vintage lade walking away

Over the weekend I decided to try transferring some images from my vintage magazines onto fabric. I hate the idea that all these beautiful images are stacked up in my basement, not being enjoyed. This seemed like a good way to create something that could be enjoyed more often. I based my project on this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess. Michael’s didn’t have the gel medium that was recommended in the tutorial, so I got another brand.

gel medium

I cut out the photos I wanted to use from my magazines, rounded up a couple of canvas bags, one of my favorite pool bags that I thought I could make even better, and some fabric.

pool bag

I followed the directions in the tutorial, painting the gel onto the front side of my images, then laying them onto the fabric.

paint gel onto image

I rolled over the images with a rolling pin to make sure the paper was flat.

smooth it out with rolling pin

After a few hours, I sprayed the paper with water and peeled up the top layer of paper.

spray with water

For two of these, the paper came right up, no problem.

peel up the paper

For the rest, it was tedious and I had to rub the paper with my fingers to get the top layer off in tiny pieces.

peel off piece by piece

It was pretty messy. I wish I knew why some images were so easy and why others weren’t. Do you know?

messy paper

Once I had removed the paper, all that was left was the image on the fabric. The photo below shows one of the images that stuck really well and was hard to get the top layer off. I ended up gouging a couple of holes in the image on this one. Even with lots of effort, every time it dried, it got a white glaze over it and the image wasn’t nearly as clear as when it was wet. I’m bummed that this one didn’t turn out, because the image was of Marlene Dietrich, being held up by her famous legs to kiss a returning serviceman during WWII. The looks on the faces of all the boys holding her up were priceless.

image on canvas

I added a coat of gel medium on top of the image and let it dry overnight.

Of all the images, this one is my favorite. I just love the look of this girl walking away. It helps that this was one of the easy ones, too!

walking lady

I’m not sure what I’ll do with these images that I transferred onto fabric.

images on fabric

I’ll definitely use the pool bag with the vintage Hawaiian vacationers.

pool bag vintage Hawaiian

And last, the bag that I just couldn’t save.

Marlene Dietrich bag

Linking up to some of these fabulous parties:

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30 Responses to Image Transfer: Vintage Magazine to Fabric

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh my that little purse looks so cute! Great job on these. Looks like a fun thing to try out!

  2. I had no idea you could do that … I’m kind of fascinated by the idea. Thanks for sharing … I’m adding this to my project list.

  3. What a great idea. A friend just gave my daughter a box of vintage patterns. I am looking for a project for them…I think I found it! I love it!

    I would love if you would post it and share it with my readers! Join the Community and share any of your creative project!

    Susan @ Oh My! Creative

  4. Wow. That is so cool! I had no idea this could be done. I saw your idea on Lil Lina’s link party and had to find out how you did this. I signed up to be a follower to.


  5. Wow – I did not know that this could be done! I can think of many ways this could be useful.
    Thanks for sharing! ~Amy

  6. This is such a great project! I hope you will come link it up at the Pinworthy Project Link Party going on now over on my blog, Just Us Four.

  7. […] to create a craft DIY is much more rewarding.  I found this image transfer tutorial linked of from Annanimmity.  She collects old magazines and was thrilled to be able to use the vintage images for […]

  8. I collect images too and never know what to do with them….this is a great idea! Definitely going back on my ‘to do’ list. If you’d like another place to share your great tutorial please stop by Etcetorize, the party is going on now~

  9. Linda says:

    This is amazing! But do I have to use a photo from a magazine? Won’t regular paper work?

  10. Linda says:

    Also, I can’t find that gel medium anywhere (I live in Iceland), can I use something else instead?

  11. Oh my gosh. Amazing. Simply amazing.

  12. Mindie says:

    Featuring on Thursday at Bacon Time!

  13. Oh, I’m pinning this and making it as soon as I can!

  14. Nicole Timm says:

    Amazing!! I love them all, even the one you couldn’t save, it actually doesn’t look bad! What a fun project, thanks for sharing :) Have a great day.
    Crafty Soccer Mom

  15. justval says:

    Have you tried several coats of gel medium? The trick is to paint one coat one direction,( top to bottom),let it dry and another coat the opposite direction (side to side).
    Do this several times. This should help. I do love the bags!

  16. […] that has been transferred onto this cross shoulder canvas bag. I shared the tutorial for this bag here {I share tutorials for most of the handmade items in my shop}. I still carry the bag that’s […]

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