DIY Packing Tape Ink Transfers

One of my favorite lessons in art school was about acrylic ink transfers. I used them for my sketchbooks, paintings and sculptures. I put them in glass panes and put them up in my windows in lieu of stained glass. Then one night, after too little sleep and too much wine I start playing around with packing tape and magazine pages. It’s the simplest, quickest ink transfer and easily the most rewarding. All you need is:

packing tape

magazine pages

soap

water

scissors

towel (for drying)

vessel for soaking- sink or otherwise

To begin with, pick the images that you want to transfer. I like to pick random sections and either leave them as single strips or take those single strips and recreate the magazine image. I did this for a sketchbook cover (but that’s a picture for my next post!) Then cut them out.

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I used Hi-Fructose for mine (sort of made me cringe a little cutting it up but I’m trying to hoard art magazines SLIGHTLY less and figured it’s all for a fantastic cause.) For any of you who haven’t yet seen this magazine, go find a copy. They’re beautiful, with thicker pages than you’d expect for a magazine, and stunning art work.

At this point, it’s time for a quick, 5 minute soak in warm, soapy water. I always use dish soap- nothing specific needed. I would, however, advise against bar soap as it takes a bit more to make a lather for your vessel of choosing. For your soaking vessel, you can use a bowl or the sink- I used a baking dish as it could accommodate all of my strips (and because I lost my sink stopper.)

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 My favorite part of the process is peeling the paper off: unlike acrylic transfers, peeling the paper off of the packing tape is much easier- it takes no time at all and is not a delicate process. You just peel and reveal the prettiness underneath. You can see if there is still paper on the ink transfer if you see a bit of whiteness; just keeping smudging your finger over it until it lifts. Here’s an image of it in process:

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Once you’ve peeled all of the paper off, just rinse any soap off and pat dry. That’s all there is to it!

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At this point I used a strainer to catch the paper shredded in the water- no need for that to go down the drain. For an added up-cycling bonus, you can use these paper shreds to make, well, paper with, if you so choose.

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This is from 2 strips of paper- as you can see, it’s not much but I believe the philosophy is “waste not, want not.” I’d love to see what beautiful transfers you create- be sure to post your projects on instagram and tag them with #knowloveknowcolor for a chance to be reposted on my site, @knowloveknowhope  xo, Ev.

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