How to Create Your Own Dry Transfer Rub-On Letters

Written by trisha dawe
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How to Create Your Own Dry Transfer Rub-On Letters
Create scrapbook page themes using handmade rub-on transfers. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

With a few household items you may already have on hand, you can create your own rub-on transfers to adorn candles, scrapbook pages, home decor projects or paper art. Less expensive than purchasing pre-made rub-on transfers, the homemade method allows you to customise your transfers -- using your home computer and printer -- and reduces the need to shop around to find exactly the transfer you need for your project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Word-processing software
  • Copier transparency sheet
  • Fine-mist hair gel spray
  • Inkjet printer
  • Hairspray
  • Spoon

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  1. 1

    Open a blank word-processing document and insert photographed, stock, clip art or word images that you wish to turn into rub-on transfers. Use a text box to move them around the document.

  2. 2

    Flip the text or pictures into a mirror image, so that when transferred, they will be facing the right direction. This is necessary, especially with wording. Some printers allow you to set the preferences to a mirror image, just before printing in lieu of doing it in the document.

  3. 3

    Spray a transparency with fine-mist hair gel to cover completely, but not enough to drip down. Dry the transparency with a hairdryer for approximately 20 to 45 seconds.

  4. 4

    Insert the copier transparency into your printer and print the images using a high-quality print setting. Allow the ink to dry completely laying on a flat surface.

  5. 5

    Spray a light coat of hairspray over the entire transparency, including the ink, and dry with the hairdryer for 20 to 45 seconds.

  6. 6

    Flip the transparency over onto your project and position the image where you want it to go. Rub the opposite side of the transparency with a spoon to transfer the image. It may require practice to get it just right.

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