How to use graphite transfer paper

Written by axl j. amistaadt | 13/05/2017

Graphite transfer paper could very well be the best friend of many artists and craftspeople, making their projects much easier to complete. Quick, inexpensive and easy to work with, transfer paper can be used to trace erasable lines onto virtually any project medium. You can use it to transfer your own designs to paper, wood, glass, plywood, cardboard, ceramic and many other surfaces. Just like carbon paper of the old days, graphite transfer paper can be used and reused, and each sheet has the potential to render hundreds of images. If the area you're working with is a small one, just cut a piece of the graphite transfer paper with scissors to fit.

Use a facial tissue to lightly wipe the graphite side of the transfer paper. This will remove any excess dust or coating, and will help to prevent smudging during use.

Place a sheet of graphite transfer paper on the surface on which you wish reproduce your image. Secure it with masking tape.

Position your pattern on top of the transfer paper. Use masking tape to secure it. If the ends of the tape are going to be in contact with the transfer paper, turn a tip of each piece under and stick the tape to itself. This will form a little tab you can later use to remove the tape, so you won't risk damaging the transfer paper by trying to dig the tape off of it with your fingers.

Use a ballpoint pen, blunt pencil, tracing wheel or stylus to trace your pattern's design. Follow the outline of the pattern, applying enough pressure to produce lines as dark as you want them to be. Trace lightly for projects that will be finished with more delicate media, such as pencils or water colours.

Gently remove the tape from the pattern and from the graphite transfer paper. Examine your transferred image for any possible smudging. Gently rub smudges with an eraser, which works most of the time. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol often works for removing more difficult smudges.

Things you need

  • Facial tissues
  • Pattern
  • Ballpoint pen, stylus, blunt pencil or tracing wheel
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Eraser
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs

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