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How to transfer pictures onto wood with Elmer's glue

Wooden keepsake boxes, toy chests and jewellery boxes with smooth sanded surfaces can have pictures transferred onto them. You can transfer pictures of your choice onto wooden objects using card stock, washable Elmer's glue and Elmer's Glue-All (a clear-drying polyvinyl acetate or PVA glue). The ink from the printed image on the card stock seeps into the glue while it is wet. When the glue and ink dries, the Glue-All creates a protected image.

Pour 60 ml (1/4 cup) of Elmer's Washable School Glue into a disposable plastic bowl. Brush a smooth layer of the glue onto the side of the card stock that you are going to print a picture on with a foam art brush. Pour the glue that you didn't use back into the glue bottle. Wash off the brush and clean out the plastic bowl with warm water. Wait for the glue to completely dry.

Print an image onto the dried glued side of the card stock.

Pour 120 ml (1/2 cup) of Elmer's Glue-All into the disposable bowl. Paint a smooth layer of Elmer's Glue-All onto the surface of the wood with the foam brush. Trim the card stock with scissors so that the printed image can lie perfectly flat on the wood. Set your card stock picture side down in position on the glued surface of the wood. Press firmly down on the card stock and rub it into the Elmer's Glue-All until the card stock is completely adhered to the glue. Let the card stock sit overnight. Do not give in to temptation and lift it, or you will ruin the print transfer.

Fill a large bowl or bucket with cool water. Place the wood, card stock side down into the water. Let it sit until it the card stock is completely soaked through and becomes soggy or very wet and soft. Carefully remove the card stock. Slowly pull or peel it off the wood starting at the top right corner. If there is any paper remaining on the wood, place it under running tap water and rub it off with your finger tip.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam art brush
  • Disposable plastic bowl
  • Elmer's Washable School Glue, 60 ml (1/4 cup)
  • Card Stock
  • Ink-jet printer
  • Elmer's Glue-All, 120 ml (1/2 cup)
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Alexis Rohlin is a professional writer for various websites. She has produced works for Red Anvil Publishing and was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2007 Midnight Hour Short Story Contest for OnceWritten.com. Rohlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Madonna University.