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) Gesso on Canvas Technique:  Check out how Trisha at Whimsy Art Studios used Gesso on Canvas to create a fabulous French art piece for her Wall!

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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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 !

  4. Karoline says:

    Dear Karen,
    only a few days ago I found your site by chance. Such a lot of amazing things you have collected! It makes me want to start at once with lots and lots of projects!
    I´d like to add another form of transferring prints on fabric. Did you ever hear of lavender oil as transfer medium?
    You print your pattern with a laser printer, fix the paper face down on fabric with tape and soak it with lavender oil (you find it in drugstores for aromatherapy or things like that) then you rub the print with the back of a spoon or any other round, hard tool. It takes some pressure and about 15-20 min to get the colour on to the fabric. You can look once and again, whether it is sufficiently transferred. After removing the paper let it dry a day, then you can fix the colour by ironing as hot as the fabric allowes. So you can even wash it.
    best wishes from Bavaria

    • Karen Watson says:

      Thank you so much Karoline! I’ve never heard of that method before! I think it would be lovely to work with too, since the fragrance would be so nice!

    • Hi Karoline – I love using essential oils for laser print transfers! I carry an item with me every day that I decorated this way and it still has a lovely fragrance, even after over a year…I’ve used lavender essential oil and patchouli oil both with success. I used to use the Blending Pen method, but I’ve converted – less toxic, less expensive, more fun. Thanks for mentioning using it on fabric – I haven’t tried that yet, but will have to, now!

  5. I love your tutorials on transfer methods for furniture. I am curious why graphite transfer paper can’t be used? or even old fashioned carbon paper to “copy” an image onto painted furniture? Thanks

  6. Hi, Karen!
    I just found your website and it’s amazing. I just have one question, do you need a laser printer or a regular inkjet printer for transfering?. I’ve tried the ModPodge method and for that you need a laser printer. And last night ,i tried your method on freezer paper and the ink looks quite fresh ,almost runny and didn’t transfer as well as yours.

  7. Hi Karen,I know this isn’t technically on the subject, but I downloaded some bird graphics. Block Poster is fantastic. I found some fonts, downloaded to write Faith, Hope, Love, but I can’t figure out how to use them. Do I need to download something else before I can write with the fonts?
    You do a great job!
    Thank you,

    • Karen Watson says:

      Hi Sally, Most all of the font sites have a help section, go ahead and consult that, they’ll be able to walk you through it. The process can vary depending on what type of set up you have on your computer. :)

  8. Hi Karen, I tried to use Block Poster last night and it’s a great tool but it only accepts jpg files and your files print in pdf format. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • Karen Watson says:

      Hi Terry, Instead of saving the PDF file, just click on the picture of the transfer in the post. You can save that picture and use it instead, as it’s in JPG format. I hope that helps!

  9. Karen,Came across your web site yesterday.Amazing I Iike the idea how you personally connect with each person.Rarely do see that.Some of us are just learning Your willingness to help is so appreciated.I’m sure i speak for all who are just learning.’THANK YOU’. I’m sure i will be a regular.

    • Karen Watson says:

      Thank you Trudy. I wish I could connect with every person, but unfortunately it’s really tough to find the time anymore! I hope you will enjoy yourself here and visit often though!

  10. Hi Karen,
    How can I transfer a large graphic onto fabric (say 24’x15′ onto a cotton)? Would I need to have a printer (kinko) print it out for me and then citasolv it with a paintbrush, or can i have a printer’s print it right onto the fabric? I realize this is not quite DIY – but would be if I could laser large prints!!

  11. I have an easy way to transfer things to any hard surface. A friend of mine showed me this years ago and I was able to paint Disney babies on the side of my son’s crib. These days I use it to make customized gift bags. Find an image you like and print it, doesn’t matter what kind of printer. or if you’re like me and too cheap to buy ink (seriously I can just buy another printer cheaper than the ink for mine!) hold a piece of paper up to the computer screen and trace it (if it’s simple enough!) After you have your image, turn the paper over to the wrong side and mark where the top, bottom and sides are of your image. Keeping the paper on the wrong side, color in with a pencil (I just use a standard no. 2 pencil) and color in where your tick marks are. You have to color the entire back of the image with pencil, using a little pressure. Then turn the image around and retrace over the image onto your surface. Take the paper away and now you have your image on whatever it is (in my case, those paper brown gift bags!). You can then paint the image. After the paint dries, go over the outline again with a fine tip sharpie, and fill in details like eyes, mouth, etc.

  12. J K Weigle says:

    I would love to Pin these directions. Can you tell me how?

  13. Hmm. Still missing method of Annie Sloan chalk paint transfer to chalk painted surface using decoupage, I know it can be done but don’t have copy of her book. Decided after I painted (before wax) to do transfer but no one seems to have relevant details. Do I remove some of the existing ascp? Does it have to be smooth? Do I put the AS decoupage OVER the printed image, or just on the furniture side?. Only utube I found was saying to use inkjet copy &.I know THAT is wrong. I don’t want to wreck it. Sigh.

    • Siobhan, Before doing a big project, I always recommend testing out your transfer method on a scrap piece of wood first. Practice makes perfect and since we are all using various different types of paint, and different printers/copies and different waxes, it’s really the best way. Grab a couple of scrap pieces of wood and do some practice boards and take notes on what you did and which products you used, then you will have your own perfect recipe and the confidence to work on your larger pieces!

  14. Dre Madrid says:

    This came in so helpful for my wedding DIYs. Thanks a lot! keep up the good work :)

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