How to Reverse Print With Transfer Paper

    by Kathryn Hatter

    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.


    Iron-on transfers have evolved along with technology, and you can achieve quality results using a personal printer. If you've had negative experiences with transfer paper in the past, try it again with new paper available from a retail establishment or online vendor. Use an image with sharp lines and clear, bright colors. If the image you are transferring includes text, it is important to reverse print onto the transfer paper, so the words will be readable. You can accomplish this using photo-editing software.

    Things You'll Need

    • Digital photo or image
    • Photo-editing software
    • Color printer
    • Transfer paper
    • Scissors
    • Iron

    show more

    Choose the digital image you will be transferring to the clothing or fabric. Open the digital image in the photo-editing program.

    Select the “Mirror Imaging” option and flip your image, so it appears that you are looking at it through a mirror. This will ensure the text is correct after you transfer the image, because the image will reverse properly. If you don't see "Mirror Imaging," look for a similar command, such as "Image Rotation" or "Flip Horizontal."

    Print a test of the image on regular paper to be sure it will look the way you want it to later on the fabric or clothing. Make any adjustments necessary, and print it again. Continue printing and adjusting until you have exactly what you wish to transfer to your fabric.

    Load a sheet of transfer paper into your printer, following your printer’s requirements for proper paper placement.

    Print the image onto the transfer paper. Cut around the image on the transfer paper, making a ¼-inch border to remove excess transfer paper before transferring the image to the fabric.

    Proceed with the heat transfer using an iron.

    • If you are unsure whether you need to reverse print your image, print it out as is and look at it in a mirror. If the text is backward as you see it in the mirror, you must reverse-print it.
    • Follow the directions on your transfer paper for best results.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images