Gesso Image Transfer Project

Hey All!

Today I'm here with a super fun technique that I just picked up: gesso image transfer. I had been looking through a bunch of blogs where people were using vintage images to decorate all kinds of things from books to furniture and I decided to give a try and see if it were as magical as it seemed to be and it turns out it is! Here is the book I made using the technique:

 I started with the leather covers off some old illustrated encyclopedias. I have a set of 10 and all the covers are completely detached and I've been trying to think of what I could use these cool old leather book covers for. The vintage French Advertisement image is from my Etsy shop here and all I did was follow the instructions that I found in THIS tutorial.

I painted the book board with a layer of gesso and then set it with my heat gun for about 3 minutes. I printed my image in reverse on my laser jet printer, inkjet printers won't work for this. Then I put down another thin layer of gesso and put my image face down on the gesso while it was still wet. I used a bone folder to work out any bubbles and then hit it with the heat gun again until the gesso was dry. The next part was a little tedious but so much fun. I got a damp sponge and began wetting the paper until it becomes soft and starts to peel away. You have to be patient and don't scrub too hard but basically all the paper will peel away leaving behind the toner that is now sealed in the gesso. Cool, huh?

I covered the edges of my book boards with some DCWV fabric paper (love that stuff) and then punched holes and set grommets with my Crop-a-dile. I wanted to make this a smash book sort of journal so I cut up papers from the "Love Letters" Recollections line of papers from Michaels and tied it all together with some red ribbon. I'm super pleased with my new journal. Has anyone else tried this technique? I can't wait to try this on other surfaces, I've heard it will work on just about anything!
I've also got another freebie to share with you today, its an image I got from a 1920s movie magazine. 

Isn't she lovely? She has so much expression and looks so fantastic just washing clothes. Part of me longs for the days when women looked fabulous all the time but then the part of me that is sitting here in a yoga pants and a hoodie says....."naaah"

~Here's to the creative journey


  1. What a neat idea. I can't wait to try this technique. Thanks for the wonderful picture. Reminds me of my grandmother. Such pleasant memories.

  2. Love this! So fun. I seriously need to take classes from you. I think we should have a monthly date where Mom takes Rosie for several hours and I come do crafting stuff with you.