(Tutorial) Alternative Printing Process for your Photographs: Use Mulberry Paper

Guest post by Helen Stead of The Creative Diarist.

I miss the days of having a film camera and being able to hold the photographs in my hand rather than clicking through hundreds on my computer. This technique allows me to pick out my favourite digital images and print them in a special and unusual way. The delicate and soft texture of the paper appear so much more beautiful to me than printing images on to regular glossy photo paper.

Another great thing about this technique is that anybody can do it!

Supplies You Will Need: 1. Inkjet Printer 2. A sheet of A4 Mulberry or Handmade Paper 3. Glue Stick 4. Printer Paper

Step by Step Instructions: 1. Firstly scan your image into the computer and save it as a digital file. 2. Next, using a glue stick lightly glue a piece of normal printer paper to the back of your A4 mulberry or handmade paper (both work nicely). 3. Print the image as you would normally but so that it prints on to the sheet of mulberry paper instead. 4. And lastly carefully peel the backing paper off and you will be left with your image on a lovely semi translucent sheet of mulberry paper. If youre feeling really adventurous you could even add stitch or use it as part of a college. I also really like layering images or text underneath it to add another element to the piece. The possibilities are endless!

Have fun experimenting with printing your photographs on to different surfaces. And for more examples you can visit my blog at www.thecreativediarist.com. Id love to see what you come up with.

About Helen. Helen Stead is a Mixed Media artist who enjoys experimenting with alternative photography and printing processes. She is inspired by poignant family photographs and creates work that captures the mood and atmosphere of these nostalgic images. You can follow her on her blog The Creative Diarist and on twitter @CreativeDiarist.

For more ideas for quick and easy projects, click here to visit the craft tutorials and diy page  filled with more than 50 diys. If you like this project, please help us spread the word by using the twitter and facebook buttons below. Thank you so much.

27 comments | Click here to reply

Whoa!! This technique is so beautiful! I’m so impressed. Helen’s work is lovely too! 😀

Mai | April 19th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Aw thank you so much Mai. 🙂

Helen Stead | April 19th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

beautiful technique! i want to try this.
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angie | April 19th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Have you ever tried this out with a laser printer…? do you think it would work?

Amazingly beautiful!

YooperGal | April 19th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Good question Yoopergal. I am not sure. Hopefully, Helen will stop back by to answer your question. And if not, I’ll hit her up on twitter and ask.

papernstitch | April 19th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Shut the front door! These are so cute and easy. I want to do this to all of my photos. Is that weird?


Camberley, Fancy House Road | April 19th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Not weird at all Camberley. I feel the very same way!

papernstitch | April 19th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Amazing technique.. I love the results!

Karen | April 19th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Wow, Thank you for all your lovely comments! It’s still so nice to see my work up on papernstitch! Yoopergal, I’ve never tried it using a laser printer. I’m sure it would work, you would just have to be careful to make sure it didn’t jam up inside the machine!
🙂 xx

Helen Stead | April 20th, 2011 at 4:23 am

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I love the effect this gives. Such a great idea, thanks

Lisa | April 23rd, 2011 at 5:50 am

great technique.
thanks so much for sharing.

making minis | April 28th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

such a cool effect! i think the little boy standing in the water is my fav
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alexandra keller | June 17th, 2011 at 11:28 am

What a great idea, I love the textures of the paper and the translucent effect.
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I like the look and the idea, however, I’m not crazy about running glue through my printer. If it jams then there’s glue on my rollers. Maybe it would look good if I used vellum. At least if it jammed there wouldn’t be any glue to stick to moving parts in the printer.

Linda | August 14th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Nice! cannot wait to try this!

Kelly | August 14th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Interesting that you say that you miss holding your photographs, but then you say the first step is to scan your photos?

Sam | August 14th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

oh…. that is just gorgeous… thanks ;-)))))

ruth | August 14th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Instead of glue, iron your specialty paper to the shiny side of freezer paper, being careful not to touch the iron to the freezer paper. Us textile artists have been using freezer paper to feed treated fabric though our printers for years. Sometimes a fold of tape at the bottom edge helps too.

Dyenamik | August 15th, 2011 at 12:02 am

Great suggestion Dyenamik. Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try that.

papernstitch | August 15th, 2011 at 12:24 am

Thanks Dyenamik, that is a good alternative. I will try that.

Linda | August 15th, 2011 at 9:22 am

Hey everybody, just after a bit of help as I bought some mulberry paper of the internet and I am confused because its quite thick and orange coloured. I am wondering if i could still get the same effect? Thanks!

Rashad | September 29th, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hi Folks…For all those who are asking if a digital printer would work? …. No….it has to be an Inkjet because that’s the ink that transfers! For all the crafts where you want to transfer a pic onto any surface like this or like the modge podge version etc…..you HAVE TO USE INKJET! It’s VERY IMPORTANT. If you don’t own one, most copy stores like Staples etc have them….and copies are cheap!!! Have fun!

Diana Pincombe | August 4th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Oh my! This is such an ingenious and incredible way to transfer photographs! Does it work only for inkjet printing, or can I use laser printers too?
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