Saturday, September 19, 2009

Altered Photo Technique

Well. It has been a busy, busy week and I am sorry I haven't posted before now. But I have been thinking of the blog in between feeding 300 people for the back-to-school bbq, ortho appts., an oral surgery consult, working on the sweet and sinister swap, watching Brenna do water for the jr. high football team in 103 degrees, and making snow cones for 2 hours for 200 jr. high kids at our church's outreach Friday night. I can't say I have given much thought to laundry. But I HAVE put something fun together for today!!

I learned a great technique to alter your photos. It's a lot of fun and really easy. Ready? Gather your supplies. You will need two plastic containers deep enough to submerge your photos. You will also need rubber cement ($9.99 at Michael's), alcohol inks of various colors, bleach, paper towels, some sort of tongs or tweezers, rubbing alcohol or blending solution and photos

In one container, put enough tap water in to cover the photos. In the second container, put 1/2 tap water and 1/2 bleach. 

Next, take your photo and the rubber cement and brush the rubber cement over the part of your photo that you DO NOT want to disappear. The part of your photo that you cover with the rubber cement will be your main focal point.

Here, I am covering the image of the statue in my photo. I cover her head and torso, leaving the background alone. Now, let the rubber cement dry until slightly tacky. It should take around five minutes. 
Now for the fun part! Put your photo into the container with the bleach and water solution.

As the photo sits in the bleach, the colors will fade or completely disappear, depending on the photo paper. On this photo, my sister had printed it for me on her computer. The background faded to this:

Next, put your photo into the clear water container to stop the process. I did not do this one time and the colors in the background just about disappeared on me, which was disappointing as I wanted some of the background. Lay your photo out on a paper towel to dry.
This is the same process, only done on a photo that was printed in a lab. Walgreens, I think.

Can you see the difference in the backgrounds? With a photo printed at the lab you will definitely loose your background. Here it is finished:

Now what? Well, break out your alcohol inks and blending solution! (I don't have any, I just used rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle.) When the photos are dry, begin putting drops of alcohol ink on the background. Immediately after, spray with rubbing alcohol (or use your blending solution) and begin to turn your photo in different directions so the ink can drip and cover the photo.

If you don't want it to dry on the image with the rubber cement, just dab the ink off with a paper towel.

Continue adding different colors and spraying the rubbing alcohol as you go, until you have the background covered in a way that is pleasing to you.
A couple of different ideas during this process is to dab the ink with a sponge or paper towel, leaving an imprint in the ink. Or, wait for the ink to dry. Then add a drop or two of a different color and let it set without using the alcohol. It will spread a bit on it's own and will add a whole different layer of color!

Here are a couple of photos that I finished:

The blue marks on the statue are from brush marks when I used the rubber cement.


I added a saying that I distressed to the photo below. I will finish it with card stock behind it to give it some "oomph" and maybe some trim. It will go to Jan Thomason of thepolkadotbarn.blogspot.com for a friend of hers who has been diagnosed with cancer.                                                       

That's it for today. Let me know what you think and be sure to check back for more fun!
Have a great day~



  1. Oh My Gosh!!! This is so fantastic. How did you figure this out? Come and teach me! My sister is a very creative bear :-) Great work Lynn. And thanks for your encouragement today. Getting out there is not my forte. My guide bear, LOL!

  2. wow..this is awesome./.you did a great job and great job showing us how too...love it.

  3. Oh, Lynn,
    That is just so incredible and the outcome...wow! I love what you did for the woman who is dying of cancer. That is one of my favorite sayings!

  4. How beautiful! I really need to get to the craft store to put into practice all the wonderful techniques you are teaching here! Well done my friend!! :)

  5. P.S.
    I think it is SOOO awesome that your sisters come and leave comments for you on your blog! :) You are "all" so special..