A Mod Podge & Graphics Fairy kind of Day!

I had a few things gathered that I had just painted with chalk paint, and wanted to add some graphics, so its better to do these kind of things all at once don’t you think?
Hang in there, because today I’ll let you in on how I do Mod Podge transfers on to wood.
I didn’t take before pics of all these pieces 🙁 but think “PLAIN WOOD” – you get the picture. Here are some close ups of the finished look using some favourite French graphics from The Graphics Fairy. If you haven’t discovered Karen’s amazing array of antique graphics and vintage images, her blog is a must see. Images like the Chocolat Lombart on this recipe box below, 

The image on this French Country Blue tray below, I have used on a few of my pieces: serving trays, stools, chairs, and cushions.

And this French Boutique label was a great size for this little rustic box:

But WAIT! What about that tray with “Tea & Biscuits” etched into its sides??
I’m glad you asked – I KNOW, I thought the same thing – a little on the boring side!

So back to The Graphics Fairy, searching for just the right image (because French just would NOT suit this one)… I finally decided on a Union Jack – after all, what says “Tea & Biscuits” more than the Mother Country herself.

Bring out the Mod Podge! Now I usually do black and white images, but the antique colours on this Union Jack were perfect for a lovely aged look. Remember to print in reverse using your printer settings if your graphic has text, as the image will be placed facedown. Paint the image thoroughly with Mod Podge and lay facedown, smoothing out any wrinkles. Allow to dry totally – DON’T continue until it is dry. I usually leave overnight for best results.

When the mod podge has dried, wet your fingers or a sponge and GENTLY rub over the image. Effectively, you are removing the paper, leaving the image behind which sticks to the painted wood via the Mod Podge. If you rub too hard, the image may come off or the mod podge may tear away. This sometimes happens along the edges, but adds to the aged effect. In the picture below, you can see the whiter part in bottom left still has white paper backing I have not rubbed off yet.

Here it is all rubbed back. Allow it to dry again. You will notice a slightly “furry” surface as the paper has not totally disappeared or your image will disappear too. I sand this back when it is fully dry, carefully sanding around the edges too, so they don’t stand out too much.

And here’s me sanding SUPER fast – 😉

I had sanded the edges of the tray and on bits of the surface to give it a shabby chic look, but the wood underneath was a light colour, so didn’t stand out very much (I could have opted to stain bits of it beforehand, but I didn’t think of that at the time). My solution was to add some dark wax to a cloth and rub it into the sanded bits where the wood is showing through. This gives a nice aged look. I then went over the entire piece with clear wax. I would normally cover it over with another coat of Mod Podge to seal in the motif, or you can use a polyurethane varnish (satin) to seal it instead (probably a more waterproof option).

Ta Da … Here she is. Tea & Biscuits anyone??

Thanks for reading my blog. Click here to find me on Facebook or Pinterest.

We are authorised retailers for Fusion Mineral Paint and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Australia. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Little Miss Maggie
    May 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Great project. I have never seen this done with a color graphic before. Does the image have to be a laser copy or can it be ink jet?

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 6:15 am

    How lovely, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coming up this weekend! I’d love some tea and biscuits. Wherever did you find this sweet little tray?

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Thank you. Yes, I just use an ink jet printer. As you can see, when you rub back the paper backing, it does take a little of the ink with it, giving it an aged appearance. I found this at a garage sale. A great thought celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee with a Union Jack tray! I actually sold this one on my ebay store, but have another plain tray that I’ve also put the Union Jack on.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Yipeee…Thanks for the tut!!! I will have to give it a try but I am pinning it for now.
    PS: I’m your newes follower. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. A group of us are gathering on Sunday to watch the Queen barge up the Thames as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations. You have given me inspiration for a theme for this party. Bravo. Virginia

  • Reply
    Linda Leyble
    May 31, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for giving us this tutorial. I have never tried this method before. It works with graphics as well? (only you have to mirror image them)? I will give this a try.

    Very nice project



  • Reply
    Sumaya Warwick
    May 31, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Hi there, I am looking for the French Boutique label that u used on your rustic box. Can you help. I love your decoupage projects….you are getting a pro at it:)

  • Reply
    May 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Sumaya, I have searched Karen’s Graphics Fairy site for that label again and can’t find it. I’m sorry. It’s really hard to find something on her sight I discovered, so once I find something to print, I download and save it to a file on my computer. She has soooo many graphics it must be hard to know how to name them all different and categorise them.
    Belocchio, are you in LONDON??? or are you watching it live somewhere? So jealous if you are there in the midst of the action. Yes, I’m looking forward to watching the Jubilee celebrations too. Must get out my Twinings special event tea bags! 🙂

  • Reply
    Boo and Kari
    June 1, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Great tutorial! I can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply
    miss flibbertigibbet
    June 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Love all your projects with the graphics! I agree that it’s hard to find images on Karen’s site at times…I copy them when I see them too…wise idea!
    Blessings, Lorraine

  • Reply
    Marianne H
    June 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    THANKS, what a great tutorial. I must try this, looks super fun.
    Have a nice day!

  • Reply
    The Creativity Exchange
    June 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Great job! Wow, I can’t wait to try this technique. Thank you so much for sharing~~
    Cheers to you!

  • Reply
    Laurel Stephens
    June 5, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I love all of your projects, and think your tea and biscuits tray is especially cute and unique.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 4:45 am

    So glad I found you!!! I’m trying my hand at distressing some pieces and playing with the graphic transfers with limited success. I will try this method again. Am your newest follower!!!

  • Reply
    nancy eileen
    June 5, 2012 at 4:50 am

    wow…I really dig the recipe box.
    Can you tell me how you applied the graphic?

    • Reply
      June 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Nancy if you read through the blog I go through it in detail how to apply them demonstrating it with the Union Jack motif. For graphics with text, remember to print in reverse.

  • Reply
    Katie Cautela
    June 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you so much for your blog, loved it!

  • Reply
    Barb King
    June 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I love these projects, found you on Brag Monday. Karen is great, I have saved so many of her graphics, but have not used many yet. I’m a card maker, check out my blog. I’m following you now!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you all for your lovely comments. Barb King, I love your blog. Lovely card making and I like the Jubilee celebration crafts people have made.

  • Reply
    Lady Wallace
    June 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I found you on Brag Monday, too. I’m so impressed with your charming projects, your interest in the British Diamond Jubilee, and the fact that you take the time to answer questions and comment back to people. That shows the type of person you are and I will read your blog regularly. Thank you.

    • Reply
      June 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much. I would love to give more time to my blog and am finding trying to keep up with blogging along with actually making the refurbished items, challenging at times. Especially when I work elsewhere 3 days/week, so only get to do my furniture/decor over the weekend. I really do love it though!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

    This is fabulous! Just pinned it! Can’t wait to give it a go! Does this work on glass and metal too? Just curious?? Thanks for sharing this with us. So happy to have discovered your blog. 🙂

    • Reply
      June 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Not sure if it works on glass or metal. Let me know if you give it a try – would love to hear how it goes.

  • Reply
    Shielena Cook
    August 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I read on another site about using wax paper and wasn’t sure what you used. Also you used chalk paint? I want to paint these little boxes then add a quote to it… can you use anything besides chalk paint?

  • Reply
    Joy West
    November 4, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Great tutorial. I pulled a million ��graphics from The Graphics Fairy and was able to succeed on my first transfer because of your help! Thank You! Can’t wait to start on some holiday designs!

    • Reply
      January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

      That’s awesome, Joy West. I hope you had fun making your creations for the holidays!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    did you use plain white copy paper to do the images?

  • Reply
    May 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! 🙂 I’m your new follower, love your blog.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    GreaT tutorial! ´ve tried it in unpainted wood and i love the result. But, on painted wood there is aa “shadow” of the paper left….I´ve also tried it on a painted metal plate, but there, the it´s harder not to get the print off too, when you peel off the papaer. I wonder, do you put on much or Little Mod Podge? because I Think i had too much on…..

    • Reply
      I Restore Stuff
      June 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      yes, when I do it on a painted wood surface, i like to use a matte finish paint or a porous paint such as chalk paint or milk paint.
      Any surfaces that are glossy (such as metal or varnish) will be difficult for the image and mod podge to stick well. I just use a thin layer of Mod Podge. But make sure it is completely covering the image and all areas of the paper.

  • Reply
    MMSMP Linen & Curio IKEA Box Makeover – Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint | I Restore Stuff
    April 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    […] I applied the graphics using the Mod Podge method I use in my tutorial video HERE. You can also see a blog post about how to apply graphics using Mod Podge HERE. […]

  • Reply
    5 Blogs or Podcasts I tune into Every Week - I Restore Stuff
    August 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    […] good for any number of DIY craft projects. I’ve used so many of these wonderful images on my furniture and decor over the years. Here’s the […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    What's the difference? Chalk Paint

    CLICK to find out more:

    (Includes FREE printable chart to download)


    FREE SHIPPING over $150 (Limited Time) Dismiss