Packaging tape transfer how-to

I got a request to show how to make the packaging tape transfers, so here it is:

You will need:

  • Magazine cutouts (Ink jet print outs do not work well since the ink is water-soluble and rinses off of the tape)
  • Clear packaging tape
  • Scissors
  • Bone-folder or burnishing tool
  • Non stick surface(I use my cutting mat since I have found it to be the easiest to peel the tape up off of.)
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Small dish of water

To get started, take one of your magazine images and apply a long strip of tape to across it (side to side or top to bottom, doesn’t matter.) making sure there are no air bubbles, as these spots will be blank spaces on the finished transfer. Sometimes bubbles happen and can’t be helped so don’t worry about it, it makes the images look aged and a little grainy. Apply the next strip of tape the same direction, making sure the two pieces of tape overlap a little bit. Continue applying tape with a little bit of overlap until the image is completely covered. (Although I have found leaving a small bit of paper uncovered at the top or bottom makes it easier to peel the paper off after it has soaked.)

Trim off the excess tape around the image, then use the burnisher to rub the back of the image, being sure to cover the whole image and insure the image is thoroughly stuck to the tape.

Pop it into the warm water and let it soak for a few minutes. When you take it out, check a corner to see if the paper comes off easily. If not, let it soak longer. I haven’t had any problems with leaving the images in the water for a while, I soak multiple pics at a time, and while I’m removing the back of one, the others are still in the water. When the paper comes off easily, place it face down on your work surface, wet your fingers , and gently rub any remaining paper bits or residue off. Re-wet your fingers as needed, and continue to remove the paper backing.

When all the paper is removed, take the paper towel and wipe the back carefully to remove the water. Sometimes the tape is still sticky so you may want to just let the image air dry. Me, I hate waiting 🙂 I wipe the image with long swipes and hope for the best. If the paper towels does stick, you can use more water to remove it.

You can see when your done that the image will be mostly transparent. Sometimes the paper wont come off the tape completely and the images will appear cloudy. Still cool looking and not a problem. I have tried a bunch of different magazines, with different results, but all are perfectly usable!

Sometimes the papers peals so easily off the tape and leaves almost no bits behind:

Other times the paper doesn’t want to come off easily no matter how long it soaks, so it takes a bit more work to remove:

If you notice some residue on the images after they dry, just change the water you use to clean off the paper and go over the image again with the clean water and wipe off with a clean paper towel.

The images are ready to glued into your art journal or used in any other creative ways you like! I used gel medium to glue mine into my art journal, but you could try any adhesive you wanted to. Even though the tape might still be a bit sticky, you should use a glue to insure the image stays put.

While you are waiting for the papers to soak, you could play with the crazy kitten who is feeling feisty and wants attention. Watch out for your toes tho…

I hope I explained things well, if you have any questions feel free to message me!


About kittyisnotamused

I am an eclectic crafter whose hobbies currently include knitting, crochet, making journals, cooking, and quilting, although I have also been addicted to jewelry making, scrapbooking, sewing, and many others. My passion for creating runs a wide gamut and jumps back and forth from new hobbies to old often. I live with my hubby and our 3 pets: 1 grown puppy with the attention span of a goldfish, and 2 lazy chubby kitties. Kitties who, despite my best efforts to gain their enthusiasm, show no interest in what I'm working on except to lay on whatever it is occasionally. The hubby's reactions are better, which is why he gets many handmade items and the kitties only a few, but his reactions are usually confused smiles and nods with "thats great sweety!" The dog shows the most enthusiasm but mostly that translates into her trying to snot and eat whatever I am showing to her... I suppose thats just life tho :) Thanks for stopping in, feel free to leave a comment!
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4 Responses to Packaging tape transfer how-to

  1. Mrs. J. Quinn says:

    Pretty cool 😀

  2. Fiber Lily says:

    Your awesome! I looked up some you tube video’s on it but I love the way your photos are presented. I have tried this method with clear shelving liners. It works in the same way. I just don’t like the glossy look it gives. Too bad they don’t make matte tape. LOL

  3. uspackaging says:

    It is amazing what people can do with every day materials. Thanks for sharing.

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