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Fun With Transfers

Transfer Me transfers from Dress My Craft are new to The Ink Pad, and come in four styles: Vintage Butterflies (used here), Queen Birds, Be Mine and Roses. Each sheet is 8.5x11" so you get a lot of good-sized images to work with. They adhere beautifully to glass, wood, plastic and metal, so they're excellent for decor items. Because these are not ordinary rub-ons; these are the sort of transfer that you need to dip into water (there are complete, easy-to-follow instructions on the package). However, as you can see, I have also used them on some cards, and in a minute I'll explain the twist that makes that work easily! 
I used about half the sheet of Vintage Butterfly Transfers to fancy up some plain white pillar candles, a use for which they work brilliantly. BUT... (disclaimer ahead!!!) ...I'm not planning to burn these candles; for one thing they're too pretty! And also, I think it's possible the transfer could melt or catch fire as the candles burn; so these are now purely decorative. 
The background sheet around the images is slightly milky, so I got better results applying them to a white or light background. You want to trim the designs fairly neatly from the sheet, but try to leave a little bit of non-design area to hold on to when you are dipping the designs in the water. I discovered that the best way to keep the designs from curling up was to use two pairs of tweezers, one on each side; which made it easy to get the designs from the water onto my projects without air bubbles or breaks in the designs. 
But how do you use these on cards and papercrafting projects? I did try applying some of the butterflies to plain paper and it worked all right, but... you definitely want nice sturdy paper, with a bit of a gloss to it; or alternatively, paper that's been painted or gesso-ed. Because however neatly you work, when the transfer lands, it's a bit wet, so it needs a sturdy surface. 
 
But here's an easy trick: apply the transfers to a piece of clear acetate! You can even up-cycle a piece of plastic packaging, as I did; or, if you store your stamps or dies in Avery Elle Storage Pockets, you could make the pocket part of your design. The Ink Pad also has Opaque White Craft Plastic which would be awesome for CAS cards, and Grafix Vellum in Clear, Parchment and Gold which I did not test out, but which I believe would work well. There's even super- fun Pink Paislee Flamingo Acetate Sheets which would be fab with some of the sentiments from the Be Mine transfer set. Whatever substrate you choose, be sure to do a trial run, to be absolutely certain of getting the effect you want.
In this case, I cut out the all of the butterflies I wanted to use, and laid them out on my clear plastic... then took a quick pic of the positioning before I began applying the transfers. When I had all of the butterflies affixed, I set them aside to dry thoroughly and started making cards to hold them. I used a leftover panel of soft stripes painted with Hero Arts Liquid Watercolor for one card; and made a fast collage of torn book paper for the other, mounted on a mat of American Crafts Cork with Glitter specialty cardstock. The sentiments are Tim Holtz's Big Chat Stickers from Idea-OlogyNow here's the other twist: FLIP the acetate layer, and adhere to your card with the transfers UNDER the plastic! This way, no matter how much your projects get handled, the transfers cannot get damaged or scratched. Affix the plastic to your cards by concealing a small amount of clear adhesive under the images OR get creative and use staples, brads or stitching!
My only regret is not realizing early enough that the inclusion of a clear acetate layer meant I could easily have made these into shaker cards. Luckily I have a second sheet of Transfer Me Designs, because I'm definitely doing that next time!
has big plans for those
Queen Birds! 

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