How to use Water Slide Decals for Easy DIY Gifts

posted in: 21st century, Art & Design, Studio | 0
Your artwork on your choice of substrate!

One Day Project with Water Slide Decals

Water Slide Decals are easy to use and give a real sense of satisfaction!
Not including the three hours drying time, a Waterslide Decal project should take you about 45 minutes to an hour – if you have all your supplies ready.

You’ll need specialty Water Slide paper and acrylic sealer for this, so purchase in advance.

NOTE: I used the Hayes Water Slide Decal paper for inkjet printers, if you purchase a different paper, you’ll want to check their specific instructions.

How to use Water Slide Decals to make easy DIY gifts, small decortive plates.
Plates from Ikea, make an inexpensive gift set with your images

21st century Decoupage?

I have a collection of black and white illustrations I created and decided to make a set of whimsical plates. What’s great about the decal paper is you can use your own designs to make functional gifts.

This craft is similar to Victorian decoupage. It can be applied to many types of surfaces with the end result being a decorative art.

Project Supply List

You’ll need:
Water Slide Paper (this is specialty paper that you’ll need to buy or order online, sources at bottom of post) for either Inkjet or Laser printer
An Inkjet or Laser Printer
Images to print
Clear Acrylic Spray
Paper Towls
Bowl of water

Something to stick your decals to: anything ceramic, glass, jade, bamboo, wood, metal or marble should work.
I used plastic, melamine type plates, found very inexpensively at Ikea.

6 Easy Steps

  • Print your design onto the Water Slide paper – I’m using Hayes Water Slide Paper. The image prints on the glossy side. Set your printer to High Quality, and Glossy Paper. Once printed, let dry for a few minutes. My images are b& w, but color works just as well.
  • In a ventilated area, use your spray acrylic sealer to evenly coat your whole paper. Let dry about 4 minutes, repeat 2 more time (3 sessions altogether).
  • Make sure paper is completely dry and cut out your design. DO NOT cut right up to the edge of the design, leave a 2-3mm spacing.
  • Make sure your substrate (meaning whatever you’re going to stick your decal to) is clean and dry, pre-plan your decal positioning.
  • In your bowl of water, drop your first decal, wait 1 minute, and quickly apply to your surface, pressing firmly
    NOTE: the design side goes directly against whatever your sticking to.
  • Use your fingers to gently smooth any bubbles.
  • Slide the backing off the decal, it should come off quite easily, but be gentle.
  • Once the backing is off, tamp the decal lightly with your towel to pick up any excess moisture.
  • Let dry for at least 3 hours, out of direct sunlight
  • If you’re adhering to a ceramic, you’ll need to bake in oven at 230 degree F for 10-15 minutes
  • Clean by hand, gently, NOT dishwasher safe.

Tips for using Water Slide Decals

Cutting out images for water slide decals
Leave a bit of spacing around your images when cutting out
Positioning your decals
Pre-plan your decal positioning

Layout your positioning to make sure your decal looks good.

Cut decal goes in water

When you put your decal in water, it will immedialty curl up – that’s fine!

Once your decals are happily adhered to your preferred surface, keep them out of direct sunlight while they are doing their final 3-hour drying. If you’re using a ceramic, you will also need to bake in oven at 230 degrees F for 15 minutes.

And remember, these are not dishwasher safe, so wash gently by hand.

Water Slide Paper
Spray Acrylic – I used Modge Podge Gloss Acrlyic Sealer, available at Craft Stores such as Michaels
Plates – from Ikea