes to the edge of the box, making it seamless. Sure, you have to rub off more paper, but the more you do this process, the faster you become. So I say, don't trim the excess:) Good job.

  6. Fabulous! I love French too! Thank you so much for sharing your creation! I just visited Paris for a day. Not long enough but I will go back! I can't wait to look around on your blog now to see what else you have done.

  7. Trousse - Cadette. Thank you for your comment!!