How Can I Print Words to Transfer Onto Wood or Metal?

Written by linda batey | 13/05/2017

A whole new world of craft ideas enter your head once you know how to transfer words, pictures or designs to another surface, such as wood, metal, glass, plastic or even stones. The possibilities are almost endless, and you'll wonder why you've never done this before.

The Magic of Transfer Paper

You can purchase transfer paper at craft stores, usually found in the art department. You may find it on rolls or in sheets, and it is not at all expensive. You can easily reuse it, so a small amount will keep you going for quite awhile. There are a few different varieties to choose from; usually the black one is the most versatile.

There are two distinct sides of the transfer paper. One is shiny and the other side is dull. You should place the shiny side of the transfer paper on the surface that you want to transfer the words, picture or design on, with the dull side up.

Place your paper with the printed words or design directly on the transfer paper, making sure it is lined up so that the words or design will be properly placed on the wood, metal or glass surface. Use a sharp pencil to copy the outline of the letters or design. Once you start, you should be very careful not to move the top paper or the transfer paper to check on your progress, because it is nearly impossible to line it back up perfectly. You may want to practice this technique using paper as your destination surface until you feel comfortable with the process.

If you discover that you are unsure if you have already outlined an area, bring your head down so that your eyes are level with the project. You should be able to see the indent from the pencil as well as the shiny lead imprint from the pencil.

Once you have outlined the words or design, remove the paper and transfer paper. You can now let your imagination run wild. You can tin-punch, wood-burn or paint on the surface or come up with ideas of your own for an individualised look.

Keep in mind that the transfer paper marks may smudge, so use caution not to wipe the surface.

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