Alternative Processes Image Transfers

Transferring with Gloss Medium


  • Old prints, ghost prints, discarded prints
  • Laser-jet printed images
  • Scissors
  • Gloss medium
  • Bone folder
  • Bowl of water
  • Paint brush
  • Hair dryer or heat gun
  • Baby wipes
Trial #1: TV Print #1


Cut out the Laser-jet image.

The print I chose reminded me of old TV sets. So I went with this imagery for my transfer image.

Brush on a thin layer of gloss medium. Matte medium will work too.

Brush on a layer of medium to the right side of the image.

Place image face down on print and rub gently to adhere image to surface.

Use a bone folder (or old credit card) to get out any air bubbles and ensure a well placed image.

Let the image dry. You can expedite this process by drying the image with a hair dryer or heat gun. I chose to wait on this first attempt. The video tutorial (which I mention in my posted answers) I watched suggested waiting 10 minutes if you're not using a heat gun or hair dryer.

When the image is dry, brush on some water over the back of the image.

Gently rub the paper off the back of the image.

And rub.

And rub.

Keep rubbing.

Remove final paper peelings with a baby wipe.

Image transferred.

You can go over the top of the transferred image with a layer of medium if you choose. Sometimes this brings out the dark values of the transfer.

I'm not too enthused with this transfer and how it turned out. My guess is that the colors on the print surface are dark and therefore not allowing much of the image to show. The contrast of the image itself was not so high either.

TV Print #1 Final Print

Trial #2: TV Print #2


Cut the image.

Cut around the image where I want the plant to still show.

Apply the medium to the print and to the front of the image as before, rub in place with bone folder.

This time I tried using the blow dryer. It did feel like it was much more dry than in trial #1 when I let it air dry.

Brush on the water.

Gently rub and rub, over and over, until all the paper has been removed.

All paper removed. Some spots along the edge and those white spots on the right are areas where the ink was removed too during the rubbing process. It's pretty hard to know how much is too much or not enough when rubbing!

Apply a layer of gloss medium to the image transfer.

TV Print #2 Final Print

My favorite of all the prints

Other Transfers Made with Gloss Medium

Transferring With Packing Tape


  • Old prints, ghost prints, discarded prints
  • Laser-jet printed images
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape
  • A bowl of water
  • Baby wipes
  • Bone folder
Trial # 1: Leaf Fragment


Cut out image.

Apply clear packing tape over the entire image. Overlap strips of tape.

Rub bone folder over image to ensure adhesion and no air bubbles.

Place in water and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

After 10 to 15 minutes of soak time, pull out image and gently rub the paper off the back.

Place image onto choice paper surface. In this case, an old ghost print.

Leaf Fragment Final Print

Other Transfers Made With Packing Tape

Left print: packing tape transfer bottom leaf; Right print: packing tape transfer top image.

Experimenting with heat

In college, I did a body of work that used heat as a method for transferring the toner from a photo copy to a piece of ply wood. I try this method using the Laser-jet images. Let's see what happens.


  • Old prints, ghost prints, discarded prints
  • Plywood
  • Laser-jet printed images
  • Wood burning tool
  • Iron
  • Tape
Trial #1: Using the Wood Burning Tool on Plywood


Attempting to transfer this laser jet photo onto plywood.

Plug in wood burning tool. Wait until it has fully heated. Start rubbing over the back of the image. Apply some pressure, move slowly.

The test reveals that it does work. However, at this point, I have burned a portion of the image, and the smell of the burning paper and ink is irritating me (I am pregnant, so I decide to abandon ship for safety precautions!) If I do this ever again, I'd have to be in a well ventilated room or even outside.... and not be expecting!

Trial #2: Using an iron on paper


Lay image face down onto paper surface. In this case I'm using an old discarded ghost print.

I go over the back of the image with a dry iron set to the hottest setting. I apply quit a bit of pressure.

Not much is transferring. I try again with the wood burning tool. My hope is that I don't burn the paper too much as I did before, and perhaps transferring it onto paper instead of plywood may reduce the odor.

I go over the back of the image with the wood burning tool, applying a lot of pressure, taking care not to burn the image. I check it frequently.

Came out a little better using the wood burning tool, but it's clear that using heat to transfer an image is not at all worth the smell, effort, and it does not compare in the least to the other two transferring methods.

My thought is that the toner from a copy machine does a much better job in transferring using heat than using a laser-jet image.

Heat Transfer Final Print

Heat transfer image bottom right; packing tape transfer top left. A good comparison of the two methods.

Gallery of All Final Prints

Created By
Clare Norris


All photos and prints created by Clare Norris, 2017

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