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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grammatically Different Plates- Fresh Ideas Tutorial

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Albert Einstein

'I Hope You Dance'
OMG! I am LOL because it has all just gotten so ridiculous, IMHO....

Is that what life has become- someone else's catch phrase?  Does it really reflect your thoughts and wishes for the day?  I am thinking "we can do better than this".  

By now you know I love quotes and Bible verses.  I find great inspiration and comfort in many of them.  I think words hold great meaning.  You probably know someone that has a favorite verse as well.  So wouldn't it be great to give someone (or yourself!) the gift of a word phrase that actually has some deeper meaning?  I'm going to show you how with just an inkjet printer and a few inexpensive supplies.

For this project you will need:
  • A few ceramic plates (or tiles)
I pick them up all over.  You may have a few lying around, but each of these were purchased for anywhere from .49-$2.00 ea.
  • Denatured Alcohol* (find it @ the hardware store)

*flammable- please use in well ventilated area away from flame
(click on above link to see where to buy)

 Lazertran has a TON of applications, but for this project we are applying it to a ceramic surface.  I used black type, but you can print colored images if you choose. Don't worry- We'll have more fun with it another day.

  •  Spray Polyurethane* (gloss or satin/matte)
* note: MUST be a urethane- acrylics will not dissolve film! 

  • a few cotton balls
  • a pan of water about 1" deep large enough to hold transfer
  • inkjet printer
There are basic instructions that come with the Lazertran, but believe me- it is nothing compared to the voice of experience here.  A few things to consider:

Choose a plate with a specific rim/edge detail to ease the transition from the Lazertran to the edge.  You can see a faint line of the transfer on some types of plates more than others, especially with a curved inner edge.

 Try to make your image a large enough size to come close to the transition line.  It just looks neater.

I thought the gloss urethane gave a better result on my ceramic plates, but consider the original sheen of your item to give it a authentic look.

If you need to sand out any imperfections in your urethane finish- be sure it is fully cured and use a scotchbrite style sanding pad (fine grit) and lightly sand the surface without putting any real pressure on the pad.  Then apply a light final coat. You may also need a sharp pin/needle to prick air bubbles in the transfer.  

Measure your plate ahead of time to determine the size of your phrase.  I like to use Publisher because it has a handy ruler on the side of the page, but use whichever program you are familiar with.  You do not need to "mirror" or flip your image!  Also, I do at least one 'test' sheet on regular paper to be sure I have things the correct size before I print on the Lazertran sheet.  I would much rather waste a cheap piece of copy paper getting things right.

When you have things the way you want it- print on the white side of the Lazertran.  I'm cheap, so I try to get 2 or more projects per sheet.  Allow it to fully dry- 30 mins or so.  If you are impatient you can try a heat gun, but no promises- OK?

I like to find a circle 'template' to use to get the size/centering correct.  You may have a circle cutter.  I do.....somewhere!  If your plate is square, measure twice, cut once ;-)

Use a pencil to mark your cutting line- then cut just inside the line.

Gather your materials on a covered surface

It's good to check the back of the plate so if there is a logo you get it orientated correctly with what will be your finished product.

Soak the transfer in water.  The edges will's totally normal.  Push it back out flat as you can. In 20-45 seconds or so the backer sheet will loosen from the transfer film.

Slide the film from the backer sheet.  It is somewhat fragile, so handle carefully.

Position your transfer on your plate- it will slide around and you have a little bit of 'open time' so don't panic if it isn't perfect- just slide it where you need it to go.  Smooth out any air bubbles with your finger, or a cotton ball soaked in the denatured alcohol.

As the transfer film starts to dry, continue to look for air bubbles and push them out with the soaked cotton ball.  Use the wet cotton ball especially around the edges of the transfer to help dissolve the edge.
Let it fully dry- go do something else for an hour.  The transfer turns a chalky white.

Spray a light top coat.  The transfer will become transparent.

Allow top coat to dry according to the directions on the can.  If you have any small air bubbles, use your pin to puncture similar to doing wallpaper.  Recoat with 2-3 more light coats of urethane.  Allow to dry between coats according to directions.  Admire your work- you're done!

This would also work great on backsplash tiles, but not anything that gets wear like a floor.  Also- these items should be handwashed and are NOT foodsafe!
Here are a few more ideas:
Best of luck!  Let me know what you make!


  1. I too love scripture and would love to use this technique! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Found you through "One Pretty Thing".
    These are amazing! I fell in love with a plate with a beautiful quote on it at Hobby Lobby this Spring; Sadly, it was the last one and it had a nasty crack in it. I'm so excited that I can now make one myself!


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