I have lots of fun with my Instagram feed - taking good photos with your phone is a wonderful challenge. And when you finally manage to capture that perfect picture it’s only natural that you’d want to share it. However, if sharing it on social media platforms isn’t enough, these square wood pallets are the perfect size to display your favorite Instagram photos using the gel transfer method.
First, you’ll want to reverse your Instagram photo in order to make a mirror image. You do can do this directly on your phone, or download the image onto your computer, and use an image editing program. When you’re done, print your mirrored photo with a laser jet printer onto a piece of 11 x 17" plain copy paper (so your photo will print at about 11 x 11" in size). Before you get started, cover your work space with a drop cloth to protect it. Paint the entire face of the photo with a very thin layer of soft gel medium, and then do the same on the entire face of your wood pallet. Try to do this as quickly as possible so that the gel doesn’t dry out as you go. Use a thin brush for a more weathered look or a foam brush for a more complete transfer result. Next, carefully but quickly line up the photo onto the pallet, wet sides facing, and gently lay photo down. Smooth out any air bubbles with your dry washcloth as you work.
Once this is done, wash your hands thoroughly of all gel medium. Use your hands and a bone folder to press out any remaining air bubbles and also to ensure a good bond between the paper and pallet. Wash any remaining gel medium out of your brushes immediately, and let pallet dry completely for 24 hours. When the pallet is dry, place it face up beside a big bowl of water for easy access. Get a washcloth sopping wet, and then thoroughly wet all parts of the paper. You want the paper fully soaked through in order to make it easier to remove. Take either your fingers or a washcloth, and gently rub away the wet paper in small circles. The photo will remain behind, stuck to the palette. You must do several rounds of wetting and rubbing in order to remove as much paper as possible.
For a very weathered look, rub hard and often on the same spots, which will start to pull up the photo itself. When you have most of the paper rubbed away, set the pallet aside for another 24 hours to dry. Once dry, you can sand away any unwanted edges, gel medium, or parts of your photo as desired. Brush away any dust, then mix one ounce of ICE Resin as per manufacturer's instructions. Apply the resin to the photo with a foam brush, and then let the resin cure for a full 24 hours. Once the resin is fully cured, you can sand away any additional unwanted resin. To make it glossy again, you’ll need to mix a small amount of resin and reapply it over the sanded area.
You can also find most of these items listed in the “Products Used” section below:
- Wood Rustic Pallet 11 x 11”
- Loew Cornell Brush Set Foam 1 inch 25pc
- Regular Gel Matte-8 oz. Bone Folder
- Ice Resin 8 oz.
- 220 grit (or finer) sandpaper
- 11 x 17" plain copy paper & laser jet printer (as found at any copy center)
- Square format photo (Instagram or otherwise)
- Smartphone or computer
- Bristle brush
- Bowl of water
- Drop cloth
Optional for personal protection:
- Safety mask
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