12 Easy Image Transfer Methods for DIY Projects

Time and time again, the question that I get asked most frequently by my readers, is “How can I transfer your Graphics on to _____”.   Even though I have numerous Transfer Methods on my blogs, and links to others, I have to admit the information is difficult to find since it is spread out in a very unorganized manner! So I thought it was high time I consolidate it all in one place so that you can easily find the method that you want to use for your particular project. Below you will find links to 12 different ways to Transfer onto pretty much any type of material, some are my own Tutorials, some are from friends or readers and a couple of them I found online.

1) How to Transfer Typography onto Furniture : This is a two part Tutorial showing how to blow up your image really big, using a free program, and an easy cheap transfer method, so that you can paint your image on large or small pieces of Furniture, Walls or Signs. Great for painted wood pieces or natural wood.

2) The Citra Solv Method : This method uses a cleaning product called Citra Solv. This one works well with Fabric projects, like Towels, Pillows, Chair Seats and Lampshades. This method will give you a slightly faded, slightly imperfect, transfer for an old world look.

3) The Wax Paper Method: I have yet to try this method, but it looks amazing! The only supplies you need are your Printer and some Wax Paper and the super simple Tutorial from Angela at Unexpected Elegance! I’ve seen this one used on Painted and Natural Wood and Painted Metal.

4) The Freezer Paper Method: This one is similar to the one above, only you use Freezer Paper instead of Wax Paper. Lesa at Home Frosting has a fabulous Tutorial that shows you how to use this method on Fabric.

5) The Iron On Method: In this Tutorial I show you how to do an Iron on Transfer, using my favorite Transfer Paper. I consider this brand to be the “Holy Grail” of Transfer Papers, as it completely blows away the other stuff out there. If you’ve tried doing Iron Ons in the past, with crappy results, you will love this stuff! Great for any Fabric Projects.

6) Printing on Fabric: Gail at My Repurposed Life, shows you how to cut out the middle man, and print directly onto fabric, with your home printer! For those of you that sew (or don’t mind gluing your projects) this is a really fun method!

7) The Mod Podge Method: Good old Mod Podge, is there anything this stuff can’t do?!! This excellent Tutorial by Katie at Matsuke explains how to use this technique to Transfer onto Wood.  I’ve also seen this used on Fabric, Canvas, Terra Cotta and even shiny Ceramic pieces.  This is a really popular method and super versatile since you can use it on so many materials!

8) The Projector Method: Marian from Miss Mustard Seed shares her Sign Making secrets, using an Overhead Projector to transfer images onto wood! This method can be used for Painted or Natural Wood.

9) Using Water Slide Decals: Learn how to use Water Slide Decals to transfer images onto Glass, Soap, Candles and Paper, with this fun technique. Carol from The Polka Dot Closet will walk you through all the steps!

10) The Blender Pen Method: Rosemary from Villa Barnes demonstrates this fast and easy Method using an inexpensive Blender Pen to transfer onto Fabric. I’ve also seen this used on Wood.

11) The Omni Gel Method: In this Tutorial I explain how to use a liquid substance called Omni Gel, to transfer images onto Tumbled Marble Tiles for Coasters. I’ve also used this on Painted Wood.

12) Transferring onto Canvas: I’m including two projects for this last category, they both use the same technique but with different substances. Tracy at Distressed Decor used Mod Podge on her Canvas and Trisha at Whimsy Art Studios used Gesso for hers.

Well hopefully that will clear things up. Feel free to grab  my Transfer Printables to use in your projects.  Have fun transferring!


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Comments

  1. Thanks, you are great!!!!

  2. This is fantastic all in one place, instead of the dozens of pins I have in my boards on pinterest Since you did say share I am going to pin this on pinterest.

  3. I’m glad you both liked this!

    Rebecca, Yes, feel free to Pin! Thank you so much!!

  4. Oooh, I’m so excited! Thanks!

    BTW, my new site design is going live in a few minutes, with a few more of your images on it :)

  5. fantastic post Karen! To have this all in one place is great!
    I pinned it. :) and I put it on fb, that’s how excited I am about this post!
    I have tried citrasolv and failed miserably–a friend is going to mail me a copy that she KNOWS is doable. I think my guy at staples didn’t know what he was doing.
    Thanks for including my post with these other great tips!
    gail

  6. Prudent Homemaker, How fun, I will have to check it out!!

    Gail, Yes, finding the right kind of copy is the only difficult part with that method. The Staples copies won’t work, in fact you don’t want to go to any of the large chains, so forget Kinkos, Office Max etc. You need to find an older machine, so try your local Library, Post Office, or an Independently owned Printer place. I get mine made at my local Grocery store.

  7. Thanks for the shout out!! This is fabulous!! I think you covered it all,

    Carol

  8. Neat Post!

    Hiya Gail (friendly wave)

    Great post and thanks Miss Karen!

    Smiles, Suzanne at WhyCuzICan

  9. Oh, Karen, someone else did it using a wood burning tool that heats up the paper and transfers the ink. If I can find that post someplace, can I post it here too?

    Smiles, Suzanne at WhyCuzICan

  10. I have saved this page to my “favorites.”
    -THANK YOU KAREN!
    love,
    Sherilyn

  11. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is wonderful to have all the methods on one list. I’m going to pin it!

  12. Great all my questions answered in one go, thanks for sharing

  13. This is incredible — I’m sharing this all over the place. Thank you for putting this together!

  14. Thank you sooooo much! This is just perfect! Greetings from Germany

  15. Thank you so much…I have been wanting to try several of these but haven’t gotten my nerve up. This will make it easier to study & decide which one might work best for me. I LOVE your blog & all of the great things you post!!!

  16. You are wonderful! Thank you so much!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Not only do you provide the world with the most beautiful images, but now you also generously give your time to help others in finding tutorials for transferring your gorgeous images!

    You have my great appreciation and my thanks!

  18. Your information is just fabulous. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  19. Thanks for mentioning my transfer method, Karen. I’ll have to check out some of the others.

  20. I’ve seen your other posts, Karen, but I’m glad you put it all together in one. This will not be saved in my Favorites so I can access it easily for the tutorials. Thank you! : )

  21. Wow, what a wonderful listing! Thank you :-)

  22. Thanks Karen!!

    I have spent many hours perusing the net looking for this information. But I just ended up frustrated, and there sits my projects!!

  23. Wow, thanks so much for all the nice comments everyone! I’m so glad that you guys are finding this useful!

    Rosemary, You are so welcome. Your project is so lovely!!

    Suzanne, Yes, please post it here in the comments! I have one of those tools, but haven’t had much success with it. I could use a Tut for that!

    Regina, Thanks for sharing this! I really appreciate it!

  24. Merci Karen pour ce superbe travail, bises de France, Miette

  25. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says:

    Love it! Now I can get rid of all my bookmarks and just use your post- thank you!

  26. Thanks so much Karen – you’re a doll!! Just ordered my CitraSolv (not easy to find over here in the UK and very expensive when you do!!!) but looking forward to trying out all these great methods. Thanks also for the wonderful graphics you share.

    Hugs.

    Karen x

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Debra

  28. Anonymous says:

    What is the best way to transfer an image to a mirror? Thanks!

  29. Anonymous, For mirror you would want to use the same method as for glass. So try #9.

  30. Really nice collection of articles. I haven’t done any art transfers yet, but the two examples you gave are fabulous. Now we need to find somewhere to work the concept into our house!

    First time I’ve visited your site. Awesome!

    Kim

  31. Wow, I’m so loving your site and have just used one of your French printables to add to a little milking stool I found at a Recycle Shop on the weekend. My first time using Mod Podge (wish I’d found the tutorial you recommended first, but will use next time). Am also brand new at blogging, but wanted to show you my little piece that I used your art for. THANK YOU so much. I love it, have pinned to Pinterest and linked your page to my blog. Check out my pics at: http://irestorestuff.blogspot.com/2012/01/tiny-milking-stool.html

  32. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You !!!!!!!!
    What else can I say?

  33. Amazing and so informative – As Always!!! You started my creative career and I just love your site.
    Thanks so much!
    Sandie

  34. Clever and Creative! I’v blogged about it here: http://inredningsdesigner.blogspot.com/2012/01/bloglove-graphics-fairy.html

    Cheers from Sweden, Lisbeth

  35. FOUND THE LINK I was thinking of, Karen!!! I haven’t tried it, but I’m sooo happy to have it in my files TO try one day!

    http://alapinlife.blogspot.com/2011/07/woodworkers-transfer-tool-will-transfer.html

    This is the one with the wood workers transfer tool (posted by A Lapin Life)

    Smiles, Suzanne at WhyCuzICan

  36. I often print onto inkjet printable book cloth http://www.julieblanner.com/2011/02/framed-prints.html?m=1 Thanks for the ideas! I can’t wait to try them all!

  37. Thank You so much Karen!!! Very useful!
    I couldn’t find the “gesso method” tutorial at the link you gave…is it me or the link is not the correct one?

    Emanuela

  38. Emanuela, It seems to be working fine for me. Here’s the url so that you can cut and paste it http://whimsyartstudio.blogspot.com/2010/10/canvas-of-beauty.html I hope that helps!

  39. Thanks Karen – having these instructions all in one place is wonderful!

  40. Thanks Karen,

    This is fabulous to find all methods in one place. I’m book marking this page right now!

    Blessings,
    Donna

  41. karen you are the bestest thx ;)

  42. Thanks so much for this post! It is nice to have all of the transfer methods in one place. I just posted my how-to-guide on transferring photos to canvas if you want to come and take a look. It is the best method I have found so far for getting crisp, clear images and it also works really well on other mediums including furniture.

    http://hookedondecorating.com/how-to-guide-transfer-photos-to-canvas/

    Carrie
    Hooked on Decorating

  43. Awesome ideas! I tried number 5 (iron transfer). I bought the exact paper and the image transferred beautifully to my fabric…I waited over night, and then washed the fabric, and I found that the ink actually ran and caused bluish pink staining all around the image. Did anyone else have this problem??? I used a tight weave fabric and I ironed it for long enough. I was surprised because it said on the packaging for the paper that the image would be color fast. Thanks for any tips :)
    Mandi

    • Hi Mandi, According to the instructions, you need to make sure everything transfers completely or it won’t wash well. The instructions say that “there should be no polymer residue left on the sheet”. So next time maybe try ironing just a little longer first.

  44. Thanks for sharing with us the wonderful methods!!

  45. Hi Karen,

    I posted a video on how to use the woodworker’s transfer tool on my blog. The tool works on wood, leather and fabric.

    http://alapinlife.blogspot.com/2011/07/woodworkers-transfer-tool-will-transfer.html

    Dee

  46. J’ai lu avec beaucoup d’intérêt votre publication… Gros bisous

  47. This is so wonderful of you to organize it for us…I’ve been wondering and asking around for info about transferring! thanks, Little Bit

  48. Anonymous says:

    I have just dicovered your blog (I’m following now in Google Reader)! IT’s amazing!! Thanks for all the useful information and graphics!!!
    Blumyrose

  49. Don’t forget transferring to Polymer Clay… http://www.polyclayplay.com/Cart/products/Baking-Parchment-Paper-for-Transfer.html

    There is a video there of this method.

    Thanks for sharing all the ways to do transfers! Super great list!!

  50. Thank you soooo much!!! Very, very, very helpful! Colleen

  51. Thank you so much for this!! :D

  52. Anonymous says:

    I am trying to find the best method to put a title onto the mat board around a photo. I have hand printed, stenciled, and dry rubbed none of which are what I was looking for. I want it to look like I had the title printed on the board.

    any ideas?

    Chris

  53. Anonymous says:

    You can use a warm iron to “fuse” the waxy side of freezer paper to fabric, cut to size and zip the whole thing through the printer. Let the ink dry, and peel off the freezer paper. Presto! You’ve got a crisp image on fabric. The freezer paper pulls right off without distorting the fabric. (I usually iron the image to set the ink) This freezer paper works great for “fussy cutting” a fabric image for quilting or applique, too.

  54. I tried the Mod Podge method and had some trouble. I was just wondering if anyone else encountered the same issue? (see the photos at: http://bluestarantiques.blogspot.com/2012/06/another-stool-and-another-challenge.html

    Thanks!

  55. Wow thank you for this amazing information. Recently I started a blog because I get so inspired by stuff just like this. Last year we were foreclosed on and ended up purchasing a Cheap home lol and had to gut it down to the siding. All these great ideas I find will help me finish my home with personality. Thanks Graphics Fairy..Kristin
    http://intentionallyinspired.blogspot.com/

  56. isso é maravilhoso e você é incrível! obrigada, querida, por sua dedicação e carinho aos seus fãs!!!!! beijos

  57. Anonymous says:

    Thank you SO much for investing the time and effort it took to bring this to us…you’re wonderful!!!

  58. Hi Karen,
    I am coming over Kathy@A Delightsome Home. Thank you for those tutorials. Ther are so many inspirations for me.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  59. Very informative. Thank you!

    I’m going to forward this to my email list.

  60. Thank you so much for this post!! Fabulous and I can’t wait to check out all the links. And…I can’t wait to start using some of them!
    Thanks!!!
    Debbie :)

  61. Anonymous says:

    Great post, many thanks.
    Elisabet

  62. Your blog is amazing and so are you! And generous! Thanks for providing us with loads of fun!

  63. I’m sorry but I have to agree with Anonymous. I have tried several of your transfer techniques and am not having any success at all. I love all your graphics but can’t find a good method to transfer them to wood.

    • Some of the methods may take a little practice. The best thing to do is to try them out on some scrap pieces of wood, until you get the hang of it. If you check out my Brag Monday posts, you can see lots of projects done by my readers, successfully using these techniques. I hope that helps!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to what good color printer to purchase? I am looking for a good price for both the printer AND ink! We have 2 printers in the house and neither one prints color copies true. Flesh colors always seem to be a green tinge, and never as bright as I want them, despite fooling w/the settings.

  65. yoU are awSome!!! thank yoU so much for posting all these. i can’t wait to get started.

  66. #12, part 1 link is not working.

  67. Votre blog est magnifique . Merci de partager votre savoir faire et vos belles images.

  68. How do I transfer large images to fabric? Like maybe a quilt. Maybe a poster.. Is there a way? Something larger than a regular printer size. All of the places I check do not have ink jet printers…

  69. Thank you for putting this all together Karen, what a great resource! I’ve got this linked to my image transferring tutorials roundup post too today!

  70. So many projects I’ve wanted to create but had no idea where to start! Thank you for all of the info!

  71. Thank you! I just found a yard sale table and remembered the great post you did recently with the grain sack transfer and blue stripes. Now to pick a graphic…
    Thanks!

  72. Hi, Karen! This is a really good post! You have covered so many good techniques! So, in addition to supplying the world with such wonderful graphics, you are a genius when it comes to their applications! LOL I so admire what you do!

    I know this post is last year, but, I wanted to share another technique, one for digital stamps/transfers. Over at Captivated Visions, Rachel has done a tutorial showing how to use most any image, and turn it into a digital transfer. Her intent in the post is to show how to use one’s digi-stash in other ways, like art-journaling. Actually, Rachel’s post is part of a series called “Artful DigiScrapping”. The results are just amazing!

    I see posts all over the place where folks have used your images in new and creative ways, so, I thought of you and Rachel’s post when I saw this one. She has been featured in several places with this tutorial/technique. (No, I am not on her payroll. LOL) She’s a doll, though!

    It’s a real simple technique. Basically, you clip an image to a brush stroke, or stamped brush. But, I will let Rachel explain it to you! LOL

    Thank you for all that you do and how sweet you are doing it!

    Su

  73. Help!! Love LOVE LOVE your graphics. I have picked one to transfer to wood using Mod Podge (for Images). Here’s my question…how do I make the background transparent. I did a test on a sample wood and I see my white background behind the print graphic.

    • Hi Mimi,
      You’ll need to cut around the design very closely to get rid of the white with that method. Or you can paint your wood white to match. I hope that helps!

  74. Hi Karen, Love your blog. Do you have an ideas for transferring images to plastic? I am trying to transfer an image to the plastic part of a pacifier. Thanks Kim. by the way I have a ink jet printer. Thanks again.

    • Hi Kim,
      I’m not sure about plastic. I would definitely recommend not transferring onto anything that would go into a babies mouth, it’s just not worth the risk. Perhaps you could make a cute bib or onesie, using an iron on instead!

  75. The link to #5 The Iron On Method is broken :(

  76. Dianne Gibson says:

    With the risk of sounding stupid, I have a question. I printed out the mirror image with the taps paper but when I ironed it down, it reads backwards. What am I doing wrong?

  77. Thanks, You are the best!!!!

  78. The book looks so cute

  79. Hi, Karen. I can’t speak English ver well, but i’m hope You Understand me. I’m writing from Poland. I love Your blog and everything You do. You inspiring me:) Thanks. I find Your Transfer Methods. May be You will be interesting my method of transfer (haw does CarPlan work).
    I invite You to my blog,
    http://deco-szuflada.blogspot.com/2013/04/transferowe-candy-z-diy-transfer-na.html

    Greeting to You

    Iszart from deco-szuflada.blogspot.com

  80. Thank you so much. I would love to learn to do this and I need all the help I can get. I really appreciate it.

  81. Once I click on the image I want, how do I mirror image it (my printer won’t do this) and shrink the size to fit what I am working on.

  82. wow!!!!! The “How to Transfer Typography onto Furniture” has really helped me a lot making a birthday present for my grandad. thank god you were here to help. you have saved my day !

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