Learn how to create easy image transfers with kids with this simple packing tape transfer method!

Materials for packing tape transfers…

The materials for these image transfers are really simple. Although the materials list is simple the result is sophisticated and fun and your kids will be totally wowed by this process!

You probably have everything you need in your stash already. Don’t you love projects that use old supplies in new ways?

Here’s what you’ll need for these image transfers…

  • You’ll need images printed on a laser printer. This is important. The toner is what makes the transfer. Print images on standard weight copy paper.
  • Clear packing tape
  • Bowl of water
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
Choose photos printed with a laser printer for this packing tape transfer method.

Starting your image transfer….

Small photos work best for this image transfer method. The width of your packing tape will be the maximum size of the image to be transferred. Trim any excess paper off of printed photo.

Lay the clear packing tape on top of the laser printed image. Use a spoon or other blunt object to burnish the packing tape. Rub, pressing down firmly, in small circles to be sure that the tape and image are firmly adhered. This is important so spend a few minutes on this step!

Apply packing tape to photos printed with a laser printer for this easy image transfer method.

Soaking your packing tape transfer….

After your taped image has been burnished pop it into a bowl of water. Let it soak for a few minutes. Hurrying this step is no good. Removing the transfer from the water too soon can result in the paper being difficult to remove and the image coming off with the paper. (Ask me how I know!)

Packing tape transfer images are little grainy and imperfect- in the best handmade kind of way.

Removing the paper from your image….

After the transfer has soaked for a few minutes remove it from the water. Use your fingers to roll over the paper backing. The wet paper will begin to roll up. Clean off your fingertips and keep rubbing until the packing tape is clean with only the image remaining.

If the paper is being stubborn just throw the tape back into the water for a few more minutes. Just be sure not to “scrub” the paper. Rubbing too hard will remove the image from the packing tape.

Leave the packing tape sticky side up to dry for a few hours. Don’t worry that the tape doesn’t feel sticky now. The stickiness will return once the tape is dry.

Packing tape transfers are perfect for making cards or adding to journals.

How to use your image transfers…

Once your image transfers have dried the stickiness of the tape will return and the packing tape will now have the image from you photo. Turn them over and adhere them to any surface you’d like.

The image is a little imperfect, in the best way. Anywhere that was white in the photo will now be transparent. These image transfers are translucent making them perfect for layering, drawing under, over, or around.

Using your image transfers to personalize handmade projects…

These images add so much personality to any handmade project. I love the idea of using these as part of a larger project. Check out these projects for more inspiration.

Paper bag book

Index card book

Simple paper pictures

Craft stick photo frame

Packing tape transfers are an easy way for kids to incorporate photos into their art.

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