In the middle of a new project that I was working on, I realized that I had a problem. I needed to transfer a very large design (think 4 feet by 4 feet!) than I want to paint onto a primed piece of wood, and I couldn’t figure out how to do it.
I laid the printed design out on the wood and thought I could just trace the design on the paper with firm pressure and a little impression line would be left on the wood that I could just go back and trace. Um, nope.
Then, I tried a ballpoint pin. Nada. How about the tip of a butter knife? Nah. A bamboo skewer? No way.
I was getting pretty desperate at this point. I knew I could run out to the store to buy transfer paper, but my son was napping and that’s prime crafting time as any of you other moms know. I had to use something I had on hand.
Then a light bulb went off in my head: Newsprint! It always rubs off on my hands, so maybe it would rub off on the primed wood. Egads! I was right!
This technique will be especially helpful if you have a very intricate design, a very large design, or you just don’t want to take the time to cut out your design and trace like a stencil. I think this is going to be my go-to tracing technique from now on. It is so easy.
The Easiest Way to Transfer a Design Onto Wood
1. Print out your design and cut away the excess white space. Tape the top of your design to the painted or primed wood in the location you want to transfer the design.
2. Lift up the design and slide a page of newsprint underneath it. The classified pages and stock market pages work best, as there is a lot of small newsprint all over the page. Make sure that the entire design is underneath the newsprint.
3. With a pen or pencil (preferably a pink one with your name on it like you are 6 years old) , trace the outline of your design directly onto the paper. Press firmly, but you don’t have to go overboard with the pressure.
4. Remove the taped design and newsprint to reveal a light transfer underneath! I have turned up the contrast on this photo so that you will be able to see the transfer.
5. With your pencil (or with a paintbrush if you are way more talented than me), trace the transfer directly onto the wood.
6. Admire the beauty of your transfer, and then get busy painting!
Try this technique the next time you want to transfer a pattern or stencil a word onto a piece of wood. I’m pretty sure this would work on your walls, too. You’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can transfer that design. I’d love to know how it works out for you!