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September 07, 2013

How to Transfer Ink to Fabric Using Wax Paper

This is such a simple way to print some text or an image off on your home printer and transfer it to some fabric. I followed the instructions from The Graphic's Fairy but figured out a couple tips through trial and error. Although I haven't tried it, this also works for transferring printer ink to untreated wood. The technique is a little different but you can find the instructions here.

A few notes about this method of transferring print to fabric:
  • you have to move fast! As soon as the paper comes out of the printer, get it onto your fabric or it will just dry on the wax paper.
  • the surface must be flat and hard to press the image down while you're ironing
  • the print was faint, perfect for a vintage/antiqued look but not great if you want a bold, clear message
  • you only get one shot at this so you may want to test it out on a scrap piece of fabric first to make sure your message is going to show up. I ended up needing to enlarge my original text quite a bit and bolding it so that it was readable on the fabric
  • make sure you work on a tight weave of fabric


Choose the image/text you want to print out and open it in a program that allows you to flip the image. I wrote my text out in paint then clicked "Flip Horizontally" under the "Rotate" menu.


Make sure your iron is hot (I used a medium setting) and get your fabric ready to go on a hard flat surface that can handle the heat from the iron. I put a hard cover book inside the pillowcase


Once everything is ready to go, tape a piece of wax paper to a regular sheet of paper so that it will feed through the printer without getting wrinkled. Place the paper in your printer so that the ink prints out on the wax paper side.


Print your image or text out and quickly get it positioned and set down on your fabric. Run the iron over it for a few seconds,making sure that the paper stays in place. You can also use something like a wooden spoon to press the ink down a little more.


Remove the paper and you're all done.

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