Love is in the Air- Reverse Image Transfer with Crackle Effect

Hello friends,

Hope you all are doing great! It’s Vaishali on the blog today and  I have a beautifully crafted glass plate, that makes a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one. It can also be used as a decor piece, after all the season of love never ends!!  Love is in the Air, throughout the year!

Have you tried reverse image transfer? It’s very interesting to work with image transfer technique on the reverse side of transparent surfaces!

Here , I have used Little Birdie Two Step Cackle Medium and stenciling work along with reverse image transfer technique to make this decor plate. So let’s get started…..

I have altered a plain, circular glass plate approx 7.5 inch in diameter. The plate was not being used much and I saw a wonderful scope for a great makeover.  Glass plates of different sizes and shapes are easily available in any local glassware shop.  It’s very important to clean the plate properly before you start working, making sure that there are no finger marks or glue marks from sticky labels. Soaking in warm, soap water helps in removing labels with ease.

As we are doing reverse image transfer… the work needs to be done on the back/reverse side of the glass plate. I started working on the edges of the plate first. Have done stenciling using Little Birdie chalk paint – Whipped Seafoam and the stencil  ‘Feathery Leaves’ with a Mont Marte stencil brush.

Tip- Using a stencil brush gives crisp stenciling. Make sure you do not add water to the paint  and the brush is dry too.

Added some more patterns using chalk paint Lavender Blush, gold acrylic paint and stencil ‘Ethnic circles’. Love this stencil… Do check out the recently launched, beautiful stencil designs!

Next step was to work with the 2 step crackle medium to get a crackled effect on the edges, over the stenciled area.  Two step crackle medium, as the name suggest has two steps – applying the base coat medium and applying the top coat medium. The reaction between the two mediums creates transparent cracks, that are highlighted with the colour of one’s choice.  Remember there is no layer of paint applied between the two coats.

First, I have applied the base coat with a synthetic hair flat brush, using a  dab method of application. The base coat is milky in appearance. Have a look below….

It can be speed dried with a hair dryer after about 1/2 hr of natural drying. The base coat dries clear. It feels tacky even after drying. That’s completely fine. Basically the milky look should turn clear as you see in the picture below.

Now, is the time to apply the top coat.  The top coat is a transparent medium. The top coat has to be applied with a dab method of application and allowed to dry naturally. Do not speed dry at this stage.  As the top coat dries, the cracks will form automatically.

Tip- The thickness of top coat determines the size of cracks. Thicker coat gives larger cracks and vice versa.

The stenciling done is seen through the crackled area.  So basically the two step crackled medium is used when you want cracks over a painted/ stenciled/ decoupaged or any given finished surface, such that you see the finished surface through the cracks. Hope this explains the process about how it works.

The cracks are transparent and need to be highlighted with oil/acrylic paints. I have used gold oil paint and  gently applied it over the crackled surface with a soft cloth. The paint will get inside the cracks. The excess should be wipe off with a clean piece of soft cloth.

Tip- Work in small areas at a time. Do not use damp cloth.

Love the crackled effect !!! It’s time to transfer the image now. We are doing image transfer on the back side of glass plate. So unlike working from front, do not use a mirror image. Hope that makes sense.

I have taken a laser printout of the image in the required size so that it fits in the center of the glass plate. Trimmed the extra white areas around the quote and transferred the image, using Little Birdie Instant Image Transfer Gel….a wonderful product from Itsy Bitsy’s home brand!

Below is the final look of the transferred image after removing the layers of paper. It takes only about 1/2 hr to transfer.  For more tips and detailed procedure of instant image transfer, you can refer to my earlier post on the Itsy Bitsy blog here

You can see some random marks of the transfer medium around the quote. That will be seen. Either you can play with it in your creation or do not trim the extra white areas, meaning in this case, use the entire circular image. Once a background colour is given,  it looks fine.

It’s reverse image transfer so the steps are reverse. First  transfer the image and then apply the base colour. Whereas when working from front,  first apply the base colour and then transfer the image. It’s an interesting concept that I enjoyed exploring.  I hope you give it a try too.

Next step is to bring in colours. I have done some colour blending using chalk paints on the  edges of the plate.

At this stage, I liked it the way it was and did not want to add any colours in the center.  You can add colours of your choice in the center  if you wish.  So finally decided to just give it a backing with burlap sheets, and bring in a textured effect. Burlap sheets from the store come with backing. They are one of my favorite product.

Had altered the stenciling a bit while working  to get the correct composition. Finally added gold paint to the rim and embellished the plate with beautiful handmade flowers and a  pre-primed chipboard.  All the embellishments and burlap sheet are adhered using silicon glue…again one of my favourites! Silicon glue helps to stick all materials with ease.

A closer view of the project. I have applied decor varnish- matte on the entire rear side of the plate to seal it.

Do let me know your views on my project with reverse Instant Image Transfer technique and 2 step Crackle Medium.

The project also goes as my inspirational post for the current month’s blog challenge … Anything goes with Instant Image Transfer Gel. Looking forward to your wonderful creations !!!

Happy Crafting.

Create, Express, Enjoy !!!!

Vaishali Khandwala.

List of materials used-




  1. Amazing, just an amazing project. Vaishali you took the image transfer to next level and it goes a lot of thought process to create something new. Thank you so much for the beautiful step wise tutorial sharing with us.

    1. Thank you so much Vidhu for all the appreciation and love. Your comment makes me feel extremely happy and fulfilled

  2. Wow, absolutely fabulous creation! You do a fantastic job every single time Vaishali & explain it with an amazing tutorial!

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