Sunday, May 5, 2013

DIY tutorial: Transfer Ink to Wood or Fabric using wax paper and an inkjet printer

I'm getting a little out of control with the 2 year old birthday party preps for my son.  Let's just say I'm making drop cloth tool aprons for about 20 kids as party favors and I've decided it MUST have a Home Depot-like logo.  Why do I get these ideas in my head??? They won't stop nagging me until I finally get.it.right.

So...thank me now, or thank me later, (you're welcome) - I have finally figured out how to transfer ink to fabric (or wood) without buying expensive transfer paper.


Here's what you'll need to transfer ink to fabric or wood: 
A computer
A printer (with ink...mine ran out midway through...annoying)
Wax Paper
Credit Card

I am pretty much a faithful PowerPoint user, although not for presentations.  I use the program for things that I'm sure no one ever dreamed it would be used for, but it works for me and I can practically use it with my eyes closed so here goes...

Open power point and create a new slide.

Create your image or if you're transferring a photo to fabric insert your photo onto a slide.  If you're image is small and you can fit several transfers on one page, I would suggest you do that so you're not wasting wax paper later.

Save the slide as a JPEG.  Do this by going to SAVE AS>Click "JPG" in the FORMAT box.  Save it somewhere easy like the desktop so you can find it quickly.

To transfer your image properly, you'll first need to flip it.  If you have words on it, like I did you need to make sure the letters flip and not just the image.  So go to Convert Hub's Image free Flipping service to flip your image.

Follow the few steps to upload your JPG powerpoint slide.   Click the flip L to R option before clicking DONE.

On the next page Convert Hub will give you a small .jpg link to open and view the image in another web browser window.  Click it to open then save it by clicking File>Save Page as >(NAME YOUR FLIPPED IMAGE)

Go back to powerpoint and create a new slide.

Insert the newly flipped image. SAVE!

Now, it's time to get your paper ready to print.  Cut a piece of wax paper to size so you can tape it completely over a standard piece of printer paper.  Make sure it's taped really well so it doesn't get jammed in the printer.

Get your fabric ready by clamping it down to ensure the material is pulled tight. You want to pull the material as taunt as possible.  I used a heavy brick on one side and a bag clip on the other.  Obviously if you're using wood you don't need to clamp it..just throwing that out there.

Using a wet rag or towel SLIGHTLY dampen your fabric or wood over the entire area where you want to put the transfer.   Do not make the material too wet or the ink from the transfer will bleed like what happened to me on few of them... (Hopefully 2, 3 and 4 year olds won't care too much.)

Now, feed your wax paper/computer paper through the printer while printing your powerpoint slide.



If you have several transfers, I suggest cutting them apart so it's easier to work with and you're not smearing ink.  Don't rush, the ink isn't going to dry on the wax paper. 

Flip the ink transfer onto your dampened, tight material or piece of wood and use a credit card to rub the ink onto your material.

Gently lift up the transfer, admire your work...and let the ink dry for a few hours.


I'll be sharing the tutorial on how to make the DIY tool aprons soon! They're fast and super easy and what great party favors for a little boy construction party, right?! 

As always, thanks for stopping by 2IY.

Posted by Melissa