Transferring an image onto a glass object such as a table glass, a canning jar, a mirror or even a window is a way to personalize and decorate your interior. You can transfer all types of images printed by laser printer or from a book or magazine. To transfer an image to glass, cover the image you want to transfer with packing tape. Soak the image in hot, but not hot, water, then remove the paper and affix the image to your glass object. You can also use a transfer gel to pass the image directly onto the glass surface.
Part 1 of 3: apply the adhesive to the image
Step 1. Print your image
If the image you want to transfer only exists in digital format, you will need to print it. For best results, use a laser printer. Do not transfer with an image from an inkjet printer!
- You can also transfer an image from a magazine page, newspaper, or photo developed from negative.
- If you are having your image printed at a print shop, make sure the printer you are using is not an inkjet printer.
Step 2. Affix the adhesive tape
Cut out a piece of clear tape and apply it directly to your image or magazine photo. Be careful to cover the entire surface of the image you want to transfer.
If your image is larger than the width of your tape, you will not be able to transfer it. Reprint it so that it is slightly narrower than your duct tape, which should be three to eight centimeters
Step 3. Smooth out the adhesive
Chase any bubbles that may have appeared with a credit card by sliding them to the edges of the tape. If there are any bubbles left between the image and the adhesive, there will be holes when you transfer the image to the glass.
If you don't have a credit card on hand, use something of the same size, like your driver's license or other hard plastic card
Step 4. Cut out the image
Using scissors, remove excess paper from the printed image (or magazine photo). Then, carefully cut out the image itself. If your image has curved or sharp angles, trim them gently to keep only the image covered with duct tape.
- If the image is square or rectangular, cutting will be relatively easy.
- If you don't have scissors, a cutter will do.
Part 2 of 3: soak and transfer the image
Step 1. Dip the image
Immerse the image in a glass of hot water. The water will help the image to pass over the adhesive surface of the tape. Let the image soak in hot water for 5-6 minutes.
The water should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Hot water could melt or warp the tape
Step 2. Remove the paper
Take the image out of the water and lay it out on a flat work surface. Using your index and middle fingers, rub the side of the paper back and forth until it balls and comes off the tape.
- If the paper does not come off completely, return it to the water and let it soak for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Then remove the image from the water again and rub the paper again.
Step 3. Dry your image
Once you have removed all of the paper, you will be left with the duct tape with the image that was transferred. Take a hair dryer and use it to completely dry the adhesive. Once dry, you will notice that the face has become sticky again.
If you don't have a hair dryer, place the piece of tape on your countertop. Let it air dry, it should take about 30 minutes
Step 4. Place the adhesive on the glass
You are now ready to apply the image to the glass. Position the image on top of the glass surface and lower it until it rests on the glass. Then, with your fingers, press it firmly against the glass.
- Start at the top or bottom and press all the way to the other edge, to prevent air bubbles from getting trapped under the adhesive.
- If you see air bubbles after applying the adhesive to the glass, push them away using the edge of a credit card.
Part 3 of 3: use transfer gel
Step 1. Apply the transfer gel
Use a nylon bristle brush to spread the transfer gel so you don't get your fingers dirty. Liberally apply a layer of gel on the part of the glass where you want to put the image.
You can purchase transfer gel at any drawing supply store. The boxes of transfer gel generally bear the words "transfer gel" or "gel medium"
Step 2. Press the image onto the glass
Carefully position the image on the glass where you want the photo to appear. Apply it to the glass and using your fingers, flatten the gel-coated image in the desired location.
Once you have the image in place, avoid dragging it across the surface of the glass
Step 3. Squeeze out any air bubbles
If you see air bubbles between the paper and the glass, the image may not be fully transferred. Use a squeegee with a soft blade to remove any air bubbles.
You can get a soft squeegee at your home improvement store
Step 4. Let the gel dry
Dry the gel for as long as required by the manufacturer's instructions. The transfer of the image will be spoiled if the gel has not completely dried. If you live in a humid climate, it may take up to 24 hours for the gel to dry!
The type of transfer gel you will use may require specific drying procedures. Follow the instructions to make sure the transfer is successful
Step 5. Soak the paper
Wipe a wet sponge across the surface of the paper. The water will soak the paper and allow you to remove it from the surface of the glass.
Make sure to squeeze the sponge before running it over the photo paper. Do not use a sponge full of water
Step 6. Remove the paper
Rub in circles with your thumb to remove the paper. When you have soaked the paper, you can peel it off the surface of the glass. Rub the surface of the paper in small circles with your thumb to remove it.
As you remove the paper, you will be able to see the image appear on the glass. The image transferred with the gel should remain on the glass while you finish removing the last traces of paper
- If you have transferred an image to a table glass or canning jar, do not put them in the dishwasher. Wash them in soapy water and dry the outside using only a tea towel.
- If you transfer an image with transfer gel, remember that it will be inverted when transferred. This is especially important if you want to transfer text. Be sure to reverse the text in your word processor before printing it.