Print Transfers onto EVA

23 Oct , 2014,
Crimson
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Update: Due to bandwidth issues, this tutorial has been replicated on Facebook.  You can access the complete tutorial here.

Recently, we discovered a simple method to transfer printed images onto EVA and we’re pretty excited since it makes replicating filigree and complex patterns so much easier. If you’d like to try your hand at it too, here’s a simple tutorial detailing the steps we took.

What you’ll need:

1. Some latex glue and white acrylic paint

2. EVA foam

3. Paper (110 gsm or better stock)

4. A printer (we used a laser printer)

5. Acrylic Gel Medium

6. Water and dish-washing sponge

7. Paper towels

Step 1:

Mix Latex glue and White acrylic paint together. Prime your EVA surface with a single layer this mixture. This is to prepare it for the transfer process.

Let it dry completely.

Step 2:

Create the pattern or graphic you’d like to transfer onto EVA in graphic software.

Don’t forget to flip the image horizontally, because you’re printing the mirror image of this file onto the foam later.

Print the file out on reasonably good quality paper. Also, make sure you’re using a toner based printer (laser printer) rather than an inkjet as ink might not transfer well.

Step 3:

Coat the primed surface of the EVA foam with Acrylic Gel Medium. Gel Medium is what you’ll use to create the transfer, and you can purchase it at most art supply stores (such as Art Friend and Straits Art Co.).

Let the gel set for a little while, and apply your print out to the gel covered foam. You are essentially ‘pasting’ the print out to the foam with the acrylic gel.

Be sure to align your printed image properly, because this is a one-time process. Peeling off the printed image will ruin the process and you’ll have to start over.

Once you’re done, leave the project to dry for a day or so.

Step 4:

Immerse the foam with the print transfer in water. Soak it until the paper begins to fray and dissolve (usually about 15 minutes) and gently rub it off.

This part of the process is the most time consuming, and requires both patience and a steady hand.

Step 5:

Give the surface of the foam a good rinse after you’ve peeled off all the paper to get rid of stubborn fibers.

Pat dry the surface with paper towels, and leave to air dry.

Finally, seal the surface with acrylic lacquer and you’re all set for further crafting and embellishments.