Instant Photo Transfers With Blender Pens

UPDATE: This post originally ran on March 28th but we’re still in love with this DIY and had to share it again!

For the first time in a long time, I bought a roll of film.

Brigette and I are so used to shooting digitally that the process of buying film and using a film camera was something we almost forgot how to do. There’s something about shooting on film that gives an image such character. It’s clean and crisp, yet moody. You never know what you are going to get; one click and you advance the film, leaving the image unseen until it’s processed. Such an element of surprise is incorporated that it makes each image a bit more special.

Fingerless gloves, camera

If you’ve recently shot some film and are looking for a fun little project to do with your images, Brigette and I worked on something this week that blew our minds: blender pen photo transfers.

This is the process of taking a photo and transferring it onto a specific surface using a special little gadget called a blender pen.

Blender pen for photo transfer

These incredible pens can be bought at specialty craft stores. They’re so easy to use — and your photo transfers are basically completed instantly. There’s no waiting here. Just be warned that they give off a very strong smell, so make sure to use them in a well-ventilated area — outside works best, if possible.

film pictures

After you get your film developed, make photocopies of the images you’d like to transfer. This step is very important — simply printing a photo from your computer unfortunately won’t work.

Next, decide where you want to transfer your image. Paper seemed to be the easiest for us, but this can also be done on wood, ceramic, and tin.

Photos of hands, hands

Flip your image face down, and hold in place while you completely cover the back using a blender pen. Keep in mind that your transferred image will appear as the reverse of the original — like a mirror image. If you’re nervous that the photocopy will move during the process, feel free to tape it down. The best way to do the transfer is to completely saturate one area with a blender pen before moving on to the next. A good way is to start in a corner so that you can lift it up and check to see when it’s time to move on to the next area.

Photo transfer onto journal

As you go, you’ll see the image appear through the back of the photocopy — it’s so cool to look at!Photo transfer onto paper

Here you’ll see the original photo, the photocopy, and the image transfer. We’re obsessed with the vintage, almost eerie feeling the transfer gives off. How awesome!Blender pen photo transfer

We decided to add a few more images into the journal, as well.blend1s

Then, we tried a wooden cutting board! We first cut the photocopy to make uneven edges so that there wouldn’t be a clear line showing the perimeter of the photo. If you do this to a cutting board (and plan to use it for food), make sure you use a coat of food-grade sealant over your image transfer.


We also transferred a single image onto a piece of antiqued paper that was left over from making this botanical wallpaper!Photo transfer onto paper and cutting board

We love how the journal came out the most… so happy we discovered the joys of the blender pen. :)

blend4sWhat would you make with a blender pen?

More DIY ideas from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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7 years ago

wow this it really cool. is it skin safe?

Ella Wild xoxox
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7 years ago

This has seriously just made my week, I cannot wait to play with these all weekend!

Definitely going to make something for my mum as it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday (UK). x

7 years ago

this would be cool on a piece of furniture

7 years ago

It might be important to mention that the reason photocopies are a necessity is because you need a laser-printed image rather than an inkjet-printed image!

marissa l
7 years ago

this is awesome! i loved the photo wood transfers you had on the blog a while ago, and this is even simpler! thanks for sharing this :)

7 years ago

Wow this looks so cool!

7 years ago

After you transfer the image is the original print still the same or does it become ruined?

7 years ago

Are you using a special type of paper onto which you make the photo copy? I made copies of images onto regular paper and it’s not working :(

7 years ago

Ahhhh!!! I am so thrilled about this! I can’t wait to give it a try. Just amazing. Thanks for posting!

7 years ago

did you ladies get these pens at michaels? Or are they found at places like dickblick or utrecht?

7 years ago

Workable fixative works for photocopy transfers as well. You’ll want to spray a little bit at a time and smooth the fixative into the paper with something rigid like a piece of cardboard or bone.

7 years ago

this is fantastic…I have a 6’x6′ drawing/painting to do for my Drawing2 class at Moore, and this would be a really cool thing to add!

7 years ago

THIS IS SO COOL AHHHHHH. I can’t wait to make my friends one of a kind presents with this method!

7 years ago

Wow! Such an Amazingly Cool Idea!!! I especially love the vintage grainy look of those wonderful journals!!!

7 years ago

This is AMAZING!!! What a great project!
Xx, Tiffany { }

7 years ago

You can use nail polish remover instead guys!! And I think prints from a laser printer (NOT an inkjet printer!!!) work too… Just throwing that out there.
Wonderful images you guys have photographed and transferred!

7 years ago

That’s amazing. I never knew u could do that!!
L x

7 years ago


7 years ago

This is such an interesting concept. Love that you used film to take the images. There really is something special about waiting to see the outcome of an earlier shoot. ♥

7 years ago

This is incredible, Ive been wanting something like this for my travel journal whilst I’m in NZ, and this is PERFECT. Defiantly going to try this out soon. Thanks for the post!

7 years ago

This is so fun, I have to try!

7 years ago

This is really cool, what camera are you guys using in these pictures? I’m looking for a camera that will take nice pictures but will be fairly simple enough to use.

7 years ago

Love this! Totally inspiring me to go back and buy film or a izone camera lol

7 years ago

You say
” After you get your film developed, make photocopies of the images you’d like to transfer. This step is very important — simply printing a photo from your computer unfortunately won’t work.”
Can you explain why? I would assume its the inks on the photocopy not the original, could you use the original photo if desired? Would it work on fabric?
Great idea and thanks

7 years ago

This is beautiful! I never work with film usually, but now I want to do a whole scrapbook of this! Completely inspired, thank you Freepeople xoxo