How to Transfer Photos to Tiles Using Transfer Paper

Written by kristie lorette
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How to Transfer Photos to Tiles Using Transfer Paper
Personalise tiles with your photographs. (Footprints in Tile image by bnstrong from

You can create custom art tiles by transferring photos to tiles using transfer paper. This allows you to create inserts for a tile pattern on walls and floors. It is also a service you can provide for others who want to turn their photos into personal tile creations. Since it is complex, this is a craft project that is best left for older children or adults. You can use some items and materials you have in the home, but others you will need to get from an art or craft store.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Square of stretched canvas
  • Pictures
  • Photo-imaging computer program
  • Transfer paper for inkjet printers
  • Colour inkjet printer
  • Warm water
  • Bowl
  • Heat gun
  • Marble tiles
  • Rubbing alcohol

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  1. 1

    Select the photos you want to place onto the tiles. Scan the photos into a photo-imaging program on your computer. Arrange the photos in the program so that they fit into a 4 inch-by-4 inch square.

  2. 2

    Print the image on to the transfer paper for inkjet printers.

  3. 3

    Set the images on to the transfer paper. To do this your must hold the heat gun approximately six inches from the transfer paper for about 30 seconds to dry the ink on to the transfer paper and set the images.

  4. 4

    Cut around the collage so that there is not too much of a border around the edge of the collage or photo.

  5. 5

    Place the cut out in warm water for 15 seconds and then remove it. The water should cause the transfer paper to curl or roll up.

  6. 6

    Pour rubbing alcohol over the tile you are transferring the picture to.

  7. 7

    Remove the backing from the transfer paper and press the sticky side of the transfer paper to the face of the tile.

  8. 8

    Slide your fingers over the back of the paper to remove any creases or air bubbles so that it lies flat on the tile.

  9. 9

    Allow the paper to dry on the tile overnight.

  10. 10

    Remove the dried paper from the tile and you should see the image on the tile.

Tips and warnings

  • If you intend to use the tiles as drink coasters, you should apply one coat of a water-based polyurethane to each of the tiles to seal the photo transfer and protect it from contact with beverage cups or bottles.

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