Day 23: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes

I used two different techniques for my creations today and both are cool, easy and fun. I then used the results to cover kraft paper boxes.  I wanted something really nifty because I was the lucky recipient of a big envelope of craft supplies, thanks to Scotch Brand Products and the team at 30 Days of Creativity.

I got an email about 10 days into the month from the team asking if I’d like some freebies (are you kidding? YES!) and saying they thought I was awesome!  Well, how cool is that?  In honor of PLAID DAY, the gift turned out to be from 3M and Scotch.  You know, with the little plaid label?  Good old Scotch tape.  A brand so well known, it has come to represent the product and be used  in place of the generic name, just like Kleenex, Jello and Band-aids.  Who says transparent tape, facial tissue, gelatin and bandages?

So what, you ask, was in the envelope or “creativity kit”.  Yes, Scotch tape!  Four types: magic, double-sided, packing and pop-up with a pop-up tape dispenser.   There was also three kinds of glue sticks, tacky glue, clear glue with 2-way applicator, maximum strength adhesive, an adhesive dot roller, reusable tabs for lightweight mounting, restickable shapes for mounting, photo laminating sheets and two pairs of scissors!

Now onto the projects!  I’ve been planning on doing something with Sunprints.  You make photographic type prints with special paper using sun and water.  I set out some crafting tools on the paper, exposed it to the sun for a few minutes than stopped the process with water.  They look kind of like x-rays and when dry are a beautiful rich blue.

I did a few more with ferns and other plants, jewelry and tools.   Sewing notions would make a great Sunprint.  This is a great project to do with kids and I think the prints would be wonderful framed.  I used one to cover a pencil cup and paperclip holder. I had some Kraft paper boxes and I just glued the Sunprints onto the boxes (with a handy glue stick that I happened to have on hand) and gave it a coat of decoupage medium.

When I opened my package and pawed through all the stuff I found packing tape and remembered reading about packing tape transfers.  Using packing tape and pictures from a magazine or copier or laser printer  you make little decals of the pictures but without the background paper so your image is  translucent.  Cheap and images are only as limited by what you can find to download or in a magazine.  Or copy.  Photos don’t work but copies of photos would be fine.

Once you find an image in a magazine or print it, you cut a piece of packing tape and put it over your picture.   Then you press the tape onto the picture, and burnish it with a bone folder, the back of a spoon or the edge of a ruler or letter opener.  You want to make sure all of your image is snugly sealed with tape with no bubbles or wrinkles.  Cut around your image and put it in a bowl of water.  Different tutorials gave different times for how long to soak it.  I found it was easier if it sat in the water for about 10 minutes.  Using your thumbs, gently rub the paper off of the tape, leaving your image on the clear packing tape.  Don’t scratch it though because it could take off the ink and ruin your picture.  Here is a link that shows the steps for this method: Molly Likes to Draw.

I found that it took a bit of rubbing but the paper came off eventually.  Blot the water off and you now have decals that you can glue onto a project – I used a glue stick to adhere several transferred images to a box I covered with a collage.  The large image on the left in the photo below is made with the same method but instead of packing tape I used photo laminating sheets.  I’ve read that contact paper works too, but I haven’t tested it. The printer paper came off much more easily than the glossy magazine paper.

The butterfly and key images on my collage box in the pictures above are all packing-tape transfers!

A warm thank you to the folks at 30 Days of Creativity for all the nice stuff and of course to Scotch Products.  I really am enjoying this process and it has gotten  me to stretch and strengthen my creative muscles.  I’m in wonderful company and love looking at what everyone else is producing.  I have tried things for the first time and discovered projects and mediums I want to explore further.  On the downside I’m not getting as much sleep as usual, but I have no one to blame for myself.  One more important thank you is to Rem for being so patient and supportive as I’ve turned the living room into a messy, chaotic art studio and the bedroom into an office.

As always, thank YOU for reading, responding (hint hint – love those comments), and, I hope, becoming inspired to do something creative on your own.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

108 responses to “Day 23: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes

  1. I am in awe…I would have NEVER thought of such a fun project.

    My kids, however, would absolutely love this. Thanks for the inspiration!



    • Mikalee, I search all over and look at other posts all the time. I also got a great book called Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt (she has Yellow Owl Workshop and I have a link on my site to her site) and she has several projects in her book using sunprinting. She shows several small wooden boxes with a sunprint glued to the top. It is kind of magic using the sun reactive paper and there is also apparently fabric that is also sun reactive. Very cool.

  2. Wow those are so creative. I bet my nieces and nephews would love the sun experiment one. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • Thanks! I am so pleased to be Freshly Pressed! And I’m getting loads of nice comments, new subscribers, etc. Thanks. The sun experiment is great for kids of all ages (I’m 51 and loved it).

  3. iceviolet

    how nice! i love the one with butterfly! it’s sort of like a collage that I once made. gotta try to make one for my own sometime! 🙂

    • Collages are one of my favorite things to make – I often make collage cards. The packing-tape transfers are fun. You should try it and let me know what you think.

  4. Love the idea of packing tape transfers!! Yours are beautiful. I’m not an artistic person but I surely want to give this a try! I enjoyed reading your blog so much. I Like your fun style of sharing and gift for being motivating!

    • I really appreciate your comments, Veronica. You can find wonderful images online and then make them into decals with the packing-tape transfer method. I would like to be able to draw a beautiful butterfly but I can’t. I can copy one or rubber stamp one or do a packing tape transfer of one! I hope you are motivated to try it out.

  5. martyier

    sweet im a pack rat and I love to do cool things like this, this is soooo awesome.
    thank you t=for such great insight

  6. laurie

    I had seen this before but forgot all about it!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
    Sooo much fun!! Plus, I would have died and gone to heaven with all those glue products ! So this is it? We’re done? Hope not…maybe a craft every 2 weeks??? Thanks Di – it was GREAT!

    • Oh, no, Laurie, we’re not done! The 30 Days of Creativity still has one week to go. I got going on the thank you’s because of the freebies I received. But not to worry, I’ll keep posting after the end of June. NOT every day though. I’ve got ideas for things that I want to try that haven’t worked for a project I could do in one day. Thanks!

  7. I really like your blog.Very likely it reflect’s your personality.

  8. mollie

    These are both such neat projects! The sun paper would be a great way to add some simple art work to your home too! And, I had never heard of making decals that way! I’m very excited about trying both of these methods. Thanks!

  9. loved it…really awesome stuff.the key looks amazing….you have really inspired me!im surely going to undertake a similar project soon!

  10. Beautiful ideas! I’ll have 6 12-year-old girls here for a sleepover in three weeks and we look for a craft idea every year. My girls were SO excited about the sunprints. Thank you!
    Alissa @aliunravelled

  11. I work for 3M… didn’t know we sent out stuff like that. KEWL!

  12. of course it’s inspiring! creativity is always great fun 🙂
    beautiful craft!

    newest post “polish citiZEN”:

  13. of course it’s inspiring! creativity is always great fun 🙂
    beautiful craft!

    newest post “polish citiZEN”:

  14. asrai7

    Great post! I’ll definitely have to give this one a go in my studio, it’s such an easy transfer process that I didn’t even know existed!

  15. Wow, so creative! I’m always looking for cool craft ideas for my daughter and I. I’ll bookmark this one. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  16. Your projects look great. Hope you have lots of fun with the rest of that bag of stuff. 🙂

  17. Really neat ideas with the sunprints! That would be a great project for the kids this summer 🙂
    Kudos for being on FP!

  18. That paper looks awesome. I wonder if it’s available in the UK?

    • Leah

      I’ll bet it is! In the US it’s available in craft stores but also in science-type environments (science museums and supply stores). It might be called something else, but I’m sure you’ll find it – its been around in the US since I was a kid in the 80s.

  19. Love crafts in all forms and shapes! Thank you for sharing!

  20. catherine333

    So creative, thanks for sharing!

  21. Wow! I love the sun prints! How creative and beautiful!

  22. Sarah

    Congrat’s on being Freshly Pressed! I’m signing up for your emails!

    • Thanks! I’m pretty jazzed about it. I’m almost up to 2,000 views today (if someone looks at two posts, that counts as two views). It is amazing! I also more than doubled the number of subscribers – I think you’re my 48th person to subscribe. The only thing is, the subscribe feature wasn’t working today! I’ve contacted but don’t know if I’ll hear back before Monday.

  23. That really looks like fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Both the packing-tape transfers and the sunprinting are fun crafting projects. I would love to know if you give either one a shot! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  24. I loved making hand made things. I used to make some when I was a child. Well, I wish I have enough time to make one again. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  25. Nice work there, keep it up. Looking at these crafts is so relaxing.

  26. You have an artist heart in you and it shows beautifully in your creative works. the prints and colors are pleasing to the eyes.

  27. I can hardly wait to try out these ideas! Yours are gorgeous! Wow! Thanks for sharing..

    • Thank you! I love trying out new things too and doing the 30 Days of Creativity has given me the opportunity to try stuff quickly and move on. Later I’ll come back and decide what I want to spend more time with. I’d love to hear back from you when you give one of my ideas a go.

      • I went out and found the sun paper and some decopauge medium. Hopefully this week I will be on my way! Thanks so much for the ideas.

      • That’s great! Give me an update when you try the sun print paper. Tip: if you are covering a curved surface (such as the edge of the little paperclip cup I covered), snip a few small cuts (quarter inch) into each edge of the strip you are gluing down and it will be easier to smooth it around the curve.

  28. Kathlene Audette

    This is so fun! Thanks for posting – I’ve got to check out the sunprints. I did something similar to that years ago in a photo lab, but didn’t realize you could buy paper like that. Leaves and flowers would make really interesting patterns.

    • Hi, Kathleen – I wanted to keep making more of these sunprints when I started. I can imagine a grouping of framed sunprints on a wall with a simple, botanical theme. Give it a try! Thanks for the comments.

  29. Ooooh, That sounds fun!.I kind of miss visual arts, but these days I’m more in to sculpture. But I’d never heard of any of this. Awesome!

  30. I have to restart with decoupage and this ‘sunny-idea’ makes me go for it. Thank you :)!

  31. Very beautiful little packages. I am going to refer to your blog often for gift ideas.

  32. I love a good art project.

  33. Awesome crafts AND a beautiful blog! Way to go and congrats on the Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  34. Pingback: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes. « Ash's Blog

  35. Wow, I don’t know how you came up with these different mediums, but they’re great and they look great too! The soaking the photos and how they turned out is very cool, and the transfers are also really neat too. I like to do crafty things too, but what you did is pretty fantastic!

    • I read lots of different sites and follow links to get ideas. And then I jump in and try it out. Doing the 30 Days of Creativity has really opened me up to trying things because I wanted a lot of variety for the project. Thank you for the nice comment.

  36. nymphsnecessitys

    Fantastic! can hardly wait to give it a try…today is a rainy day..perfect to do an inside project..thanks for sharing!

  37. Rosie

    This might be something I could actually do. I am not at all “craft-y” but need to do a homemade project to send to a friend. Wonder if there’s any other project you could recommend that requires very little skill (I can’t sew, crochet, do woodworking, etc.) and yet might be likable to a female friend. Thanks in advance!

    • Well, I think gluing is pretty easy. But then again, I’m very crafty so maybe I’m not the best one to ask! There are two projects here: one is the sunprint paper and once it was printed I covered a box with it. The other is covering a box with a collage. Of the two, the sunprint paper is probably easier. You would need to purchase the special paper (you can get it online and I included a link in the post), and purchase a box and some decoupage medium like mod podge. Why not give it a try? Let me know what you decide to do!

  38. Wow, what a unique and wonderful idea using the sun printing. It would be cool to use that a turn it into the frame for a photograph or mirror as well.

    -Trashy Crafter Kim

    • I had a great time with the sun printing and encourage you to try it. I’m sure you’ll find great ways to use the resulting paper. Thanks for the comment.

  39. I once read somewhere that a thing of beauty brings joy forever. This blog post is awesome.

    • What a beautiful sentiment! One of the things I love most about making things myself with my hands is that I give a little of myself in everything I handcraft. And I know that handmade things are appreciated. Thank you.

  40. Wow. When I see posts like these, I wonder how people are so talented. That is amazing. I must try it. Congrats on FP!

    • Thanks – I’m delighted with being Freshly Pressed. I think we all have talents and now I’m able to share my creativity with this blog. I appreciate your comments!

  41. OMG! I really adore your blog..:) U r good at blogging.But i’m new.If i have a problem about it,i’ll ask you 🙂
    With great love from AZERBAIJAN!

  42. The Stillroom

    Just thank you a whole lot! I have been re-inspired to blow the dust off of my craft supplies.

  43. Pingback: Day 23: Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes (via dianne faw) «

  44. Wow….so cool! very creative!

  45. Angela Raposo

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing great ideas.
    Um abraço.

  46. This is great 🙂 Keep us posting ^^

  47. Florence

    I had no idea it was possible to make decals from just a printed image and packing tape; thank you so much your incredibly easy to follow instructions. I know I’ll definitely be making some soon!

  48. Beautiful creation, dianne. On my list of trying new things. 🙂

  49. Hi Dianne! What a BEAUTIFUL project! Thank you so much for posting. I’m new to blogging, too. How did you get the word out about your blog so fast? Thanks and best of luck to you! ~Pam

    • HI, Pam – Thanks and sorry not to respond sooner. I really didn’t get the word out. My blog has been quietly and very slowly gaining a new subscriber here and there until Friday, June 24 when featured it on Freshly Pressed. Since I was doing the 30 Days of Creativity project, I was posting every day for the month of June, way up from my typical 4 to 6 posts per month. That might have caught someone’s attention. Prior to that I’d asked friends on Facebook to post a link on their own Facebook status if they were so moved and liked something they saw, and I got some subscribers that way.
      I had a friend encourage me to start blogging and suggested a great book “Blogging for Bliss” by Tara Frey. It has been very helpful to me and I recommend it. I suggest posting often, taking lots of pictures so people see what you are writing about, expand your “About” section to include your first name, at least, because otherwise it just sounds like a company instead of a person. And look at other blogs, LEAVE COMMENTS (especially personal ones that show you’ve looked at their site) and see what you like and emulate it.
      Good luck to you too!

  50. Pingback: 30 Days of Creativity « Gathering the Magic

    • Thanks for the link! This was a really cool project to participate in but it also took enormous energy to sustain it through the month. Planning ahead will be good.

  51. These are so cute! ive been looking for something different to try and this post has inspired me to give it a go! 🙂 Thanks!

  52. hope i can make for myself, great handmade things

  53. Pingback: Happy Blog-Anniversary to Me! | dianne faw

  54. Pingback: Day 23: Crepe Paper Flower | dianne faw

  55. Pingback: Day 23: Skyclad | dianne faw

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