How to Make Printer Tile Transfers

Decorative natural tiles with designs, photos, images, words or even children's artwork make attractive and durable art pieces that can be sent as gifts or displayed on small easels like photographs. Sealed tiles may be used anywhere tile is mounted for a more permanent and personal tile statement. Making these creative and useful tiles is easy.

Select a slightly rough, porous tile. Slick tile surfaces will not allow the image to adhere properly.

Take the image you desire to transfer to your local photo copy shop and ask the staff to make a laser printer reverse copy in the size of your tile. Select a colour laser copy if your image is in colour. Have them make the photocopy using standard copy paper. It is a good idea to have a few extras printed in case your first try isn't perfect.

Paint the top surface and sides of the tile with Golden Medium using a disposable foam paint brush. Golden Medium is an acrylic paint modifier that is being used atypically in this process. This product is available at most local craft stores or online. Allow 15 minutes for the tile surface to dry completely.

Trim your photocopy to 1/2-inch wider and longer than your tile.

Paint the face of your laser photo copy with a thick coat of Golden Gel. Golden Gel is a thickened acrylic resin or binder that is being used as a collage type adhesive in this application. The gel coat will cause the paper to curl, this is normal. Turn your tile upside down and position the tile onto the still wet gel-coated paper. Line it up straight.

Turn the tile over and burnish the paper to the tile using the flat end of a burnishing tool. The appropriate burnishing tool, which is sold in craft stores, has a tapered handle with a small metal ball on one end and a flat, smooth plastic end. Use the flat, smooth plastic end. Work out any bubbles or creases in the paper as you press the paper to the tile.

Line a baking tray with newspaper and place your tile, photocopy side up, on the newspaper. Bake in a 200-degree oven for 15 minutes. This bonds the two surfaces together and the laser image is captured by the gel. Remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the tile to cool.

Sprinkle the tile surface with water and lightly rub at the photocopy paper with your finger tips. You will notice that thin layers of paper will roll off. Go slowly and work your way around the tile as the image is revealed. Do not scrub, because you can remove the image if you press too hard. Remove all of the photocopy paper backing, leaving just the laser image on your tile.


Test stone tile sealers to protect your finished tile once you have allowed it to dry completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Porous/matt tile
  • Reverse image photocopy
  • Golden Medium
  • Disposable 1-inch foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Golden Gel Medium
  • 200-degree oven
  • Baking tray
  • Newspaper
  • Bowl of water
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.