How to Make Iron-On Letter Transfers

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Make Iron-on Letter Transfers
Make Iron-on Letter Transfers (Image: Clothes Iron, WP Clipart)

Make iron-on letter transfers at home with publishing software. Just pick a transfer paper that is appropriate for the color of the fabric. For example, if you plan to make iron-letter transfers for a white t-shirt, then choose transfer paper for light fabrics. If you work with a black fabric, select paper for dark colored fabrics. Also, be aware that most transfers are designed for use with an inkjet printer. The heat produced by laser printers can damage the paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Imaging software
  • Inkjet printer
  • Transfer paper
  • Clothes iron
  • Fabric

Create letter transfers with desktop publishing software. Open a project document and type each letter you wish to incorporate into the design. Specify the font's size and color as desired.

Print the letter design on transfer paper using the highest DPI setting. Create clean transfers with the printing option set to the best quality (see Tips and Resources).

Set a clothes iron to the highest cotton setting. The iron needs to be extremely hot for the transfers to adhere.

Lay the t-shirt right side up on a hard surface (see Tips and Resources).

Place transfers right side down on the fabric in the desired position.

Iron on the letter transfers. Set the iron on the fabric for 20 seconds in different sections to keep the transfer from slipping. Then move in a circular motion over the whole design for 20 seconds. Pay attention to the edges.

Separate the paper backing while warm. Start at the edge and pull swiftly, much like you would an adhesive bandage (see Tips and Resources).

Tips & Warnings

  • Print and proof a trial version on copy paper. Check that the direction of the letter design is in reverse. If it doesn't appear backwards, check the "horizontal" option in the editing software.
  • Test iron-on letter transfers on old pressed fabric.
  • Have an old pillowcase act as a buffer. Slip the pillowcase underneath the fabric to prevent the ink from bleeding through.
  • Utilize a hard surface as opposed to an ironing board. An ironing board disperses heat and you will require a surface that holds heat. Also, the surface needs to be strong enough for you to apply pressure to the transfers.
  • A hot iron can burn skin.
  • Avoid letting the letter transfers cool. Cold paper comes off in bits and lifts the transfer with it.
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