Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | By: My Great Finds by Linda

Using Water Slide Decal Paper

After having read some of Carol's of Polka Dot Closet fame tutorials on water slide decals I knew I had to try it. 

She recommended the web site as a source for quality decal paper.

So I figured if Carol loved the Papilio water slide decals, I would to.  

One of the nice things about Papilio site is all the instructions they have.  I purchased the following additional items as they suggested.  

The decal film spray is used to protect the ink when you submerge your paper in water.

"The Papilio Decal Film is simply a superior product to any clear aerosol spray available on the market for arts and crafts use. It is manufactured especially to form flexible film that will work with water slide decal paper, a film that will "never" yellow and stay flexible for years."

I also purchased the rubber decal squeegee.

 "The rubber decal squeegee in an important tool when applying water slide decals to any substrate. Applying a water decal without using this or similar tool will not give optical results."

Plus I purchased their Mounting Fluid. 

"The Clear Decal Mounting Fluid is a water based product designed especially for use with our water slide decal paper. This mounting fluid will improve the application process of the water slide decal especially when working with larger decals."

So following the instructions that came with the paper I was all set to go. 

My first project using the decals was the child's chair pictured below.  

Look closely at the top of the chair for the decal

Because I was starting with just one project I didn't want to waste a whole sheet of the decal paper for one image so with my Photoshop elements I loaded the page up with different images that I knew I'd use some day. 

Like with all things there is ALWAYS a learning curve even with the best written directions.  

My first problem was I did not spray enough of the fixative on the paper and the first image I cut from the paper bled all of it's colors.   So resprayed the remaining images with a bit more of the fixative and waited a full day before I used it,  just to be safe.  In the future what I think will work better is to do a few short sprays on the paper letting the fixative dry in between sprays to ensure that all areas are covered with the fixative. Again I'd like to wait 24 hours to mount the decals.

Second problem I had is I used the squeegee a bit to hard and wiped off part of the image. As you can see from my close up photo one side is missing the flowing flowers.   More lessons learned. 

I love these decals and have a few more projects planned. Below are some of the dishes I did using the decals. These dishes were meant for display only. 

Graphics from the Graphicsfairy
Don't you just love The Graphics Fairy French images. This image really looks great on this plate. 

So this dish was so pretty on it's own but I thought I'd mess with a good thing. Jury is out on whether or not I like it. I actually had three of these dishes and did not let one escape my madness. So it's understood the pink flowers were in the original design of the dish I just add the black image. I know .....what the heck was I thinking?
 So if you haven't tried water decals I suggest you do, the images look like they are painted on which adds a bit of pizazz to your objects. Just think twice before trying to enhance an already pretty piece like I did.

I'm joining these parties   
WTF Wednesday at Shabby Loco 
Brag Monday at the Graphicsfairy
Vintage Inspiration at Common Ground 


Collette said...


The Polka Dot Closet said...

So glad you are liking it! It is a bit of a learning curve, goodness, you are all set up! I did not buy all of the goodies, but wish from time to time that I had the squeegee. One think I learned early is that you have to have a really wet coat of the acrylic spray. I do a couple heavy coats about 30 minutes apart and let it dry about an hour. There will be no stopping you now! You will be water sliding everything in site!! It opens up a whole new world of crafting! Good for you!


Butterbean Row said...

I love your plate and chair! I have tried the water decals and I just learned from you and Polka Dot Closet that I probably need to spray more of the acrylic and wait a day.
Thanks for sharing!


salige lavendel said...

Nice project and great tutorial! I wonder if I use my Epson printer with waterproof ink, I might not need to spray with acrylic at all??

Anonymous said...

This is really helpful - I appreciate you sharing your experience here!

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