My daughter and I do marathon crafting sessions on the weekends. It’s great fun to create when we have no time constraints or commitments. There is nothing more frustrating than when we’re in the middle of creating only to find out we are out of a particular supply. This time we were making signs only to find out we were out of transfer paper. Today, I’m going to show you how you can use Con-tact Paper as a substitute for transfer paper.
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Transfer paper is something I’ve always had to order. It’s not the type of supply that you can run to Wal-mart to buy. I suppose you could get the Cricut brand at Hobby Lobby, but I’m not a huge fan of the Cricut brand. It’s also a little more expensive to buy it that way.
Transfer paper looks a lot like masking tape that comes in a big 12-inch wide roll. It has a paper backing on it with one-inch squares, which makes for easy measuring and cutting. I’ve had my share of frustrations in using it over the years. It’s not see through so it’s hard to place on my Oramask 813 stencils and it tends to stick to itself pretty bad. When I apply a stencil to a board using transfer paper, it’s usually a two-woman job.
I have to admit. It can sometimes take the joy out of making signs. This defeats the purpose of why we create in the first place.
But this kind of transfer paper works well if I’m applying a vinyl decal to something like I did when I put this adorable Made With Love In An Instant decal for my Instant Pot.
I have always ordered it from Amazon and this is the kind I buy:
I was pretty disappointed when I suddenly found myself without any transfer paper. It was going to put a serious crimp in our weekend plans since we were working on some Christmas gifts. I remember reading that clear Con-Tact Paper (shelf liner) could be used in place of transfer tape. I figured I didn’t have much to lose, so I gave it a shot.
Here are the steps we went through to make this Let It Snow design.
Prepping the Board
We started out with an 8-inch wood pine round. I picked mine up at the local Menards but you can get one at Amazon.
Preparing the Design And Using The Con-Tact Paper
We measured how much Con-Tact Paper we needed for the size of the stencil and cut it down to size.
We peeled off the back of the Con-Tact Paper and pressed it to the stencil design just as we would with the transfer tape. It went on so easily!
We put the design face down on the work table and peeled the backing off the Oramask.
I apologize for the blurry picture. It was never meant to be an action shot, but that’s what I ended up with. But, I think you’ll get the idea. Here we are placing the design and the Con-tact transfer on to the wood round. What I really liked about this was that between the clear Con-Tact paper and the translucent Oramask 813 placing the design so it was nicely centered on the board was so much easier than regular transfer paper!
Painting The Stencil
It was easy to pull the Con-Tact paper off the stencil. It was a surprise to me that it was so easy to remove. I was afraid the Con-Tact Paper would stick too well to the stencil and that both would want to come up off the board. I also wondered if static cling would be an issue. The transfer worked without a hitch. In fact, I felt like the Con-Tact Paper had just the right amount of stick to it. Transfer paper, especially if it’s brand new, sometimes sticks too well to the stencil. We didn’t fight this at all.
It’s time to paint now that the stencil is perfectly applied.
Taking a makeup sponge, we sealed the edges of the stencil with black paint, which is our base color. This will help the white paint, which is the color of our design, from bleeding around the edges of the stencil. Some people think this is an unnecessary step, but I think this extra step is well worth the frustration of bleeding lines.
After the black chalk paint was completely dry, it was time to paint the design white. Several light coats are better than one thick coat. Bleeding lines are heartbreaking and there’s enough sadness in the world already, isn’t there?
For this part of the process, we don’t even wait for the paint to dry. We start pulling off the stencil as soon as the white paint is completely on the design.
…and we’re finished! Just by looking at the finished product, I cannot tell a single difference in the quality of it by using a substitute transfer material.
Hey, if you’d like a more detailed tutorial on How To Make A Wooden Sign, head on over to JenniferMaker and read the guest post I did for her blog!
Thoughts On Con-Tact Paper
Overall, I thought this experiment turned out very well. I was very pleased that once again I could replace something that I normally have to wait days to arrive after ordering online with something that I can pick up at Wal-mart or even the local hardware store. Con-tact Paper is a pretty inexpensive purchase at the big box stores.
Did you know you can re-use the Con-Tact Paper on several designs? When I’m finished with it, I just stick it to the backing paper that’s left behind after I pull up the stencil mask. When I make signs again, I pull out that same piece and use it over again. I’ve always been able to do that with transfer paper, so it’s great to know I can re-use the Con-tact paper as well.
Con-Tact Paper Pros
- Purchased locally for less than $10. A 9-10 foot roll will cost about $8 or so.
- Clear so designs can be easily placed on the board
- Reusable (but so is transfer tape)
- Just the right amount of tackiness to stick it on the board; doesn’t seem to stick on to itself the way transfer tape does
- Doesn’t fold or kink as much as transfer tape does – eliminates the need for an extra set of hands when applying to the stencil
Con-Tact Paper Cons
- A roll is 18 inches wide. Typically, I create designs that are 12 inches wide. This means I have a lot of material leftover in an odd size that I may not use. I’m seriously thinking about cutting it with my power miter saw just like I cut the rolls of Oramask 813.
Free Cutting File
I haven’t really decided yet what I’m going to do with this Let It Snow round sign I’ve made. I have a couple of options. I’m thinking I could drill a couple of holes in it, run some twine through it and knot each end and turn it into a door hanger. Or…I could put a felt backing on it and use it as a holiday trivet for the Christmas table. Or I could even put a sawtooth hanger on the back and hang it on the wall. Those are all great possibilities.
What would you do with it?
Did you like the Let It Snow design I made for this wood round project? As always, it’s free in my Resource Library. And as always, you’ll need the password before you can get in there to download it. If you don’t have the password, that’s okay. It’s easy to get by signing up using the form below:
What will you do to Craft Your Happy, today?