How to Make Iron-On Transfers

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    Ironing transfers onto shirts, bags, and other items can be a lot of fun. Making your own iron-on transfers allows you to personalize your crafts further. Here is how to make iron-on transfers from photos, images of your own, or images designed for use as iron-on transfers.

    Things You'll Need

    • Images
    • Image editing software
    • Printer
    • Iron-on transfer paper
    • Scissors
    • Iron

    show more

    Pick the images you want to use to make your iron-on transfers. You can either choose an image off of your computer's hard drive, scan an image into your computer for use, or pick an image from a website that offers free use of iron-on transfer graphics.

    Use your image editing software to re-size the image to the size that you need. Clean the picture up with your software if need be, and then reverse the image. It is important to remember to reverse the image before printing, so it comes out facing the right direction when you iron it on.

    Print your picture on a piece of copy paper first to test how it prints. If you are happy with your iron-on transfer, put transfer paper into the printer and print it again. Be sure to follow the package direction on how to load the transfer paper so you are printing on the correct side.

    Cut our your pictures for your iron-on transfers. Carefully cut on the outer edge of the design, removing all of the extra transfer paper.

    Place your transfer on the shirt or other piece of material you want to put it on. Be sure it is placed image side down, so the picture is facing the material.

    Put a brown paper bag or a piece of plain cardboard between the two layers of material if the item you are ironing it onto is double layered, such as a shirt or a pillow case. This keeps the ink from bleeding through to the back of the item.

    Iron the transfer on following transfer paper package directions. Preheat the iron first and then iron in circles over the back of the transfer. Start at the outer edge of the transfer and slowly work your way in towards the center. Iron the transfer for the length of time recommended on the package.

    • After ironing the transfers onto your project, you might want to outline the picture or design using fabric paint. The fabric paint makes the image stand out, and it seals the transfer to the fabric around the edges to extend the life.