How to Make Glass Transfer Rub-ons

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Things You'll Need

  • Copier transparency

  • Fine mist hair gel

  • Hairspray

  • Ink jet printer

  • Computer

  • Craft stick or spoon

  • Hair dryer (optional)

  • Towel (optional)

Normal printer ink can make glass transfers.
Image Credit: Yuriy Chaban/iStock/Getty Images

Glass rub-on transfers are a quick way to add to a personalized touch to any room. There's no need to search high and low for the right design or image. Glass transfers are simple to make at home – all it takes is clear copier transparencies, an ink jet printer, hairspray and fine-mist hair gel. Like purchased rub-on transfers, thicker lines may transfer better than thin lines. The image needs to be flipped to a mirror or reverse image before printing onto a transparency sheet.


Step 1

Choose an image to print. Use the computer's software to flip the image to a mirror or reverse image. Once the design is rubbed on it will be opposite the image printed onto the transparency. Be sure the image will print on the desired section of the transparency.

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Step 2

Spray the fine-mist hair gel on the print side of the transparency. Hold the hair gel 8 to 12 inches from the transparency to keep the layer thin and even. Do not spray enough gel to drip down the sheet or cause clumps.

Step 3

Dry the hair-gel layer completely. Speed the drying with a hair dryer, if desired. Use a low setting so the gel will not move around on the transparency.

Step 4

Place the transparency in the printer so that the gel side will be printed. Print the image onto the transparency using a normal setting. Allow the ink to dry completely.


Step 5

Spray a light layer of hairspray over the top of the image. Dry completely. A hair dryer can be used to speed up the drying process.

Step 6

Apply the rub-on to glass. Place the image in the desired spot, printed side against the glass. Hold it in place with fingers or tape. Gently rub the transparency with a craft stick or the back of a spoon across the back of the entire image until the image has completely transferred to the glass.


Place the transparency on a towel while spraying with gel and hairspray to keep the work surface clean and make it easier to see if the layers are even.

A fine mist hair gel and hairspray combination product can be used for both the gel and hairspray steps.

Black or dark ink may transfer more completely or show up better on the glass than light colors.


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