MAGIC Decal Tutorial with Free Printables

Magic Decal Tutorial - with free printables | The Painted Hive

 
Some of you may remember, a little while back I posted a tutorial for DIY waterslide decals.

Among other things, I mentioned how awesome they are for creating custom embellishments without the need for any fancy-pants equipment. Yep, waterslide decal paper is a truly fab product, though as great as it is, there is one drawback – although it’s somewhat tough it’s not especially durable. So, whilst it’s perfect for ornamental purposes, it’s not ideal for more practical applications…until now that is!

Magic decal coating paper is a product designed to be used in conjunction with standard decal paper to make the finished transfers super durable – yes, even dishwasher resistant!

If you’re already familiar with magic decal coating paper then please excuse my tardy excitement, though for everyone else who is just getting to the party now too, feel free to start throwing the streamers!

My recently acquired assortment of SLOM jars from IKEA were awaiting some DIY craftiness and seemed the perfect candidates for my first magic decal experiment.

As there may be several brands of magic decal coating paper out there, each with slightly differing application requirements, for clarity in this tutorial I will specifically pertain to the particular product I used which I attained from here. The paper seems a little pricey though you can create several decals from one sheet so in reality the individual decals are actually quite inexpensive.

The paper I received came with three sheets of waterslide decal paper (distinguished by a blue watermark on the back) which you print your image onto, and three accompanying sheets of the magic coating paper (distinguished by attached translucent protective paper).

GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES

1 Image to transfer.

Use anything you like. I made up my canister labels in Photoshop though a standard publishing program would be fine too. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them – see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Printer.

You can use either a laser or an inkjet printer. The decal paper comes in two varieties, designed specifically for the type of printer you plan to use. Just make sure to purchase the right paper for you. I used an inkjet printer.

3 Decal paper (blue watermark on back).

Decal paper comes in clear or white. I’m using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.

4 Magic paper (attached translucent protective paper).

5 Laminator.

Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

6 Scissors.

7 Water.

8 Soft cloth.

9 Item to embellish.

As already mentioned, I’m using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.

10 Microwave, oven or hairdryer.

THE PROCESS

1 Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image). Allow to dry thoroughly. I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable (see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3 Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper (the translucent paper is designed to act as a protective barrier of sorts between the decal paper and laminator heat).
Note: As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.

4 Laminate your stack of three papers on low speed and at low temperature.
Note: Laminating pouches are not needed. Laminating is performed to fuse the decal paper and magic coating together. Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

5 Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image – you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.
Note: By nature, waterslide decals have a very fine, slightly translucent carrier film. On close inspection this will be visible on completed transfers. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).

6 Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.
Important: Ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7 Immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8 Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free.

9 Finally, set the decal by either:
Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius.
Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low.
Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Although I was hesitant, I did find the courage to run these babies through the dishwasher (twice, just to be certain) and they didn’t show any signs of distress. I was honestly AMAZED! Of course, given I have only had them for a few days I can hardly vouch for their longevity so advise hand washing for frequent use.

As I mentioned, there is a very faint translucent background (which is the case with waterslide decals) though once the canisters are filled it’s barely noticeable. You could choose to use basic clear stickers in place of decals. Just be mindful they will not be as durable and their border and background will appear much more obvious.

I am super stoked with how these turned out – absolutely love! Don’t forget to download your complimentary printable sheets of labels below!

 

UPDATE

If you’d prefer the labels without the work you can now buy them in easy ready-to-apply format from my little on-line store here.
And excitingly, along with the PDF file, you can also now download the free editable PSD version of my labels below! This can be used in Photoshop and GIMP.
Finally, the SLOM range of jars has since been discontinued. KORKEN is IKEA’S new alternative though similar clip-top jars can be found in lots of discount/dollar stores.

 

AT A GLANCE
SOURCES
Jars (IKEA Slom from $2.99)
Decal Paper with Magic Coating Paper  (Australia – Sounds Creative $16.90 for three sheets)
Decal Paper with Magic Coating Paper (USA – Robbin’s Eggcetera $12.61 for five sheets)
Wooden Scoops (eBay)
CREDITS
Fonts: Courier New, Another Typewriter, Mrs Eaves Bold
FREE DOWNLOAD
Click here to view and download the printable PDF.
Click here to download the editable PSD (for Photoshop/GIMP users)
 
Free for personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is forbidden.
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Sliding Wardrobe Door Update

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably remember this simple robe door makeover from about a year ago….

When I re-decorated my master bedroom, I simply painted the ugly beige metal surround with enamel spray paint to create a more cohesive (i.e. less ugly) look.

I thought some readers, who may be entertaining the idea of trying something similar, might be interested in hearing how the paint has held up, especially considering we use the doors every day.

Well, I’m pleased to report that it still looks as good today as the day I painted it!

I must admit that I was initially sceptical about the durability so was pleasantly surprised when, as the days and weeks passed by, the paint remained scratch and chip free.

As I said, just thought some of you might appreciate the update.

You can go here to see the original post about the makeover.

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Fern Study Prints with Free Printables!

Do you ‘member I mentioned there had been lots of tissy-ing up going on over at my hive? Well, something I had been wanting to change for a while were the bird prints in my living room.

Above is my living room as it was around 18 months ago.

They are cute and I do like them though the proportions were never quite right and it was simply time for something different.

At the moment I’m really into vintage illustrated nature studies so for my living room I deciding on some botanical fern lithographs, mainly because I think they’re cute though also because of their green foliage.

You see, to a fickle girl like me who can’t seem to commit to colour, green foliage adds that little punch of life to an otherwise unsaturated room whist maintaining an overall sense of harmonious neutrality. I always like to include foliage of some kind in all of my spaces.

I switched out the original chunky frames for finer ones I found at a cheap dollar store and to better fit with the proportions of the new leather sofa I created two rows of four prints (and yes, my ‘new’ leather sofa is over a year old now!).

Please forgive the reflections :-)

I found the fern illustrations on the NYPL Digital Gallery. I edited them in Photoshop then simply printed them off. I used non-glossy photo quality paper because I chose not to matte the prints so the white border you can see around the image is actually the paper itself.

I really love the way they look though best of all they were virtually free!

If you’re interested in using the same fern illustrations as me, for your convenience I have included a link to download them below! I had to enlarge them slightly, so the image quality is not impeccable though I personally like them that way. The look genuinely old, faded and imperfect. These prints are designed to fit standard 11″ x 8.5″ certificate frames (this includes having a visible paper border as can be seen in mine).

AT A GLANCE
SOURCES
Photo Paper (Kodak)
Picture Frames (21cm x 28cm/8.5″ x 11″ Certificate Frames)
CREDITS
NYPL Digital Gallery
FREE PRINTABLE!
Eight vintage fern studies.
Click here to view and download.
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Beautiful Neutral Rooms

Just because, here’s a little collection of inspiring neutral rooms. Enjoy!

Rustic Neutral Living Space

Neutral Bedroom

Neutral Cottage Living Room

Neutral Cottage Living Room

Fresh Neutral Living Room

Neutral Dining Room

Neutral Bedroom

Neutral Cottage Bedroom

Cozy Neutral Living Room

Sophisticated Neutral Dining Room

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Library Card Cabinet Upcycle

Whada you do when you come across something you really love?

Something for your home that you know there is no practical place or use for?

Do you buy it just because?

Just because you might never come across one again? Just because it was a really good price? Just because your mother’s sister’s second cousin Mavis had one just like it? Just because you could remove that, paint this, add some of these and turn it into an umbrella stand?

Well, a while ago I bought this old library card cabinetI bought ‘just because’.

It sat in my junk room serving absolutely no purpose for about a year until the arrival of Charlotte saw my junk room (which was the temporary home for many of my ‘just because’ items) become a nursery.

So, with our shortage of storage space made even shorter it was finally time to let some things go, starting with my card drawer cabinet.

Before selling it though I decided a mini makeover was in order.

Rather than paint over the character-filled timber I simply gave it a good all over clean and oil (just with furniture polish) to retain and enhance the original patina.

I also attached some solid metal castor wheels (as I had always originally intended). Along with the advantage of mobility the wheels also add enough height to give the cabinet perfect proportions for a coffee or deep side table.

I could only find silver steel castors which looked too modern paired with the old cabinet so I tinted them black to resemble cast iron.
Here’s a little trick; rather than use spray paint (which easily chips off smooth metal) I coloured the wheels with a black permanent marker! It sounds time-consuming though it was actually really quick and so far has held up great. Whilst I imagine it will likely fade a little over time where the wheels roll it will probably look nicely worn rather than just plain chipped.

So, mini refresh complete, I re-arranged my living room a bit to plonk the cabinet beside my leather couch to take some photos for the eBay listing and….

….I’m kinda loving it!

Luke even made the rare comment that he also liked it!

Did I say we have a shortage of storage space and it was time to let some things go? Well, maybe not this…for now anyway.

Hmmm, perhaps I should stop buying stuff ‘just because’.

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