Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grain Sack Image Tutorial


I will do my best to explain this.  I taught myself based on information I found at different blogs and websites, including The Graphics Fairy.



You will need Citrasolv, which is a natural cleaner and degreaser concentrate.  *Edited to add:  There are several different cleaning products under the Citrasolv brand.  This process requires the cleaner and degreaser concentrate.* I couldn't find this locally.  I checked the manufacturer's website and it was listed as being carried at Harris Teeter and Whole Foods in my area.  The manager at Harris Teeter told me they had no record of ever carrying it.  Pam checked at Whole Foods and had the same experience.  I finally ordered this through Amazon.  I ordered the 16 ounce size.  This goes a very long way.  To do the grain sack image I only used an amount to half -way saturate a cotton ball.  If you are only using this for personal projects, the 8ounce size should be more than enough. 

Next, you will need your image.  If it is an object without any text, you do not need to use a mirrored or flipped image.  From what I read when I was trying to figure out how to do this myself, images printed on ink jet printers or copiers will not work.  You need a copier or printer that uses the toner cartridges.  I used a laser jet printer and the prints have worked great.  I've read that some people have tried making their copies at Kinko's or local businesses that offer this service, with mixed results.  I would think that a professional copy business such as Kinko's could tell you if they have a toner based printer.  I would suggest you only pay for one or two copies and see if they work before investing any more money.

I've gotten so many wonderful images, that are copyright free, from The Graphics Fairy.  Occasionally she will include a link to an image that is already flipped, such as the image I used on this project.  If you scroll down on her post, you will see a second image that has been flipped.  When I use her images, I double click on the image and it opens in a new window, in its true size.  I then right click and select "copy" and then paste it into a word document.  This way you  can adjust the size after you have pasted it, by clicking on the image until a box outline appears.  Drag the lines of the box in or out, depending if you want it larger or smaller.  This is also where I mirror or flip the image.  On my computer, if I click on edit, or photo editor (depending on the year of the software), an icon similar to a triangle appears in the tool bar and if you hold your cursor over it, it will give you the option to flip or rotate horizontally or vertically.  I would suggest saving the image to a file after you have it in the form you want, to make for easier printing if you decide to use the image again.

This image worked well because the wheat/grain is a mixture of light and dark areas.  I've found that an image with a large dark area doesn't transfer well with this method.  It comes out spotty and  uneven looking.


Someone asked about using an image they already have.  I am about the most unsavvy tech person around.  Many of you are probably so far ahead of me on this whole printing and mirror image thing.  And,  there are much more advanced computers and programs out there, so that may make a difference.  If I were going to try to use an image I already had in a hard copy, I would try scanning it and then printing it.  If it has text, I guess your ability to flip it would depend on the software you are using.  For example, I cannot flip or mirror text from a word document I have created.  I had hoped to be able to put together wonderful phrases, choosing the font and style I wanted, and then mirror/flip the image for printing.  According to the little "help" button in Word, this can't be done.  However, when I paste an image into a word document, I can flip the entire image.

So, now you have your Citrasolv and your image.  Time for the fabric.  We first started using this technique on 100% Cotton flour sack dish towels.  I've since used it on ticking fabric, and the drop cloths.  I always pre-wash and dry my fabric, so that any shrinking will not affect the image.  I also iron the fabric well just before transferring the image, so any little wrinkles won't interfere.  And, I always "test" the process first on a scrap of fabric if it is a fabric I have not used before.  Oh yes, I always put newspaper down first under my work area.  You want to make sure the area is smooth or it can interfere when  you are rubbing the image on to your fabric.



You want to tape your image, face down on your fabric, making sure it is positioned exactly as you want it.  I just use some masking tape on the corners of my page.  I also cut off the word "grains" on this particular transfer and used the rest of the image to suit the project I have in mind for this.




Put some of the Citrasolve on a cotton ball, and then gently dab it on the back side of your image until the image becomes visible through the paper.  It is also a good idea to kind of hold the paper in place (although it is taped) with one hand while dabbing with the other, just to make sure it doesn't slip any.  There is no need to saturate the paper.  Just dab enough until the image shows through.





You can see that I missed a couple of letters here, but I went back and dabbed over them before rubbing with my spoon.


Now you will need to rub down the image with the back side of a large spoon.  Again, I hold the paper down with one hand, and rub the spoon firmly in short back and forth motions with my other hand.  I start on one corner and work my way across, making sure I've covered every bit of the image.  I rub it a few times before moving on to another area.  When you are finished, carefully lift up the edge of your paper and remove. 




The beauty of this is, if you are creating a "vintage" project, if you miss a spot here and there, it just adds to the time worn character that makes vintage things so wonderful. It doesn't need to be perfect.

Next you want to heat set the image.  I just hold a hot iron down for several seconds, a section at a time,  until the image has been covered.  I do this on the front and back of the fabric.





 Now you have a beautiful piece of fabric to use on your project!















33 comments:

  1. This is a great tutorial. I am going to order some of this and give it a try.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  2. Thanks! I'm going to edit the post because I forgot to add a tip about what kind of image to use. I've found that something with a large dark area doesn't transfer well. Just a little fyi.

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  3. Is "Goo Gone" the same thing as the citrasolv? Thanks for the tutorial, I just made some chair covers and I didn't like the iron on stuff so much. I've been wondering what other methods there were. I loved all your photos and am now a follower! I wish your shop was close to me :(

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  4. Hi Shanon. When I initially did my research on this I never found anything using this method with any product other than Citrasolv. After your question I googled it a bit and found a blog and you tube video that tried some other products, including home made mixtures, that also did not work. If you find something else that does works please let us know. I'm going to add a note to my post, but there are several different types of cleaners under the Citrasolv brand. This process requires the cleaner/degreaser concentrate.

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  5. A very helpful person sent me these instructions for flipping a graphic in word on an HP Laptop. I wanted to post this since it may be very helpful for someone!

    Flip an object
    1.Select the AutoShape, picture, clip art, or WordArt that you want to flip.
    2.On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw, point to Rotate or Flip, and then click Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical .

    Thanks!

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  6. I LOVE using the Citra Solv
    transfer method ~ It smells
    really good too :)

    xoxo
    Lori

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  7. Thanks for the tutorial,I'm going to give it a try!

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  8. Thanks so much for posting this!!

    Kelly

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  9. Thanks very much for the step by step instructions. I have ordered the Citra Solv; downloaded the same (ok, I'm a copycat) photo from the Graphics Fairy and am doing this on a footstool this weekend. Can't decide if I should use existing grain sack or buy a drop cloth. Stay tuned. Thanks again. Nice job.

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  10. Good luck on the footstool! I've yet to own a real grain sack. I get the drop cloths from Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal Mart and through Amazon. Can you tell I've bought quite a few? You can even bleach them first if they aren't white enough.

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  11. Thanks for shering this ideas with us.
    Is it possible to transfer colour picture/graphic? and can it be washed when is finished?

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  12. I just want to say this is one of the best tutorials I have seen!! I have been looking for the material to use for this sort of transfer, so I will check online now haha! Great tips, and about Kinkos, as I don't have the cartridge printer, thank you so much! I can't wait to make some beautiful things! I just became a follower!

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  13. Myszka, I've seen color copies transferred, even copies of photos. I haven't tried these yet myself. I think the key thing is to make sure the color copy is made on a toner based copier or printer.

    Candace, I'm glad you found this helpful! I'm sure you will make some gorgeous things!

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  14. Myszka, I forgot to respond to your question about washing. Yes, these can be washed if you heat set it with an iron. This is the same method we use on the flour sack dish towels.

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  15. I have been doing these types of transfers for quite sometime now. I love it. It's so much fun! But the only thing was that you couldn't wash whatever it was that you transfered. It would simply dissapear! So, here's yet another tip! After setting with your HOT iron for TWO whole minutes, then soak in plain ole' white vinegar for at least 2 hours and dry in a hot dryer. Then iron again and wash as regular. It may fade a bit, but should remain for a good lon time!! I love this project. It's so much fun. And a good workout for those arms too!!! :)

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  16. Thank you for sharing this. I will have to give it a try.

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  17. love this! newest follower.. found you via twitter.

    laura@imnotatrophywife.com

    http://wwww.imnotatrophywife.com

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  18. What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you!

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  19. Just found your link from Lettered Cottage's fb page. I love this tutorial, will have to try this out!!! Thanks!

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  20. This is amazing! The possibilities are endless...

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  21. I wonder if this would work on t-shirts??

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  22. Bevy, I haven't tried it on t-shirts yet, but I seem to recall seeing this done somewhere. It may have been on the Citrasolv web site.

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  23. Wow, I have wondered how everyone is doing this. Thank you for the tutorial! Blessings!

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  24. Just a shout out to the new followers and comments. Thanks so much for visiting our blog! :)

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  25. This is the best tutorial I've seen for this! Thank you so much! I actually have a chair I plan to have upholstered and I want to have the grain sack "look" without the grain sack price! Do you know if this will work on upholstery-type fabrics? I'm not sure yet what fabric to use on my chair (linen, burlap etc.) but suggestions are welcome on that as well. Thanks again!

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  26. Hi Laura. I've only used this method on 100% cotten with a fairly tight weave. It always transfers well and last through machine washings. You may want to buy just a small piece of fabric and try a test spot first. Share a picture when you're done!

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  28. This method also works on transferring onto wood. Very little Citra-sol. If your wood is painted, it works best on flat paint. You can also stain over an image on bare wood.

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  29. Hi I just did this tonight with the CitraSolv concentrate from Amazon, the canvas drop cloths from Lowe's and a pic from Graphic Fairy. Nothing I'm reading anywhere is talking about my dilemma....I have a big dark greasy stain that's visible around my imprint from the oily CitraSolv! Now what? Is this normal?

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  30. Hi Mindi. The Citrasolve usually evaporates when I heat set the design with an iron. It's hard to say. If you wash it without heat setting the design, the design may wash out also. Is it possible to spot clean the citrasolv?

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