DIY Transfer Paper

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Things You'll Need

  • Wax paper

  • Oil pencils or crayons

  • Scissors

  • Brown wrapping paper

  • Iron

  • Ironing board

  • T-shirt

Transfer paper lets you create your own custom design that you can then iron on to fabric, such as a t-shirt or pillow. Homemade transfer paper relies on heat, the same as commercial transfer paper, to move the design from the paper to the fabric.

Step 1

Cut or tear a piece of wax paper from the roll and place it on a smooth flat work surface.


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Step 2

Draw or trace the desired design on the wax paper using oil pencils or crayons. Color in all desired areas. Be sure to make any lettering backwards so it can be read when held up in front of a mirror. The transfer process will print the lettering so it is the correct direction on the fabric.

Step 3

Cut two pieces of brown packaging paper 2-inches larger than the wax paper transfer.

Step 4

Turn the iron to a cotton setting and allow to heat for three minutes.

Step 5

Place the fabric on the ironing board and slide a piece of brown packaging paper in-between the top and bottom layers if there are more than one, such as a t-shirt. Make sure the brown packaging paper is centered directly under the desired transfer location. The brown paper prevents the transfer from adhering to the second layer of fabric.


Step 6

Turn the drawn transfer over so the oil pencil or crayon drawing is on the bottom of the transfer. Center the transfer in the desired location.

Step 7

Place the second sheet of brown packaging paper directly over the wax paper making sure to cover all edges. Place the iron in the upper left hand corner of the brown paper. Count to 15 then move the iron one iron width to the right. Count to 15 and continue the process. Move the iron to the second row. Begin at the outside edge and work across the design making sure all locations have been ironed for 15 seconds.


Step 8

Remove the brown packaging paper. Turn off the iron and set it in a safe location to cool. Allow the wax paper to cool for 30 seconds. Slowly peel the wax paper from the fabric's surface. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing the brown paper from between layers.


Use colors that will show up against the fabric. For example, avoid using designs with a lot of black on dark colored fabric.


Don't pull the wax paper away until it has cooled, or you may also pull away the design from the fabric.


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