Neoprene is a soft, but sturdy, waterproof material used in items ranging from laptop and MP3 sleeves to waterproof gloves and socks. You may also purchase neoprene by the sheet and cut it to size for your project. Decide what you will customise and consider the options for transferring an image onto neoprene. Some methods require special tools and training, but the simplest way is to use iron-on image transfer paper.
Create a design using graphic imaging software such as GIMP or Paintshop Pro, or find an image online using a site such as Compfight.
Turn on your iron, and let it heat to its highest setting.
Print the image onto a sheet of iron-on transfer paper. Print the image on the shiny, slick side of the paper.
Cut your image out as precisely as possible. This may be difficult if your image has irregular edges, but it will give you a cleaner transfer. Use an exacto knife instead of scissors on difficult sections.
Position the paper on the neoprene with the printed side facing down on the neoprene. Set the neoprene on a stable, heat-safe surface. An ironing board is best, but a towel on a level surface will also work.
Place the hot iron firmly on the back of the image paper, and slide the iron in slow, circular motions. Use even pressure on each part of the image to achieve a complete transfer. Iron the image for approximately one minute.
Let it cool for three to five minutes before carefully peeling back one edge of the paper. Slowly remove the paper.
Some items, such as MP3 sleeves, will be difficult to process with flat, even pressure due to their shape. Use double-sided tape to secure such items to the work surface.
Check the copyright permissions on images found online. Works distributed with a Creative Commons license are often free for personal use but may require notification.
Tips and warnings
- Some items, such as MP3 sleeves, will be difficult to process with flat, even pressure due to their shape. Use double-sided tape to secure such items to the work surface.
- Check the copyright permissions on images found online. Works distributed with a Creative Commons license are often free for personal use but may require notification.
Things you need
- Blank neoprene
- Graphic imaging software
- Iron-on transfer paper
- Inkjet printer