Photo Transfer Beads and Pendants [Polymer Clay Tutorials #77 in Beads and Beading Series]

FUN QUIZ... How Well Do You Know This Topic?

You will find the answers to the this "Fun Quiz" within the polymer clay tutorial outlined on this hubpage. I've also conveniently posted all the answers together near the end of the document.

Question #1: When using the toner method of transferring images onto polymer clay, what temperature of water should be used for removing the paper? (a) Cold; (b) Warm; (c) Hot

Question #2: Is it a good idea to place a piece of parchment paper directly onto the surface of your toner image transfer during the baking process? (a) Yes; (b) No

Question #3: After transferring a photo image to polymer clay it doesn't really matter when you bake it. (a) True (b) False

Question #4: When removing the paper from your polymer clay image transfer, is it best to: (a) Rub vigorously with your finger; (b) Rub with medium pressure from the outside in; (c) Rub lightly from the center out; (d) Rip the sheet off quickly like a band-aid

Question #5: With the toner method of transferring images onto polymer clay, which of the following types of machines can be used for making your initial paper image: (a) Ink-jet or bubble-jet printer; (b) Office copier like a xerox machine (c) Laser printer; (d) Both b and c but not a

Introduction:

There are many different ways to do a photo transfer onto polymer clay. Here's a list of some of the methods:

  • Toner image transfer (this tutorial)
  • Polymer clay image transfers with gin alcohol
  • T-shirt transfer papers for ink-jet printers
  • Judikins-Trans it rinse away paper
  • Epson photo paper transfer
  • Mineral spirits method
  • Water slide decals
  • Liquid polymer clay transfer

The above methods will give you varied results form excellent to dismal. Some of them use materials not always easy to come by... like special papers or specific models of printer machines. And some use supplies you may want to keep for other purposes... like gin :-)

After trying several techniques and running into various problems, I found a technique that is simple and creates excellent results - even for beginners.

The method I teach here is called Toner Image Transfer Technique.

Supplies Needed for this Tutorial:

  • Toner based copy of your image (in reverse print). This means an image created by a laser printer or photo copier. Images created by ink-jet or bubble-jet printers will not work.
  • Light colored polymer clay (or translucent). For this tutorial, I use Premo Sculpey brand in white.
  • Pasta machine.
  • A piece of smooth ceramic tile that is small enough to fit in your oven or toaster oven.
  • Toaster oven for clay use or regular home oven.
  • Oven thermometer.
  • Polymer clay tissue blade.
  • Water for rinsing plus a water "misting" bottle if you have one.
  • Wet/Dry Sandpaper (320 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit and 1200 grit).
  • Buffing cloth and/or Dremel rotary tool with buffing wheel.
  • Future Floor Finish or polymer clay varnish.

Step 1: Prepare the Clay:

Condition a chunk of white or light colored polymer clay and roll into a flat sheet on your pasta machine at the thickest setting <01>.

You can roll your clay to any thickness you like, but the thickest setting on most pasta machines works well for pendants.

Make sure the sheet of clay is flat with no trapped air bubbles.

Place this flat sheet of clay on a clean dry ceramic tile while it is being worked on <02>. You will eventually bake the clay right on this tile.

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Step 2: Cut Out Paper Image:

Cut out your photocopy or laser printed image to a manageable size. Please note that ink-jet printed images will not work with this toner transfer method.

Only the ink from the paper will be transferred onto the clay, so you don't have to worry too much about cutting too neatly <03>.

However, it is a good idea to leave the overall size of the paper larger than what the final size of your clay pendant will be. This is because a light indent of the paper's edges can sometimes show on the clay after the burnishing process in a later step.

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Step 3: Position the Image:

Lay your paper image face down onto your prepared polymer clay where you want the image to transfer <04>.

In the photo, you may notice some letters on the back side of my paper. This is because I printed my image onto the other side of a recycled sheet of paper.

This won't bother my transfer at all because the printed text will wash away with the paper in a future step. And it's a more earth friendly thing to do.

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Step 4: Burnishing:

Using a small piece of paper as a burnishing tool, gently rub the back of your image to be transferred, until you know that it is in full contact with the polymer clay <05>.

You may notice that the image starts to show a little through the paper at this point. But if your paper is thick, it may not show through at all.

The most important thing is to not leave any trapped air pockets between the paper and the clay.

Also make sure the edges of the paper are not curling up and away from the clay. The paper should be laying completely flat.

.

Step 5: Wet the Paper:

Now you need to get the paper and your clay wet. In photo <06> I am using a spray bottle with plain water, but you can also do this under cold running water.

Make sure to NOT use warm or hot water as the image will smear. In photo <07> you can see a pendant bead where the baby's image was smudged from using warm water.

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Step 6: Rub and Rinse:

Now very gently with your finger, rub off the wet paper in a circular motion starting from the center and then working outwards. The paper will start to ball up under your fingers and can be easily rinsed away <08>.

Make sure to use a very light touch. In photo <09> the light area on the baby's forehead was where I rubbed too hard and removed some of the ink from the clay.

As the paper gets washed away and becomes thinner, you will be able to start seeing the image that has transferred onto the polymer clay <10>. Keep rinsing off the paper, feeling carefully with your fingers for any last traces of paper stuck to the clay. Printing your image on colored paper is one way to see any traces of paper a little easier.

In photo <11> we are in the final stages of removing the paper from the polymer clay. At this point it may not look like there is any paper left on the clay, but it is important to be sure to remove any last traces before the piece is baked. Remaining paper would leave raised areas or bumps on your finished piece.

A neat way to check for the last bits of paper is to close your eyes and gently swirl your finger over the surface of the clay. Sometimes removing one of your senses will heighten another and you may find this helpful.

.

Step 7: Trimming Clay:

Now that the image is clean and paper free, it can be trimmed <12>. It is important to leave the clay stuck to the tile and not to try and move it. Moving the clay will stretch and distort the image ... something you do not want.

You can trim the piece to the size that you want with your polymer clay tissue blade or a cookie cutter. Remove the excess clay and set aside.

This is also a good time to put a hole in the clay with a skewer if you are planning on using it for a pendant.

.

Step 8: Baking:

Bake your image transfer pendant directly on the ceramic tile <13>.

Here's the toaster oven and oven thermometer I use for baking polymer clay in my studio <14>.

Make sure to bake your piece as soon as possible after transferring the image onto the clay. Do not touch the image surface of the unbaked clay, especially if it has been sitting for awhile.

Photo <15> shows a transfer which I had done perfectly but did not end up baking right away. A couple of days later when I went to bake it, there was a bit of fluff stuck on the clay transfer surface. So I tried to brush it off and completely smeared the surface.

I guess over time, the ink bonded with the uncured clay and became very sticky.... very different from the surface I was rubbing to remove the paper a few days before.

This was frustrating because I had made this special Harry Potter Hogwarts Crest for an altered book Christmas present and was running out of time to make another one. Oh well, my mistake. At least now it doesn't have to be your mistake!

Normally when baking a flat sheet of clay I like to lay a piece of parchment paper directly on top of the clay and weight it down with another tile <16>. However, this technique does not work well with polymer clay image photo transfers.

In this photo <17> you can see wrinkles from parchment paper that transferred onto my pendant bead and wrecked it. Now that's one mistake I'll never make again.

Instead of laying parchment paper directly on top of the image during the baking process, you can tent the parchment so it is not touching the surfaces of your photo transfer bead or polymer clay pendant <18>.

This tenting will keep the clay from discoloring due to direct heat. Don't worry about the paper burning in the oven. The temperature is so low when baking polymer clay that it won't effect the paper at all. That being said, always be careful when working with any oven or heat source.

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Step 9: Finishing:

After baking, sand the edges and the back of the pendant really well using several successive grits of wet-dry sandpaper <19>.

But be careful not to sand the the image transfer surface directly, since this would quickly erase the thin layer of ink on the surface of the clay.

Buffing the photo transfer surface by hand with a cloth is much safer than sanding it <20>.

For power buffing the back and sides of my pedants I use a Dremel tool <21>.

Finally, seal the whole piece with Future Floor Finish <22> or a varnish meant for polymer clay to give your piece that final shine.

.

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Final Thoughts:

Photo <23> shows an example of a baby keepsake pendant that I made for a cousin of mine. She loved receiving it and will hopefully cherish this unique piece of jewelry for a very long time.

Besides baby photographs, you can also transfer your child's drawings <24> onto polymer clay.

Or treasured wedding photographs <25>. Use your imagination and I know you will come up with all sorts of wonderful ideas.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. Please let me know if it was by leaving a note in the comments section at the very end of this page. Also let me know if there are any other topics you would like me to cover with regards to polymer clay or making polymer clay bead jewelry.

If you would like to see and hear Polymer Clay Tutorials in full motion, high-quality streaming video, I've set up a special form for you to receive three (3) of my complimentary video lessons at this link: <<Polymer Clay Tutorials>>

FUN QUIZ... Correct Answers:

Question #1: When using the toner method of transferring images onto polymer clay, what temperature of water should be used for removing the paper? (a) Cold; (b) Warm; (c) Hot

  • Answer: (a) Cold. Always use cold or cool water when rinsing the paper off a toner image transfer. Warm or hot water will smear the image.

Question #2: Is it a good idea to place a piece of parchment paper directly onto the surface of your toner image transfer during the baking process? a) Yes; b) No

  • Answer: (b) No. Laying a piece of parchment paper directly on the image while baking will leave wrinkle looking marks in the transfer image. Instead fold the parchment paper like a tent and place over the clay to prevent scorching.

Question #3: After transferring a photo image to polymer clay it doesn't really matter when you bake it. (a) True (b) False

  • Answer: (b) False. In my experience the ink on the clay gets really sticky after it has been sitting for awhile. Things such as dust and lint will stick to the surface and the image smears easily. However, if you bake the image right away, the ink cures and you will have no problems with the ink becoming sticky.

Question #4: When removing the paper from your polymer clay image transfer, is it best to: (a) Rub vigorously with your finger; (b) Rub with medium pressure from the outside in; (c) Rub lightly from the center out; (d) Rip the sheet off quickly like a band-aid

  • Answer: (c) Rub lightly from the inside out. Although some methods of image transfer involve ripping off the sheet of paper like a band-aid, I have found rubbing the paper off lightly with your finger from the inside out and leaving just the ink behind on the polymer clay, gives a very successful image transfer.

Question #5: With the toner method of transferring images onto polymer clay, which of the following types of machines can be used for making your initial paper image: (a) Ink-jet or bubble-jet printer; (b) Office copier like a xerox machine (c) Laser printer; (d) Both b and c but not a

  • Answer: (d) Both b and c but not a. Since the technique I describe only works with toner inks (they bond nicely to the polymer clay), an ink-jet, desk-jet, or any other printer that sprays the ink onto the paper, will not work using this method.

Video Resource 1:

This video though hard to see, shows one of the ways you can do photo transfers onto polymer clay. This is how I used to do it but found the results to be less sharp and more blotchy than the toner transfer technique I teach in my tutorial.

Video Resource 2:

This video is from a respected polymer clay artist showing the toner photo transfer technique. However, there are several steps missing from her demo that could cause problems for a beginner (i.e. water temperature, rubbing techniques and baking procedures). She probably addresses these topics in her live classes.

Video Resource 3:

Here's a good video showing another way to do image transfers onto polymer clay. This technique produces sharp colorful transfers, but uses expensive special paper that is hard to find.

Video Resource 4:

This is slide show of her photo image transferred designs, plus a few other jewelry designs. A great thing to watch for ideas. Lots of eye candy.

Video Resource 5:

And finally, here is a link to a video that discusses several of the frustrating mistakes I made [Cindy Lietz], while learning about the toner method for doing polymer clay image transfers:

<<Polymer Clay Photo Transfer Beads>>

This streaming video is of a much higher quality than what YouTube allows. As with all of Polymer Clay Tutorials, it is designed to show you what TO DO... as well as what NOT TO DO. My sincere goal is to get you making beautiful beads and beaded jewelry that will have your friends saying, "Wow!"

Comments 111 comments

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Very detailed and informative. I have stumbled your article, hopefully others will find this. Well done.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Appreciate it cgull8m.


Night Writer profile image

Night Writer 8 years ago from Canada

Great hub Cindy!


JosefS profile image

JosefS 8 years ago from Lisa Wellington from Canada

Enjoyed the reading and must say it's a wonderful hub page. Thanks


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank for dropping by Josef. I appreciate your kind words.


Fran Horvath profile image

Fran Horvath 8 years ago from Universal

Incredibly detailed and informative. Good stuff.


Garry Nelson profile image

Garry Nelson 8 years ago from Hawaii

Hey,

This is great thank you so much for giving such a detailed set of instructions. It’s new to me but very interesting.

Thank you Garry Nelson


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 8 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Cindy,

That was extremely cool. I have never seen this before. Following your great instructions I'm sure I could get it though.

Thanks,

Sam


Kentent profile image

Kentent 8 years ago from USA

Great Hub! Love the pictures and instructions!


Sheila Martin profile image

Sheila Martin 8 years ago

Amazing, Cindy. This is a whole new world to me!

Thanks for giving us such a clear introduction to one aspect of this interesting craft.

Best,

Sheila


Vinnie V profile image

Vinnie V 8 years ago

This looks like a fun project. You've laid everything out very nicely.

Overall, a very very good hub. I'd give you two thumbs up if I could!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Kentent, Sheila and Vinnie... it was great of you to take the time to leave your comments. I really appreciate it!


Susan Geary 8 years ago

Excellent work. Looks like you spent a lot of time and effort to be as thorough as possible so the novice can understand what to do and how to do it. Thanks for sharing.


relache profile image

relache 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

I did a lot of surface design for my gradute degree, but it was all fabric. I haven't played with polymer clay in a long time, but I'm going to have to give this one a try!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks Susan for the comment. I really enbjoy teaching novices. One of the reasons I decided to start doing polymer clay tutorials was because I noticed a lot of begginers not getting the help they needed.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

relache - I noticed in your profile that you dabble in mask making. You can make some pretty cool masks using polymer clay.


Kimberly Miller 8 years ago

Cindy,

This was awesome. I have never really experimented with polymer clay, but this has inspired me to go and buy some. Thanks for sharing your techniques. They were very easy to follow.

Kimberly


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

You're very welcome Kimberly!


Dawn 8 years ago

Cindy, Thanks for participating in today's tutorial challenge. I am very interested in ways to make transfers. Polymer is one I am not used to using...one of these days I will have to try it out.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Dawn, I think your tutorial challenge was a great idea! I had just finished this tutorial when I came across your site, so the timing was perfect! I love the distressed vintage look of the crafts you do on your site. I have been a long time re-purposer (I'm sure that is a word:) and totally get what you are doing.

Do try the image transfers on polymer clay. If you do some on really thin sheets of translucent clay, they have an aged look and are great with your scrapbook and mixed media projects. It is not very hard if you follow the tips in this tutorial and the results are really cool.


ChristineG profile image

ChristineG 8 years ago

This is a great Hub! I didn't even know it was possible to make beads with your own pictures on them. Thanks so much for this information! I love all the videos and the step by steps that are really helpful!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the comment Christine. Maybe Hubpages should be renamed to... "I-never-knew-that-pages" LOL


Holly Piper-Smith 8 years ago

I think this is a great tutorial! This process is very similar to the one I use, except I use gin instead of water.

In Step 6 (?) you said: "At this point it may not look like there is any paper left on the clay, but it is important to be sure to remove any last traces before the piece is baked. Remaining paper would leave raised areas or bumps on your finished piece. "

I used to try to get every little piece of paper off pre-baking, and usually ruined pieces in the process. As long as you get the majority of it off, you can soak the rest off in water after it's baked and cooled.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Holly thank you for your comment!

It looks like you have some good experience with the transfer process. I have always had trouble with the paper left on leaving a hazy finish on the baked transfer and often a little bump is left behind. If you're getting the paper off later, how are you doing that? Are you scrubbing with something? How long are you soaking it?

Also, why are you using gin, when water works really well and it's free? I love Gin Martinis so haven't wanted to use it on my clay. If it works way better however, I would consider giving it a try. (After I've had a Martini!)

I am always open to better ways of doing things, after all... Why do things the hard way? Keep those ideas coming!


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

This is great and so detailed... I want to see more hubs!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for dropping by glassvisage. with all the wonderful comments I've been receiving, I'll definitely be making some more hubs. Stay tuned...


Rena Klingenberg profile image

Rena Klingenberg 8 years ago

OOOOh, fantastic tutorial and resource page for a very cool project! I'm going to work this into a Mother's Day gift idea I've been working on. Thanks so much!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for dropping by Rena. Let me know how your Mother's Day project turns out.

PS: I took a look at a few of your hubs and got some great information about using scanners to "photograph" jewelry. Thanks for taking the time to share the information.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 8 years ago from east of the equator

Great hub Cindy. Keep up the good work. You explained the process so simply that even I could follow.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Yes even you.... sligobay! :-) Actually, most of my students are beginners. I love teaching people about new techniques. Thanks for dropping by.


nightcats profile image

nightcats 8 years ago from North Vancouver

Excellent lens. I fool around with Polymer clay from time to time. I have never mastered the transfer method. You can bet that I will be back to this page the next time I give it a try.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Let me know how your project works out nightcats. I'd love to hear about it!


Raven King profile image

Raven King 8 years ago from Cabin Fever

Hi Cindy. I have always been fascinated with polymer clay but found it difficult. Thanks to your hub I will give it another try. The instructions are very detailed. Wow.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

"Thanks to your hub I will give it another try"... makes me feel good to hear you say that! :-)


martha 8 years ago

hi cindy!

this is a very helpful site. thank God i came across this because i am looking for tips on how to transfer images to polymer clay. i'd like to ask some questions, if you don't mind.

1.) do i necessarily have to flatten a clay before performing the image transfer? can't i do it on round shaped, bottle shaped, or other bulky shapes for clay?

2.) do i have to transfer the image on paper before i bake the clay?

thanks a lot and more power to your site!


martha 8 years ago

last question cindy,

can i just use bond paper for printing the images? does the printing require a special type of paper for the image to be transferred successfully?

thank you so much. your replies will be greatly appreciated thanks! :)


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Martha, great questions!

1) No, your image doesn't need to be flat, but rounded surfaces are much trickier. You will have to cut little slits in your paper so that you can get the image to completely touch the surface. If the surface is larger and more 'tubular' like a covered water glass for example its not too hard to transfer to. If it is tiny and round you may have a fair amount of trouble transferring your image unless it is very tiny as well.

2) You can bake it before removing the paper, but you may not have burnished it properly and may miss some of the image. If you do it the way I suggest you will know for sure that the image has transferred properly.

3) You can definitely use regular office bond paper for printing the image in fact I suggest it. No need for anything special.

Hope this works for you... I'd love to see what you end up making!


martha 8 years ago

thank you so much cindy! that really helped! i'll send you a link one time with the pics of what i have produced!!!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

That would be great Martha... Looking forward to seeing what you make!


CherylCoccaro 8 years ago

Hi Cindy,

This is great and it is very much appreciated.

Cheryl


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Glad it was helpful Cheryl.


Keri Lee Sereika 8 years ago

Thank you Cindy! This was fabulous! I will have to try it out sometime for sure!!!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

You go girl! Looking forward to seeing what you come with!


nightcats profile image

nightcats 8 years ago from North Vancouver

Excellent hub. I've played with polymer and I've played with transfers -- but I've never tired combining the two. I'm definitely going to give this a shot now that you have these turorials up.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

That's great! Now you can start making some embellishments for your scrapbooking projects with this polymer clay transfer technique. Be sure to let me know how it goes.


Coni 8 years ago

I have recently begun selling stamped polymer clay pendants and I'm really enjoying this type of craft. I am unbelievably excited to try this technique out! The possibilities are endless!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

That is cool Coni, I'd love to see your polymer clay peendants!

Make sure to come over to my polymer clay bead making tips blog for free videos and all kinds of tutorials and ideas!

http://www.beadsandbeading.com/blog/


aceraley 8 years ago

Cindy,

I have tried this a couple of time and find that I smear the image when I try to get all the paper off. Is there a way to bake the image with a little paper still left on the clay and get it off after is cools?

Amanda


Cheryl 8 years ago

I love your tutorial. I'm definitely going to try it with my daughter's photo. It doesn't seem too difficult.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

aceraley make sure the water is cold and it won't smudge so easily. You can leave a little paper but it can be tricky to get off after baking. A magic eraser can help get the paper off if you don't rub too hard. Hope that helps!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks Cheryl! You're right, it's not too hard!


karen 8 years ago

i'm thinking of doing some crafts with polymer clays and stumbled across your website... thank you it's soooooo informative. i appreciate your detailed information. i can now try the process and see if i really want to do this form of art!

thank you so very much for sharing!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Karen. I'm so glad the information was helpful for you. If you haven't already done so, you can also get some free video tutorials at my main web site: http://www.beadsandbeading.com/

Happy Claying! You're going to love it!!


Amanda 8 years ago

Thank you for such a wonderful, inspiring tutorial. I'm already planning to try this myself then have some girlfriends over so we can all bennifit from your knowledge. I have everything but the pasta maker. Is there anything I can substitute for that? Thanks again,

Amanda


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Amanda - You are very welcome! In regards to your question about what to use for conditioning clay if you don't have a pasta machine... I actually just wrote an article about that at my blog. Check out the Sept 14, 2008 post. Best, Cindy.


Josefina 7 years ago

Está muy bien explicado, ya que en mi poco inglés logro entender. Lo voy a intentar a ver como me va. Muchas gracias por el tiempo y por la explicación, realmente se aprecia.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Usted es muy bienvenida Josefina. Permítame saber cómo funciona.


Cindy Erickson 7 years ago

Hi Cindy, Thanks so much for this information. I have been perplexed about transfering images to PC. Now, thanks to you, I think I have found the way!

Hugs to you, Cindy Erickson


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi CindyE,

Since you are subscribed to my Polymer Clay Tutor Guest List at http://www.beadsandbeading.com, as well as a member of the http://www.beadvideos.com Library, you'll be pleased to know that the video version of the above photo transfer tutorial, is the next one in the series to be released.

Watch for the following titles to show up in your personal video library account very shortly:

Volume-006-1: Transferring Images Onto Polymer Clay Using The Toner Copy Method

And then the following week will be:

Volume-006-2: Mistakes To Avoid When Doing the Toner Image Transfer Technique

Best,

Cindy Lietz

The Polymer Clay Tutor


zoe 7 years ago

Okay, this is the COOLEST thing ever! I was Googling image transfer because some months ago I had found a semi-tutorial (I say semi because the video portion missed out all the important steps, but there were more detailed instructions in text) but the process required a special product. I stumbled upon your site, and everything I needed was in the house or easily gotten in town - even in little Penzance! I've spent about an hour making 8 different pendants, and the process is SOOOOOO easy and your instructions so detailed you kept me from making lots of dummy mistakes (but you didn't tell me not to gouge the clay with my fingernail, you'd have thought that would go without saying). After only one batch, I am feeling like a pro!

Thanks so much for this, now I'm going to check out your other tutorials, because I've never been able to do anything with clay before!

Zoe


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Zoe you are the reason I teach!!!! Thank you for your wonderful comment! Can't wait to see you over at my blog. There is lots there that I think you are going to love!


jellygirl profile image

jellygirl 7 years ago from Belleville, IL

grrrrreat hub! I was googling to find Gin transfer and happened upon your hub. Can you tell me if using a thin sheet of translucent clay will work as well as the transfers I've seen done w/ liquid polymer clay?


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks jellygirl! Your idea for using a thin sheet of translucent will work well. You just need to be careful when rubbing the paper off that you don't tear the sheet of translucent.


Priscilla 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing and helping us to avoid your mistakes. I'm sure I'll find some of my own ^_^


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Priscilla - Yes there are lots of mistakes to go around LOL. Do me a favor.... when you discover new mistakes, be sure to come back and share them so that others can learn from you too. Take care,


Lisa West 7 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing your mistakes. I have already made a few mistakes with my first try on translucent clay..lots of bubbles and smears. I'm ready to try again.

Lisa

http://lettersandlace.blogspot.com/


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 7 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Lisa - good to hear you are planning to keep trying. The following quote was posted on my blog the other day and it's worth mentioning here... "Some of the prettiest things I've done were because it wasn't turning out as planned." ~Arlene

-- So true! :-)


Laurie 6 years ago

How long and at what temp. do you bake photo images when baking in an oven?

Your tutorials are wonderful! Thank You!!


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Cindy Lietz 6 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

The temperature to bake your polymer clay will depend on the brand and that will be on the package of your clay, Laurie. (Use a thermometer to be sure your oven is not too hot.)

However, in regards to length of time baked, I like to bake all my polymer clay work, including image transfers, for at least an hour. This ensures proper curing.

If you have more baking questions, drop by my blog and you will find many articles on the subject.

Thanks for your comment!


esper 6 years ago

SO helpful! thank you :) :)


sanja 6 years ago


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 6 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Glad that this helpful for you esper.

sanja says... you'll have to give me more to go on :-)


missmarsh profile image

missmarsh 6 years ago from USA

Amazing information and detailed pictures. This is such a great hub! Thanks for sharing.


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Cindy Lietz 6 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Glad it was helpful missmarch :-)


Nick 6 years ago

This is one of the best articles on polymer clay I've ever read, and I've never seen photo transfers done before (lots to learn!). Thanks for doing this hub - definitely going to give this a try.


ivana 6 years ago

Can I use any paper for this technique?

Thanks for the tutorial!


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Cindy Lietz 6 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you Nick! That's nice of you to say! :-)

@Ivana: Yep! Just any old office paper will do!


ivana 6 years ago

Thanks :D


Beadinggem profile image

Beadinggem 6 years ago from Canada

Excellent as always, Cindy! I will be linking this in a future blog post!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 6 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

You're a sweetie Pearl. I appreciate it! ~Cindy


jewellery channel 6 years ago

this is a great hub indeed and helpful to..


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great hub. Your instructions are detailed and easy to follow. If you by chance decide to write more hubs I would love to read them Thank you.


Spider Girl profile image

Spider Girl 5 years ago from the Web

I'm glad I discovered you on HubPages, you have a new fan!


Noviel 5 years ago

I just found this and tried it out last night....it was the coolest thing ever! It was just like the magic feeling when you peel off the backing of a temporary tattoo as a kid. :)

I just have one question however: is it necessary to glaze the piece after it's baked? I normally like glazing my pieces for the extra protection and shine, but the way I did mine on translucent clay, it really looked nice without the shine. I just wonder if it will end up smearing after time if I don't protect it. Should I simply look for a matte glaze instead?

Erin* "Noviel"

www.facebook.com/ElvenStarClayworks


Riz 5 years ago

Hi! can I ask what type of paper did you use to print the image and for transfers? I'm amaze of your tutorials... Great job!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks Riz! I just use a laser printer or a photo copier and print on regular office paper. Cheap and easy way to do transfers!


Miriam Nasser 5 years ago

Hey there Cindy! Greetings from Egypt!

I loved your tutorial on transferring photos on polymer clay! I have a question though: suppose I don't have a pasta machine, can I cut the clay slice by simply using a knife instead?


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Miriam - Greetings back to you from Canada. A pasta machine is not absolutely required in order to work with polymer clay. You can use an acrylic roller instead... along with a knife for cutting out your desired shapes. You can use keywords in the search box at my http://www.polymerclaytutor.com blog to find lots of information about using an acrylic roller with polymer clay.


Miriam 5 years ago

Thanks a lot for the extensive reply Cindy!


Miriam Nasser 5 years ago

Hi again Cindy, I have another question for you. Unfortunately, polymer clay is not available where I live. But there's another type of clay called "air drying modelling clay", which, as the name suggests, hardens by exposure to air. Do you think that this type of clay would work for photo transfer? Many thanks in advance.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi again Miriam,

I have not used "Air Dry Modelling clay" for doing transfers, so unfortunately I can't give you a good answer on this.

If you try, do let me (and everyone else here) know how it works out for you :-)

~Cindy


Miriam Nasser 5 years ago

Will do Cindy, thank you very much!


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

Great tutorial! I only have one question. What is the process for applying the Future Floor Finish to the pendant? ie. How to apply it - How much to apply - Does it sit to dry- Do you apply it to the entire item (front / back / sides) all at once or in a timely order.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

All good questions Ciz4cookie. Future Floor Polish has been discussed a ton at my http://www.polymerclaytutor.com blog. Just use keywords in the search box to find more than you will ever want to (need to) know about Future Floor Polish :-)


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

Great, thank you! I will check it out.


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

I found lots of information and what I needed to know about applying the Future Floor Polish for a great look, but I do remember from the image transfer tutorial that you should not sand the side of the clay that has the image (it will sand the image off), therefore, I should only sand the back and the sides and then apply the polish in thin coats to all sides? Just confirming. I still want the finished product to look super shiny on the image side.


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

Hi Cindy: I just noticed that you have tons of information on polymer clay, making beads, and so on. How do I become a member of beadsandbeading.com I see mention of being a member but don't know how to sign up. Does the monthly fee that you mention cover all tutorials on your site, or do you pay individually for each video or project?

Thank you again.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for your interest in the membership. Here is a link to where I explain how to access and utilize all of the information available at my polymer clay web sites... lots of free stuff and some available for a nominal fee.

http://tinyurl.com/ybsxxfb


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

Hi Cindy: Thank you. I did read all the information in the link, but still one last question, as I'm not completely clear. Maybe I'm tired as I have been consumed with visions of clay projects dancing through my head, no doubt due to all the wonderful projects I've seen through your links. I would like to purchase the monthly membership and wanting to know if in doing so, that will cover all costs, such as the 39 videos for beginners, as well as back issues. I'm not sure I need the beginners video series as I have done a lot of research and I have been working with clay for a few years now - but didn't have the great finishing techniques intact.


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Ciz4cookie,

When signing up for a membership at my polymer clay library, you get access to the videos that are current in the month you join, and forward. Back Issues are the Polymer Clay Basics Course are not automatically included in your account. All of these details (and much more :-), are explained at the http://www.beadvideos.com/become-a-member/ page.

Hope this helps,

~Cindy


Ciz4cookie 5 years ago

Thanks Cindy! I will check it out... On another note, based on your tutorial for image transfer - I attempted my 1st one tonight. It is ok, but I did rub a tiny bit too hard in one area. My main disappointment was that I didn't get all the paper off. I was certain that I had. It didn't show up again until I baked it. Is this pendant doomed or is there a way to get rid of the excess patches? :( I was so sure it was gone and even closed my eyes as you suggested. I guess my fingers failed me this time around. lol


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 5 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

@Ciz4cookie - Here is a link to a video that may be helpful for you: http://www.beadsandbeading.com/blog/toner-photo-tr...


jamterrell profile image

jamterrell 5 years ago

Fantastic hub.


marimccants profile image

marimccants 4 years ago

WOw!.This is so so cool!I really love it and want to make mine.


Jase 4 years ago

I am going to try this method! I saw another method in a good where you simply cut the photocopy out and place it on the clay and then use the back of a spoon to press the photo into the clay. I had some success with this when I used small photocopies but when I tried a photocopy of a photo it hardly worked at all. Can't wait to see if this method works!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 4 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Have fun with your photo transfer project Jase :-)


Jase 4 years ago

Cindy,

I tried this method twice and the first time big parts of it didn't transfer at all, I think it wasn't pressed into the clay enough. The second time it worked mostly but small seconds of the photo still didn't transfer, like the subject's head transferred but then pieces of his cheek were missing or had white spots. Am I doing something wrong or is it my photocopy? Also, how much water is needed? Is it possible to get it too wet?


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 4 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi Jase, Since they removed the Phlalates from all polymer clays, it doesn't seem to transfer as well, and this may be why you're having trouble. Luckily you can remedy this, by simply smearing a little Sculpey Clay Softener on the clay first before rubbing down the image. Don't worry about the water thing. You can actually run it under the tap with no problems, so too much water is not an issue. Just make sure the water is cold though. Warm water will smudge the transfer. Hope that helps!


intenoweemo 12 months ago

It’s really a cool and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.


gepeTooRs 5 months ago

In fact when someone doesnÕt understand after that its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it happens.


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Cindy Lietz 5 months ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Author

@gepeTooRs - I'm not understanding your comment. Are you having a problem with something?

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