Tutorials for Transferring Images onto Fabric {images transfer}

A few years ago, I made some pillows for my porch using drop cloth fabric and iron on transfer paper. This post still gets a ton of hits and questions.

Well, if I was going to do it all again, I wouldn’t use iron-on paper to transfer images. Iron-ons work fine, but they leave a line of residue which is visible on your pillow and doesn’t look as nice. So here is a compilation of  some of the best tutorials on how to transfer images to fabric without using iron on paper! Note: Most of these tutorials require a laser, NOT ink-jet, printer. If you don’t have a laser printer, print your pictures off on a copy machine before you begin.

1. Mademoiselle Chaos This tutorial show you how to transfer a black & white picture onto fabric using a laser printer and paint thinner.

image transfers

2.  How About Orange provides an excellent tutorial on how to transfer an image to fabric using a laser printer and gel medium.

3. Villabarnes If you don’t want to buy an entire bottle of paint thinner or gel medium, here is a great tutorial for you! Transfer an image using a “Splendid Blender” pen which is a colorless blending marker that can be found for a few dollars in the artist supply section of most craft stores. Click on the link of picture for further details.

image transfers

4. Ninzerbean via Instructables Not crazy about using harsh solvents? Then try this tutorial using Citra Solve to transfer images. Citra Solve is still a solvent, but it is used for cleaning (when not in use as an image transferring agent).

citra solve tutorial

5. Home Frosting If you don’t have a laser printer, here is an idea for you! This tutorial will show you how to transfer an image from your inkjet printer, onto freezer paper, and then onto fabric. It’s like magic!

image transfers

6. Melange Team. Here is another ink jet printer option. Cover your fabric with mod podge, print an image on to photo paper, and press the image face down into the mod podge to transfer the image.

**Edited to add**

7. The Country Chic Cottage You can run your fabric right through your inkjet printer to transfer your image! Just use a temporary adhesive and attach the fabric to cardstock and print.

I haven’t tried any of these methods yet so feel free to add your own experience in the comments! Happy image transferring!

Share this:


  1. says

    I used to make memory rag quilts. Because most of the people who wanted these quilts were looking for a more “aged” effect on the pictures, I used transfer paper, and didn’t wait for the image to cool completely before peeling it back.
    I also cut around the images as close as possible. So if you have words (like your pillow) and a picture, you’d have to do the iron on step a couple of times and place each image separately. Iron, let it cool slightly and peel it before it cools. You’ll get a neat “aged” image that will wear well and without the lines from the unprinted part of the transfer paper…:)
    You only really get that harsh line from the image if you wait for it to cool completely, and then peel it off.

  2. says

    Hi Beth,
    I noticed your site in my stats, and was pleasantly surprised to find my Splendid Blender tutorial featured. Thanks for the mention. I love sharing techniques, and hope your readers enjoy the tutorial.

  3. Kate says

    I have also run fabric through my laser printer using the same techniques as mentioned above for the ink jet. My one tip is to run it straight through. Tends to have more of a vintage look rather than a bold look.

  4. says

    I want to sew some pouches, and I want to use photos transferred to fabric. All the sheets you can buy for this require an inkjet. I don’t have a printer, and the copy stores have laser. Do you know if there’s a company where I can order online?

  5. lorraine says

    I just successfully printed on fabric for the first time using my new Canon printer (inkjet)! and I want to paint on the images. I’ve experimented so far: water washes out the ink; I brushed on liquid matt medium and let it dry but drawing on with inks bleed away; sprayed on topcoat varnish but the ink fades away and is not protected here either. Any suggestions to protect the original print before playing with it further??

  6. fransisca says

    hei, it’s a great idea! i have tried to do the same, but i used thinner to transfer the image. but the image can not be moved. i dont know why. i had print the image on a copy machine too. what do you think? can u give me some advice? thank you

  7. Tania says

    Super cute idea! Am going to try it to decorate my beach house. However, quick question (and I hope it is not a stupid one!)….. do you wash the fabric after you have transferred the image onto it or will it “erase” it? Just concerned if the fabric is going to be used for a pillow! Thanks!

    • Beth says

      Not a dumb question at all. It really depends but I haven’t had great luck with washing fabric with images transferred onto them. It can somewhat erase the image.

  8. Atalanta says

    I read somewhere that if you soak your fabric in vinegar after printing it will keep the image from running. I can’t verify it as I haven’t tried it yet.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *