48 Books Of Antique Graphics For Mod Podge Fabric And Wood Transfers

My friend Mary has mastered the art of transferring graphics to cloth and recently, she spilled her secrets of how she creates custom pillow masterpieces.

If you are one of those who admire the burlap and old world styled linen French pillows that have made their way around big retailers like Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn,  you can create your own designs using Mod Podge, water and a printed graphic.  Here is how to do it………..

A.  Purchase A Photo Transfer Medium 

Mod Podge Photo Transfer which sells for $10 dollars on Amazon was used for this project.  Mary recommends using Artisan Enhancement Transfer for projects that involve wood, and Mod Podge  for fabric transfers.  You can find a number of products on Amazon, including Omni, Deco-Art, Ranger Ranger which can be used for image transfers for wood or fabric.

  • Artisan Enhancement Transfer Projects On Pinterest
  • Artisan Enhancement Transfer Products From Robyn Story Designs
  • Mod Podge “Fabric” which sells for a little over $4 dollars on Amazon


kea Blue White Botanical Nature Throw Pillow Cover Cushion Sleeve BlavingeIkea Beige Brown Botanical Nature Throw

B.  Print Your Graphics

You can transfer color, black and white, and sepia images.  The trick is to use a printer which works off of a toner.  Will an inkjet or laser jet printer work? Will a printer that takes toner cartridges work?  Laser is toner, so this project will work with a laser printer.

  • Tip: If you plan on printing out a graphic that has words or numbers, you will want to select an option on your printer which allows you to print a “mirror image”.
  • Tip:  Natural materials like cotton and linen work best with this project.  

Steps 1-4 Looking at the pictures above of Mary’s project she cuts out her image, and uses chalk to trace out the measurements on the fabric.  You can use dark fabric, so long as it’s natural and porous. Next, she paints the Mod Podge paste on the fabric and additionally paints the paste on the image side of the graphic.  Next, she places the graphic on to the pasted fabric, and presses out air bubbles. Mary suggests letting the project dry for 24 hours.

Steps 5-8- Once your fabric has dried for 24 hours, submerge your fabric into a tray of water and carefully wait till image starts appearing through wet paper. Very carefully start peeling off the paper. The image will show through as you go along.  Use room temp water and wait for image to show through then carefully rub off back. Rinse and then gently rub off excess paper and rinse again. Let your graphics dry. Use clear wax to seal your graphic.  As you can see in step 8, she uses a number of additional graphics, along with trims to complete her throw pillows.

Follow Mary Papageorgiou and her facebook fan page at Metamorphosis Boheme

See all Mary’s projects on Instagram

C.  Finding Images To Transfer

There are a number of places to find images to transfer.  Here are a few that I have found along the way…..

– Your Local Library– If your library functions like mine, they can bring in books from around the nation for a small fee.  I have saved myself $50 to $80 dollars for books this way for the small cost of $3 dollars per book when they use inter-library loans.  Inquire if your library is able to bring in books, and what the cost is to borrow them.  Research the names of the books you are interested in, and have your local librarian look them up to see if they are available.

– Go On Pinterest– You would be amazed what is pinned when it comes to old world graphics.  There are tons of images that are available for personal use.  You can print these off at home, or go to Staples, or Office Depot to print larger prints for transferring larger images.

– Dover Pictorial Archive’s books are Royalty free images which allow you to make your own art from their graphics and sell it as a business.  Below are my favorite 48 books which contain thousands of graphics that could be used on throw pillows, furniture, or art in general.  Many of these images are black and white, but with a photo editing program, like GIMP, you can select “colorize” and make them appear in a colored format, or leave them black and white.

Additional Articles:

-24+ Great Ideas For Transferring Graphics On Furniture – The Painted Furniture


How To Do Image TransfersUsing A Transparency And A Spoon To Transfer A Graphic……..

“Slightly dampen your project to facilitate the ink transfer. I generally wiped it with a damp cloth, and then waited a minute or two for it to be nearly dry. Print a reverse image of your graphic (I copied my images into Microsoft Word. Click on the image, and a new tab called “Picture Tools” will appear at the top of the page. Click on the tab and then on the “Rotate” option, and “Flip Horizontal”) directly onto an overhead transparency (you can buy individual sheets from a copy center; no need for a whole box). Tape it in place

Read more – Transparency Transfers – Red Hen Home

How To Do Image TransfersUsing Clear Transfer Paper For Graphics

Rub the back of your stencil to transfer the entire vinyl to the clear transfer paper. Carefully and slowly peel off the squared paper. Place and center your vinyl on the tote as you would do on any other surface. I use clear transfer paper for my vinyl, that way it is really easy for me to see where I am placing my template.” Read more at The 36th Avenue

Read more of the table transfer project at How To Stencil Furniture- The 36th Avenue

How To Do Image Transfers

Using Large Shipping Labels ( 8.5 x 11 inches) To Transfer Graphics

This technique involves large shipping labels, which come in packs of 100. Simply peel off the back of the label, press firmly onto the fabric, and cut around the label. Load the label/fabric into your printer so that the fabric side will be printed on.

Read more How To Print On Fabric Using an Inkjet Printer-The Decorated House

How To Do Image TransfersTransferring Large Images Using Acetone, Xylene, Or Wintergreen Oil

“Coat the back of the paper with acetone and firmly burnish all of the inked areas with a spoon or brayer. Peel the paper off and, assuming you used enough solvent and pressed hard enough, the ink will have transferred from your paper to the canvas”

Read more How To: Make a Gigantic Solvent Transfer- Man Made DIY

How To Do Image TransfersUsing Packing Tape, Water And Transfer Image Medium

“Place a piece of packing tape carefully over your printed image. Avoid getting wrinkles or bubbles in or under your tape. Using your bone folder or the smooth side of a spoon, burnish (rub!) the tape to ensure complete contact between the ink/paper and the adhesive. Tear away the extra paper from the edges of your tape, turn your image over and peel away some of the paper from the back. You do not need to peel off all of the paper, but removing some will help the water to penetrate and will make your life a lot easier about 2 steps down…. “

Read more –Image Transfer Tutorial (Packing Tape Version) Krissi’s Art Studio

How To Do Image TransfersImage Transfers With Tissue Paper And A Ink Jet Printer

This would be a great idea for graphics to frame….

“I took a piece of copy paper and sprayed spray adhesive on the top and the bottom. I left the middle with no spray. This was just to get the tissue paper to adhere so it would go through the copier. I laid the tissue on the sheet of paper and trimmed it to fit the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of copy paper. I then ran the paper through my copier and copied the image like normal. “

Read more – Homemade Script Tissue Paper – Little Miss Maggie Blog

How To Do Image Transfers Using Elmer’s Washable Glue, And Mod Podge To Transfer To Wood

Their trick involves brushing on Elmers glue onto paper, allowing it to dry, then running it through the printer, and then using Mod Podge to transfer it as usual.

Read more at How To Transfer Inkjet Images To Wood- Matsutake Blog

How To Do Image TransfersTransfer Images Using Paint Thinner, Or Lacquer Thinner With A Laser Printer

“Dip your q-tip in paint thinner and rub it on the back of your printout — it will become translucent! Then, take a solid, smooth anything (I used a letter opener made of bone) and carefully but firmly rub all over the picture, so the ink transfers well to the surface. Larger pictures may need step-by-step action, as the thinner quickly evaporates”

Read more- How To Transfer A Black and White Picture Onto Any Surface Using Paint Thinner -Mademoiselle Chaos Blog

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasMen: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources $1 On Amazon

Women: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources $1 On Amazon

Plants: 2,400 Royalty-Free Illustrations of Flowers, Trees, Fruits and Vegetables- $11 on Amazon

1100 Decorative French Ironwork Designs $4 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer Ideas

Banners, Ribbons and Scrolls, $3 On Amazon

Victorian Goods and Merchandise: 2,300 Illustrations $6 on Amazon

Steampunk Sourcebook $7 on Amazon

Heck’s Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science $9 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasFantastic Ornament: 110 Designs and Motifs- $4 On Amazon

1300 Real and Fanciful Animals from Seventeenth-Century Engravings- $8 On Amazon

Hands: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources $6 On Amazon

Pictorial Archive of Printer’s Ornaments: Renaissance to the 20th Century $1 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasTreasury of Flower Designs for Artists, Embroiderers and Craftsmen-$2 On Amazon

Animals: 1,419 Copyright-Free Illustrations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, Insects, etc $2 On Amazon

Nautical Illustrations: 681 Royalty-Free Illustrations from Nineteenth-Century Sources-$8 On Amazon

Treasury of Floral Designs and Initials for Artists and Craftspeople-$4 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasTreasury of Animal Illustrations: From Eighteenth-Century Sources- $4 On Amazon

Old-Fashioned Vignettes in Full Color: 397 Designs from Victorian Chromolithographs, Printed One Side $4 On Amazon

Victorian Floral Illustrations: 344 Wood Engravings of Exotic Flowers and Plants $2 On Amazon

Old-Fashioned Silhouettes: 942 Copyright-Free Illustrations $1 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasIlluminated Initials in Full Color: 548 Designs $6 On Amazon

European Folk Art Designs $5 On Amazon

Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees $7 On Amazon

Wildflower Designs and Motifs for Artists and Craftspeople $1 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasBaroque Ornament and Designs $1 On Amazon

French Baroque Ornament-$6 On Amazon

600 Butterflies and Moths in Full Color $7 On Amazon

Plants and Flowers: 1761 Illustrations for Artists and Designers $3 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer Ideas

Children and Their World: A Treasury of Vintage Cuts and Illustrations $2 On Amazon

Arms and Armor: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources $2 On Amazon

Fantastic Ornament, Series Two: 118 Designs and Motifs $4 On Amazon

79 Decorative Alphabets for Designers and Craftspeople $1 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasMedical and Anatomical Illustrations: With Over 4800 Royalty-Free Images $17 On Amazon

Pueblo Pottery Designs $2 On Amazon

Treasury of Bible Illustrations: Old and New Testaments $4 On Amazon

Music: A Pictorial Archive of Woodcuts and Engravings  $2 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasOrnamental Borders, Scrolls and Cartouches in Historic Decorative Styles $1 On Amazon

Medicinal and Food Plants: With 200 Illustrations for Artists and Craftspeople $5 On Amazon

835 Victorian Designs and Emblems $3 On Amazon

5000 Decorative Monograms for Artists and Craftspeople $9 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasA Garden of Flowers: All 104 Engravings from the Hortus Floridus of 1614 $8 On Amazon

Medieval Arms and Armor: A Pictorial Archive-$8 On Amazon

Old-Fashioned Pictorial Borders $8 On Amazon

Horses and Horse-Drawn Vehicles: A Pictorial Archive $2 On Amazon

Dover Pictorial Archive - Graphic Transfer IdeasNew York in the 19th Century $1 On Amazon

3200 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments $1 On Amazon

930 Matchbook Advertising Cuts of the Twenties and Thirties $4 On Amazon

Big Book of Animal Illustrations $1 On Amazon


Portmeirion Collections

Portmeirion Botanical Collections On AmazonBotanical Guava Pomegranate Apron Williams-SonomaBotanical Guava & Pomegranate Apron | Williams-Sonoma