Useful Tips

Flip Flop Technology


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How to create flip flop portraits

A detailed description of flip - flop technology is surprising in its simplicity:

  • the canvas is prepared in advance, on which the finished portrait is applied,
  • it is not visible, since it is slightly masked,
  • acrylic paints are attached to the canvas,
  • they paint over the entire space, how exactly it will be painted over, what images and colors will be used, it does not matter,
  • after the painted canvas dries, a film is glued on it,
  • when it is removed, a portrait emerges.

So, it’s easy and simple to prepare an original surprise! A person does not suspect which image was applied; in theory, he does not even know what awaits him. He is awarded a blank canvas that needs to be painted in any way. The result is amazing, emotions are positive, everyone is happy.

Naturally, after all, some details are hidden from the "artist", namely:

  • First, a photo or picture is selected, which will then be embodied on the canvas,
  • then it is retouched, processed in Photoshop and turns into a black and white silhouette, consisting of spots,
  • the designer removes glare, corrects defects, gives the image a finished look,
  • after which the picture is transferred to the film and cut out by a plotter,
  • with the help of an adhesive composition, it is glued to a primed canvas.

The basis for the “miracle” is ready, it remains only to paint over it in any way, at least with abstract strokes, at least with a simple landscape or still life. Even children will be able to show their abilities and draw everything that they can. The main thing is that there are no white spots. When the stretcher has dried, it is sealed with a special film. It is she who will help remove the stencil. The result is a suddenly emerging image. Even if some piece has not been removed the first time, it can be removed manually.

The originality of such a gift is beyond doubt. As well as an unexpected effect. Workshops using flip-flop technology make the subframe ready for painting in a couple of days. Just send them a photo, and then approve the layout of the image. Everything else is done in the workshop. The delivery includes the canvas itself, paints, film. At the request of the customer, packaging is selected.

Naturally, the idea quickly spread. At the moment, there are different options for using the new drawing technique:

  • a gift for a festive event (especially popular photographs, single or group),
  • company logos, for example, for the original presentation of a new joint project,
  • Themed images for corporate parties.

In principle, you can realize anything you want, the main thing is the customer’s imagination and high-quality photos. Not without questions about how to make a flip-flop picture with your own hands at home. As it turned out, such an option is also possible.

Do-it-yourself flip flop portrait

Is it difficult to make the very foundation for a portrait using flip - flop technology, and how to do it yourself? Life hacks of those who are well versed in painting techniques, know about the rules of printing and have already learned how to do flip flops independently, already exist. The basic rules for creating such paintings are as follows:

  • A high-quality photograph is selected, which is processed using editors (photoshop, coral). The main thing is to make the black and white image without dashed lines.
  • The finished layout must be sent to the printing house, without special equipment it is impossible to transfer the photo to film. Although there is an alternative option: if it’s not about photographs of a particular person, then you can search for relevant thematic stickers.
  • A separate topic is the preparation of a subframe. White fabric of the required size is pulled onto the frame, it can be fixed with the help of a stapler on the back side. A white two-thread is suitable, which is attached to the back of the frame.
  • The fabric should be treated twice with gelatin dissolved in water, then it will not wrinkle and glide. A tablespoon of gelatin should be dissolved in a glass of hot water and cool in the refrigerator. Rub the surface should ready chilled jelly. The second layer is applied after the first has dried, as a result, the fabric is firmly attached to the subframe. Excesses are removed (you can spend several times on the surface with a plastic card). At the same time, the cells are completely filled with gelatin.
  • Then it is primed. Acrylic paint is used as a primer, the first layer is white, the second can be white or black. Note: the background of the flip-flop picture depends on the color of the second layer. After the primer has dried, everything is ready for applying the image.
  • A protective film is removed from the finished layout or sticker. To do this, the base is applied to the prepared subframe and pressed tightly. Only now the protective film is removed, the picture is transferred to the base, carefully smoothed so that there are no wrinkles and small bubbles. This can be done using the same plastic card.

Now it remains only to paint a stretcher with multi-colored acrylic paints.

Important: you can’t dilute them, otherwise there will be smudges. And you need to wait from 20 minutes to half an hour until the paint is completely dry. You can check this with a napkin: attach it to the picture, there should be no traces.

Now you need a mounting film. It is pasted onto the painted stretcher and removed. Together with it, the hidden base will be removed and the drawing that was on the layout or sticker will appear. If there is no mounting film, you can remove the hidden layout with your hands, you need to do this carefully. Having spent a little time and rehearsed in advance, you can prepare a gift with minimal cost.

Hairspray Method

Buy triggers from quality material such as leather. They should bend the ball on the foot, but not fall when you go. If you buy poorly made pairs that do not cover the shape of your leg, you may collide and slip.

Spray the inside of the triggers with extra hairspray.

Insert the pair while the hair spray is still wet for a better stretch.

So here is the mechanism for making a flip-flop portrait:

1. Your task as a client is to drop a good photo to us by mail. What does it mean: a photograph must be of good quality. Faces should be bright and large. Semi profile or full face. If there should be several people in the photo, you can reset several photo options both together and separately.

2. Immediately after prepayment, the artist starts to work: draws a layout (examples of our work are given below).

- first translates the photo into a black and white image,

- retouch the portrait by hand,

- removes excess shadows, glare. Adds the missing details and your professionalism))

We believe that the artist’s work is the most difficult and responsible, because the final result depends on him))

You can pack the product beautifully, write a great wish for the birthday person, put the most beautiful brushes and paints in the package, add a free coupon for the next purchase to the gift ... but all this will not matter if your loved one does not like his portrait))

That is why we have a professional who brings your flip flop to perfection))

3. Then the technologist and the carver are included in the work. While your portrait is cut by a plotter on a transparent film, the technologist applies a special composition to the canvas, which allows this film to stick to the canvas and leave its surface at the right time without much difficulty.

4. Sticker, immediately after priming the canvas with a special solution, glues the film to the canvas. And gently removes all its unnecessary details.

5. The work of the packer can not be described, except say that here again you can not do without you. After all, it is you who must choose the colors and choose the wrapping paper.

Actually, the flip-flop portrait is ready!

You can order delivery or pick it up yourself.

Finally, we give the instruction:

  1. After receiving your kit, carefully unpack it. If in some places the film slightly moves away, just press it)),
  2. Using the paints from the set, completely paint over the entire portrait without leaving empty spots on the canvas,
  3. Apply the paint in 1 layer (otherwise you have to shoot the portrait not manually with film)))
  4. Do not dilute the paint with water, otherwise the paint may spread under the film or the canvas may sag,
  5. Use your brush for each color and enjoy what you do)))
  6. Wait 20-30 minutes until the paint is completely dry.
  7. Stick on the tape that comes with the kit, squeeze it well and neatly take off the canvas !!
  8. If some portions of the portrait did not come off with the film - remove them yourself,
  9. Enjoy your masterpiece !!

The whole procedure from the moment of order to that. How will a flipflop portrait be delivered to you in 1-2 days 🙂

Art Studio on Lipki wishes you and your loved ones all the best))).

Here are some examples of our work:

Layouts of our Flip Flop Portraits:


If this preparation process seems too complicated for someone, and ordering a finished picture using flip-flop technology is expensive, you can use a simplified version:

  • prepare the base as described above,
  • make a stencil for the image that should appear: for example, cut a figure, trees or landscape so that the necessary space is available for processing,
  • attach a stencil and treat the empty spots well with wax (a wax crayon or a candle will do),
  • remove the stencil.

Now, if you walk with watercolors on the canvas, the places treated with wax will not be painted over. They became waterproof, paint dissolved in water will roll off them.

So the creative idea turned into a new flip - flop technology. It became the basis for a new direction of printing, businessmen already offer both manufacturing and cooperation in this direction. And lovers of life hacks master new principles of drawing and learn to make creative gifts with their own hands. Everyone can try this method on their own or entrust the manufacturing to professionals. The main thing is that it became possible to present an unusual present to your loved ones, surprise them and make them into real artists who can paint a portrait or landscape in half an hour.