How to transfer photos to fabric using freezer paper

Written by larry parr
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How to transfer photos to fabric using freezer paper
Any photo that can be scanned into a computer can be transferred to fabric using freezer paper and an ink jet printer (panda bear's picture on the fabric image by Ragne Kabanova from

Virtually any photo that can be scanned can be transferred to fabric using freezer paper if you have an inkjet printer. Laser printers become too hot to use this method, so you'll need an ink jet. Epsom ink jets are preferred because their ink is permanent on fabric. Since fabric by itself is too soft and floppy to go through an inkjet printer properly, the fabric must be stiffened first using freezer paper.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scanned photo
  • Fabric
  • Freezer paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Scan the photo you wish to transfer into your computer. The scanned image should not be larger than approximately 8 1/2 by 14 inches (the size of a sheet of legal paper) unless your printer has settings for larger paper.

  2. 2

    Cut sheets of freezer paper the size of your scanned image. Place the freezer paper on a hard, flat surface and place something flat and heavy, such as a book, on top of the paper to hold it perfectly flat overnight, otherwise the paper may curl.

  3. 3

    Place a sheet of freezer paper on a flat, hard surface with the shiny wax side up. Carefully place a piece of fabric cut to the size of the freezer paper, on top and press a hot iron evenly over the fabric so the wax on the freezer paper melts and adheres to the fabric. Fabric should be 200-thread-count cotton or a good muslin.

  4. 4

    Clean the leading edge of the paper (the edge that will go into the printer first) so there are no loose threads or lint and, if possible, use your scissors to round the corners slightly on the leading edge, so the fabric will go into the printer easier.

  5. 5

    Set your printer to accept the heaviest paper possible and set the ink flow to the highest setting if your printer allows you to do so. Feed each sheet through the printer individually.

  6. 6

    Use your iron to heat the fabric and quickly pull off the freezer paper.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are planning to wash the fabric after printing, the fabric should be washed with an ink-setting product such as Bubble Jet Set and then Bubble Jet Rinse before you print.
  • If you do not have a scanner, ask a local print shop or photo shop to scan the image for you.

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