Xerox Transfer Technique

I am pleased to welcome Joanne DeWald from Of The Forest to our Critter Craft Corner.  Here Joann explains the very cool technique of XEROX TRANSFER.  
Be sure to visit Joann’s website here –
I used to test the boundaries of the laser printer where i worked as a graphic designer. Always trying to print on thicker and more unusual paper. It had it’s limits though, so i was so excited when I discovered this XEROX TRANSFER TECHNIQUE. Not only does this work with paper or cardboard that’s too thick to go through a machine but also with three dimensional objects, cloth, etc. Pretty much anything you can think of !
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Recently I created place settings and table graphics for an upcoming holiday get together using xerox transfers. My friends names transferred onto some local river rocks, a leaf graphic onto napkins, the leaf graphic carried over onto a terra cotta pot i’ll be using for utensils and some “naughty and nice” signs warning them of the healthy and not so healthy food choices.
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When I first read about xerox transfers the technique was to use “Chartpak blender markers”. I visited my little local art supply store and bought the handful that they had in stock. I discovered though that this technique uses them up rather quickly and when i went back for more I found that Chartpak no longer sells them. With a little research I learned that the active ingredient in the blender markers is “Xylene” and it can be purchased at a hardware store. I got mine at Lowe’s Home Improvement store. I now have Xylene for life but hopefully you’ll be able to find a smaller can. Make sure you follow all the safety guidelines on the can and use in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors.
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So … to get started with your xerox transfer, first create your graphic in your computer. Most important is to flip your image so that you are seeing a mirror image before you print it out. You must print on a laser printer. This will not work with an ink jet print. Gather together tape, Xylene, the object you will be transferring onto, your xerox and a bone folder (used for bookbinding and scrapbooking. If you don’t have a bone folder you can use the back of a spoon.)
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Since I already had the Chartpak blender markers, which were now dried up, I use those to dip into the Xylene. You can use a Q-tip. Flip the xerox over onto the object or paper you are transferring onto and tape into place. On the blank back of the xerox, apply the Xylene. Don’t over soak it or your image will run (This is actually a cool effect if that’s what you want though. It sorta looks like a watercolor image). When you apply the Xylene you will start to see the image through the paper so you’ll be able to make sure you cover the whole image area. As soon as you’ve Xylened the entire image, use the bone folder or spoon and rub over the back of the paper. As long as your image is taped in place you can peek underneath and see how it’s going. When you’ve transferred your image, pull your xerox up and let dry. I’ve only shown black and white xeroxes here but you can do this with color too. Some colors transfer better than others. Some, such as red, come out more faded. I actually prefer when things don’t transfer perfectly and look a little rough and faded.
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thank you to jeffrey mitchell and patrick schintz for letting me use their drawings.
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Joanne DeWald
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