How to Make My Own Rub-on Transfer Paper

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Things You'll Need

  • Image

  • Microsoft Word 2007 (for PC)

  • Hair gel spray

  • Transparency sheet

  • Inkjet printer

  • Hair spray

  • Popsicle stick

Image Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Use rub-on transfers to embellish items. Make the rub-ons at home using transparency sheets to not only save money but also to customize your own designs. Once the design prints on the transparency sheet, an object such as a Popsicle stick releases the image from the sheet to the object you wish to embellish. The use of hair gel and hair spray help adhere the image to the transparency sheet. To make the rub-on transfer appear professional, print the picture with the best quality settings on your printer and ensure that you mirror the image in a word processing program.


Step 1

Choose an image you want to use as a transfer. Browse the internet for a picture, or use one that you custom made. Make sure you save the picture to your computer's hard drive.

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Step 2

Open up Microsoft Word. Choose the "Insert" tab, and then select "Picture." Locate the picture on your hard drive.

Step 3

Select the image once you insert it. A "Format" tab will appear in to top portion of the program. On the right side, click "Rotate" and choose "Rotate Horizontal." This will create a mirror image of the picture so that the picture appears correctly once transferred.


Step 4

Choose "Print" from the "File Menu." Before you print the transfer, set your printer settings to print as "Best Quality" to ensure that the transfer will be high quality.

Step 5

Spray hair gel onto the transparency sheet. You only need to apply a thin layer to coat the sheet. Allow this to dry.


Step 6

Print the image on your transparency sheet. Allow the printed image to dry completely. Do not touch the image directly or you will cause it to smear.

Step 7

Spray the rub-on transfer image with hairspray to help it set. Wait for the hairspray to dry.


Step 8

Flip the transparency sheet over onto the surface where you wish to transfer the image. Use a Popsicle stick to rub the back of the transparency sheet. This will release the ink onto the other side. Make sure you hold the transparency sheet in place to keep it from slipping, and rub the entire image to ensure that it all transfers.

Step 9

Remove the transfer sheet carefully by pulling it back from one corner.


When using an image from the internet, make sure that the image is not copyright protected. You may face fines if you use a copyrighted image and sell the item you embellish with a rub-on image for a profit.


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