Here is a little art project that I have been working on in my spare time. The Graphics Fairy showed a wonderful Tea Towel Project that someone had made with a graphic offered on her website a few weeks ago. Well, I have loved that graphic and I printed it out knowing that I would create some thing with it.
I liked it so much that I even contacted one of my favorite sources for stencils….Maison de Stencils and I am having a custom stencil made from that print. I want to be able to make a pillow and a few other things too from the stencil. But, while I wait for my custom stencil to be created, I decided to try a pencil rubbing technique that I have been wanting to give a try.
What I did was take a piece of freezer paper and cut it into the same size as the printed copy of the graphic I wanted to transfer. It is VERY IMPORTANT to REVERSE the design of the graphic you are using before you print it out. This way you are getting a mirror image so that when you transfer it to you surface, it will look the right way.
I taped the freezer paper (regular paper side up) to the printed copy. Then I simply traced the reversed print design that I could see through the paper and copied it onto the freezer paper. The freezer paper allows you see the print and with my pencil I pressed down hard to make sure I got a nice pencil-lead rich copy of the print. The goal here is to make it dark enough so that when you place it on your canvas and you rub on the back side of the pencil copy, the pencil lead will transfer to the surface you want the design on. ( I do think you could do this project with regular paper too but the freezer paper is little bit more substantial in weight and the waxy side makes the rubbing transfer easier and helps prevent tearing in case you rub too hard.)
Once you have the entire print copied on to the the freezer paper you are ready to transfer the design on to your desired surface. I decided that I would experiment first with a small canvas. I toned down a strong yellow color of some acrylic craft paint that I had with some white and mixed it together. I then painted the canvas with the yellow paint and let it dry.
Once the canvas was dry, I carefully centered the transferred pencil design over the canvas and taped it in a few places to keep it from shifting. Using the soft rounded end of a stencil brush that I had I began rubbing the waxy or shiny back side of the freezer paper with the pencil so that the design transferred to the canvas. I gently lifted a corner of the paper to check to make sure that the pencil lead was transferring to my canvas.
Then it was just a matter of taking a fine tip black paint pen (The brand I used was Sharpie but make sure it is a paint pen and not just a Sharpie Marker) and “painting” over all the words and the design that was now on the canvas. Once that was dry, I mixed up a some purple-y blue paint and I delicately dabbed it onto my project so that my shaft of wheat in the design would look more like a bunch of lavender.
I think it turned out cute and placed it in my daughter’s room. In a couple of days when I am positive the whole thing is completely dry, I am going to rub some wood stain over the whole thing to make it look older and soften the picture. As I have said in the past, I am a wee bit impatient so my photos here today are all before adding the stain.
So good luck if you give this pencil rubbing transfer technique a try. And stay tuned because you know when I get my custom stencil back I’ll be back with some more projects with this great French graphic. :)