How to Create Your Own Dry Transfer Rub-On Letters

Updated November 21, 2016

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Things You'll Need

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