How To Transfer Photos Onto Fabric (DIY, Video)

Cityline

I showed Tracy Moore and the Cityline audience how easy it is to transfer your favourite photos onto fabric using Avery iron-on fabric transfer paper.

To iron your photos onto fabric, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Digital images or photographs
  • Avery Iron-On T-Shirt Transfer paper (available at GrandAndToy.com)
  • Home printer
  • Paper scissors
  • Iron
  • Fabric

I bought the Avery photo transfer paper as well as the other office supplies for this project from GrandAndToy.com.

Here’s how to transfer your photos onto fabric (scroll down to watch the video):

  1. Choose the photo you’d like to print and flip the design using your printer or imaging software on your computer or smart phone. (You will print an inverse of the image so that once ironed on, the image will be aligned properly and face-up.)
  2. Load the paper in your printer, knowing that the Avery logo is on the back of the paper.
  3. Print your photo onto the Avery paper.
  4. Trim away any excess paper.
  5. Place the Avery paper on the fabric right-side (photo) down.
  6. Iron the back of the paper, using the highest heat possible and no steam. Put a lot of pressure on the iron, and move it slowly across the paper for at least 30 seconds. (Follow the package instructions for various iron times depending on your image size.)
  7. Let the paper completely cool —this may take a couple minutes.
  8. Slowly peel back the paper, starting at one corner, exposing the image, which should now be on the fabric. If it isn’t, repeat Steps 6 and 7.

You can tile a multitude of photo fabric squares into a table runner by sewing them together, or you can iron images directly onto large pieces of fabric (try 18” x 18” linen or linen blends) for napkins. To give your napkins a unique finish, pull out 4 or 5 lines of thread across each fabric edge, creating a rustic fringe.

This is the same technique (and the same supplies) I used for the Mother’s Day project I made on Holiday Makeover.

Watch the Cityline segment here…

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Tracy Moore:
Now a very special day is coming up: Mother’s Day. Denise Wild is here with some great DIY ideas for us. You and I are moms–

Denise Wild:
Yes.

Tracy:
–and so many of our viewers are moms, and we have moms. So–

Denise:
Exactly.

Tracy:
–it’s nice to come up with creative things that you can do yourself for Mom.

Denise:
Exactly. You want to do something. You want to do something that’s heartfelt. You want to do something that’s easy.

Tracy:
Yes.

Denise:
Because, we don’t have time.

Tracy:
Absolutely.

Denise:
So, I have a great project that involves your home printer, an iron, some fabric, and some paper.

Tracy:
Okay. Show us.

Denise:
Yes. So, what we’re doing is we’re taking photographs. You can take a photo that has this–

Tracy:
Oh!

Denise:
–special one.

Tracy:
I know this little boy. Oh, that’s my baby.

Denise:
This is Tracy’s baby. She instagrammed it the other day.

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
And we can take that and use– using your home printer, you can print it off onto special photo iron on transfer paper.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
Just put it face down and then we’ll iron it on.

Tracy:
I want it in a t-shirt.

Denise:
You can do it in a t-shirt.

Tracy:
Is that what I’m going to do?

Denise:
Some of the amazing thing about this Avery paper, actually, is you can. It comes in a paper that’s for stretch t-shirts.

Tracy:
Oh.

Denise:
It comes in black. It comes in light. So you can pick what you want. So–

Tracy:
I am one of those crazy moms that wears my kid on my t-shirt.

Denise:
Yes. I want you to. I love that.

Tracy:
My mom would wear like anything with–

Denise:
Okay let’s get you doing this.

Tracy:
Okay, sorry. So I have to get to work.

Denise:
You have to concentrate.

Tracy:
My mom would wear anything with my kids on it.

Denise:
Let me turn this on.

Tracy:
Like any of the four grandchildren.

Denise:
I love that.

Tracy:
She’ll wear earrings, a pendent, a t-shirt, socks, a mug. She’ll do it.

Denise:
So, basically, what you do: you can take any photo. You can take a graphic like this one that I have that I love: “Keep Calm & Craft On.” And you have to inverse it, because it’s going flat down onto your fabric –

Tracy:
Right.

Denise:
–it needs to be reversed.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
And then you print it off onto this paper just using your home printer.

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
And then–

Tracy:
Should I push really hard?

Denise:
Yes.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
So, you want to do lots of heat. You’re using no steam. And put a lot of pressure, and you’re getting it really, really, really hot in there.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
Basically we’re going to make it so that it sticks. This is transferring directly onto the fabric. And like I said before – you were mentioning – you can put this on a t-shirt–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
–you can put this on a bag. So what I’ve done is– if you’re a sewer, like me, you can sew up these little squares of all different photos and create a beautiful table runner.

Tracy:
Oh, that’s a great idea.

Denise:
So you have a memory table runner for your mom. She can pull it out, show off your photos – your family photos – to her friends.

Tracy:
That’s lovely.

Denise:
Or if you want something that’s no-sew, then you can put it– put a little photo or any kind of graphic on a square fabric, and then what you can do is tear the edges so that it’s kind of a frayed-edge look.

Tracy:
Yeah!

Denise:
So linen washes beautifully. You want to wash it a lot so it softens up–

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
–and then you can just fray the edges. And this paper – I just bought this at GrandAndToy.com. Order online, you know. I like to do things easy.

Tracy:
It’s easy to find. Now I know–

Denise:
Exactly.

Tracy:
–I know that I’ve used that Avery paper before for like printing labels and what have you.

Denise:
Exactly.

Tracy:
How do you know if it’s–

Denise:
Okay.

Tracy:
–done enough.

Denise:
So, when it’s sticking down, then you know you’ve done enough. But what we need to do is let it cool.

Tracy:
Oh!

Denise:
So, we’re going–

Tracy:
Got it.

Denise:
–to let it sit.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
We’ll put it over to the side. And this one I already did for us. So, this one we can peel back. This is the beautiful New York City skyline.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
So do you want to do the honors?

Tracy:
So do I just peel the whole thing?

Denise:
Exactly. Just peel it back–

Tracy:
Oh, wow.

Denise:
–and everything sticks on. Look at the beautiful colors transfer.

Tracy:
That’s gorgeous.

Denise:
Yeah, so easy.

Tracy:
So it comes out just as vibrant, which is really nice.

Denise:
Exactly. And, like you said, this paper, it’s easy to find; you can get it anywhere. You know, office supplies–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
–craft supplies; just order it online and there you go.

Tracy:
Okay, so you can do a few different things with this. You mentioned the table – the napkins that you can make –

Denise:
Yeah.

Tracy:
–linens.

Denise:
So, if I can put this on a larger square of fabric, then I can instantly make it into napkins just by pulling some of the fabric out here and–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
–fray the edges. But you can put this on a little clutch. You can put this–

Tracy:
Oh, that’s cute.

Denise:
–on a t-shirt.

Tracy:
On a cushion?

Denise:
Exactly, right.

Tracy:
A cushion. You could make cushions if you want, but then it’s becoming a sewing project–

Denise:
If–

Tracy:
–at that point. Right?

Denise:
–if you don’t want to sew, what you could do with it– she’s trying to get away from doing a sewing project. If you don’t want to, you could just trim this down–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
–add some adhesive backing, and then iron this onto a pillow cushion that already exists.

Tracy:
Oh, smart. You got all the tricks, girl–

Denise:
Nice and easy.

Tracy:
–I love that.

Denise:
Yeah.

Tracy:
And you had mentioned this while I was doing my ironing, but the whole idea of doing a table cloth–

Denise:
Exactly.

Tracy:
–or a table runner: we have a beautiful shot of that.

Denise:
We do.

Tracy:
I think it’s really nice to have something that’s so personalized.

Denise:
Yes.

Tracy:
You know, for a gift like Mother’s Day, but also when people are coming over–

Denise:
Yes.

Tracy:
–to dinner, they can actually see.

Denise:
It’s a conversation piece.

Tracy:
It’s like having an album laid–

Denise:
Yes.

Tracy:
–out on the table–

Denise:
Yes!

Tracy:
–which I think is beautiful.

Denise:
Yes. Digital photos; they’re stuck in our cameras–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
–no one sees them.

Tracy:
Yes.

Denise:
Photo albums, it’s under a table, you know.

Tracy:
Right. Very nice.

Denise:
Yeah, definitely.

Tracy:
Love it.

 

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