Fabric photo transfer how to

Written by megan lawless
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Fabric photo transfer how to
Iron-on transfer (ironing image by jovica antoski from Fotolia.com)

Transferring photos to fabric has become a popular craft technique. Photos can be transferred to fabric for use on T-shirts, quilts, mouse pads, tote bags, backpacks, banners and signs. As digital photos have become more popular, the quality of photo transfer paper has got noticeably better. Almost every craft or office supply store now carries photo transfer paper. Anyone with a home computer and colour printer can transfer photos to fabric.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Photo transfer paper
  • Computer
  • Colour printer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Select the photo you wish to transfer to fabric. If your computer has photo editing software, use it to crop the photo or adjust the colour, if necessary.

  2. 2

    Adjust the printer settings to ensure the proper quality of your printout. Select "File" from the toolbar, then select "Print." In the printer dialogue box, click the button that says "Properties." Click through the tabs until you find a field called Mirror Image. Check the box and save your settings.

  3. 3

    Load the photo transfer paper into your printer. Make sure the image will print on the side that feels a bit like plastic. Print the image from your computer onto the paper. If using an ink jet printer, carefully remove the photo transfer paper and allow it to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Preheat your iron for about 10 minutes at the highest setting with the steam turned off. Iron out any wrinkles in the fabric and allow the fabric to cool. You may now trim the printed photo if you want to transfer only a portion of the image. Lay the photo transfer paper face down on the fabric and iron directly on the paper side of the photo transfer paper. Slide the iron from side to side so that all portions of the photo transfer paper are heated evenly.

  5. 5

    While the photo transfer paper is still hot, remove the paper from the fabric in one motion. If the paper sticks to the fabric, heat the paper again using the iron. Allow the fabric to lie flat to cool.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wash fabric that has been treated with photo transfer paper in cold water on the gentle cycle and never use an iron directly on the image.

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