New This Month

Bright Idea! Turn Your Photos Into Personalized Art

Materials and techniques for transforming photos into everyday, usable items.

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Photography by: Linda Pugliese

Clockwise from top left:

 

Vinyl Decals + Chair and wall art

Have your photos printed onto adhesive vinyl in virtually any size (you can even make a “mural”) by Fathead. Its decals are sticky enough to adhere well but are also removable and reusable, and won’t damage walls or wood. To cover something with a decal (such as the chair on page 90), start by tracing the shape you want to cover; cut a template to that size out of acetate. Have the decal made slightly larger. Place the template on the photo, framing the image in a pleasing way. Trace around it and cut it out, then adhere according to the instructions and trim with a craft knife as needed.

 

Custom vinyl mural print, from $25, fathead.com.

 

Rice Paper + Rock weights

We used thin rice paper with a subtle texture on one side. It is slightly translucent, so once it is adhered to the rock, it becomes “part of the rock,” rather than appearing to be sitting on top. It is a little tricky to print on because of its thinness. To help it feed through your printer smoothly, adhere a strip of clear tape along one entire short edge on the textured side of the paper; print on the smooth side of the paper.

 

Rice paper, 9½" by 13", $10 for 100 sheets, dickblick.com.
Découpage medium, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Matte, $10, michaels.com.

 

Professionally Printed Fabrics + Pillows

Printing your own fabric works well for some projects, but there are benefits to having your designs printed professionally. You can create larger pieces, choose from a wider range of textiles, and usually get sturdier results (with fabrics that are machine-washable, for example). We like Spoonflower, which is easy to use—you upload your image, and they do the rest. The pillows on page 88 are made with a linencotton blend. (Read our pillow-sewing how-tos.)

 

Printed cotton canvas, from $25 a yd., spoonflower.com. (The photo designs shown here are for sale on the website.)

 

Print-Your-Own Fabrics + Pennants and place-mat pockets

Sheets of lightweight cotton come with paper backing, so it’s easy to feed them through a printer. The ink permeates the fabric but doesn’t stiffen it; the sheets remain soft and flowy. We didn’t hem the fabric; we like the cut edges and accentuated the effect by fringing them slightly.

 

Cotton inkjet fabric, by Jacquard, 8½" by 11", $12 for 10 sheets, michaels.com.

 

Iron-on Sheets + Canvas cases

Iron-on sheets are readily available and can be applied to almost any fabric. They have a plasticky feel that might not be ideal on a delicate fabric but works beautifully on canvas (as for our cases)—it gives the cloth a quality similar to that of a waxed coating. Follow the package instructions for printing and applying them. Cut the fabric a little larger than you need for your project, iron your image onto it, and then trim the edges.

 

T-shirt transfer for inkjet, $14 for 6 sheets, avery.com.

 

Water-Slide Decals + Shell pendants + Glass votives and vases

These superthin clear printable decals come on a paper backing. Give them a coat of clear varnish, then soak them briefly in water—they will slide off the backing, ready to be applied to shell pendants, glass, or another smooth surface. Trim the edges more precisely once they’re applied.

 

Clear water-slide decal paper, 8½" by 11", $17 for 20 sheets, decalpaper.com.
Kamar varnish, by Krylon, $6.50, dickblick.com.

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