How to Make Transfer Paper From Scratch

Written by kelly reese
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How to Make Transfer Paper From Scratch
Make Your Own Transfer Paper (sheet of paper image by jeecis from

Transfer paper is handy for creating a variety of artwork such as shirt designs and tattoos. You can replace boring and expensive transfer paper by making your own from scratch. While transfer paper is widely available in craft stores, making your own allows more control over the thickness of the paper and quality of the transfer.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Oven
  • 1 box cornstarch
  • Timer
  • Silicone water repellent
  • Glossy letter-size laser printer paper
  • Paper towels
  • 2 lidded storage containers (454gr each)
  • Plastic spatula
  • Plastic stirring spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Kitchen pot
  • Oven mitt
  • Cookie sheet
  • 4-inch paint roller

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  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 F. Evenly sprinkle the cookie sheet with 1 cup of cornstarch and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Pull the cookie sheet out to redistribute the cornstarch once 20 minutes have passed. Bake for 20 minutes more. Repeat this process eight times.

    How to Make Transfer Paper From Scratch
    Ensure the proper temperature. (oven temperature control in red image by laurent dambies from
  2. 2

    Place 12 tbsp of the baked cornstarch in the pot. Add 8 cups of water to make 473ml of glue. Bring the solution to a boil while stirring until most of the water has been reduced.

    How to Make Transfer Paper From Scratch
    Boil the solution. (coffee pot image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  3. 3

    Clean and dry the cookie sheet. Place one sheet of paper on the cookie sheet and spread repellent on both sides evenly using the roller. Remove the paper and set on a flat surface to dry.

  4. 4

    Place saturated paper on the cookie sheet. Apply several drops of the glue mixture to the paper. Spread the glue droplets evenly across the paper with the roller. Set the glue paper aside to dry for 25 minutes, after which the paper is ready for use.

  5. 5

    Choose and print a design on the paper with a computer and printer. Then, place the transfer paper face down on the object to which you are transferring the design. Press an iron on the paper and hold the iron in place for no more than one minute. Remove the iron.

    How to Make Transfer Paper From Scratch
    Iron the design on the object. (iron image by Eray Haciosmanoglu from

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the work area clean at all times.
  • Rinse equipment with clean water after each step.

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