How to copy pictures onto fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

Transferring a photo to fabric has become very popular for crafters. It's a wonderful way to display your favourite memories when you are looking for an alternative to simply placing your photos in a frame or photo album. Whether you want to transfer a photo to a T-shirt or the increasingly popular photo quilts, it can be done with relative ease. Most crafters find that to get the best, longest lasting quality, you should use liquid transfer medium that can be purchased at any craft store.

Find a flat working surface, such as a countertop or any area where your project won't be disturbed for 24 hours. Wash, dry and iron the fabric you have chosen to use. Select your photograph(s).

Make a photocopy of your photo. You may need to visit a local print shop to get the highest quality.

Place the photocopy (printed side up) on top of a sheet of waxed paper cut larger than your photo. Brush a generous amount of the fabric transfer medium onto the printed side of your photocopy.

Picking up the now wet photocopy from the outermost corners, turn it over and place it onto your chosen fabric. The blank side should now be facing toward you. Gently press the photocopy onto the fabric to remove air pockets.

Allow to dry for a full 24 hours, then put the sponge into water allowing it to become dripping wet. With the sponge, rub the back of the photocopy in a circular motion to fully saturate the paper until it begins to dissolve.Repeat this process until all of the paper is removed. You should now see your photo on the fabric.


Allow your completed project to dry completely before using and be careful not to touch the photo until then.


Be sure to read and adhere to any manufacturer warnings or instructions on the bottle of transfer medium liquid.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Photographs
  • Bottle of fabric transfer medium
  • Sponge
  • Waxed paper
  • Water


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About the Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.