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Rustic Baby Boy Nursery Project

I am absolutely in love with the rustic woodland trend in boy nurseries right now, and couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with some unfinished wood on this fun wood transfer project for your boy nursery.

You know I am a fan of easy projects, and especially love the ones that are meant to look 'rustic' so you can't see mistakes;) I started with an unfinished wood wall hook from Hobby Lobby. They have this great new line of pallets and other wooden items for projects, it's called Woodpile Fun! and is available online if you don't have a shop locally. You could do this with any wood items, or even just a piece of wood for a wall hanging!

You will need:

  • Wooden Item (I think it works best on raw wood, but you could try with finished?)

  • InkJet Home Printer & Regular Printer Paper

  • Elmers Glue/Stick

  • Mod Podge

  • Image to Transfer

  • Sand Paper

  • Chalk Paint (if wanted)

  • Matte Finish Spray Sealant

You will start by selecting the images you want to transfer to the wood. I had these gorgeous National Parks post cards from Anderson Design Group, which I scanned into my computer to use. Since you will be transferring the images onto the wood you will need to be sure you 'mirror flip' any words so they will print wrong, but transfer correctly!

If you want to print them at home on an Inkjet printer, you will need to first coat regular printer paper with Elmers glue and let that dry completely (make sure, because I was impatient and the glue messed up my printer since it wasn't dry!). The other option is to have them printed with a Laserjet printer, if you have access. You won't need to add glue to the paper for this option.

Next, you will cut out the images and make a plan for how you will arrange them on the wood. I cut mine with rounded edges so there wouldn't be any 'blocky' corners, I wanted it to look worn and older.

Finally, use a paint brush to paint a thick layer of Mod Podge on the wood placing the images print down as you go (it dries rather quickly, so I did one image at a time). Do NOT put any Mod Podge over the images, only directly onto the wood. I used a credit card type to smooth the paper onto the wood and push out any air bubbles. You will want to make sure it really adheres.

And now for the have to wait a FULL 24 hours before the next step, no peeking and no cutting time! So after you wait the full time, you will need to completely soak the paper with water. You can use a sponge or just your fingers, but you will basically drench the paper and scrape it off the wood. I used a dry paper towel to soak up the water as I went to prevent ink bleeding. After the first scraping dries, you might notice small amounts of white paper left like this:

Go ahead and add water to those white spots and use a rubbing motion to scrape them off, I had to do a few rounds to get it all off. Don't worry if there are a couple stubborn spots, you can use sandpaper on those! I was able to get most of the white off after a couple rounds and later you will see I sanded the final marks down.

While the water and ink was completely drying I took the time to paint the remaining unfinished wood. This is not necessary, I wanted to see how it would look. I used an acrylic chalk paint I had on hand. I liked the idea of a chalk paint as I knew I wanted to sand it for that rustic look. Here, before sanding:

I used a fine sandpaper to smooth the edges and round the corners, I also scuffed some paint off to look worn. Finally, I sanded down the edges of the print transfer and some parts of the images to keep with the worn look.

Once you are happy with all the details, go ahead and spray with a matte finish sealant! The perfect woodland nursery decor for about $15!

PS, wouldn't this look great with our Woodland Nursery Collection?!

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Hey there, I'm Holly. Thanks for stopping by!

I'm the face behind the crib bedding line, Modified Tot, & I'm so happy you're here!


For over 10 years I've been helping y'all design your nurseries, so I created The Nursery Spot as a way to share what I've learned along the way! 

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