Monday, April 5, 2010

Make your own Iron-On transfers!

Let's talk about transferring embroidery patterns. :) There are lots of ways to do it, different ways work better for different fabrics. Personally, I mostly use a light table (you can also use a sunny window) and fabric pens and just trace the designs onto fabric. You can rinse away the pen lines when you're done. This works well for any light weight, light colored fabric. If you need a method for felt or other heavy weight fabrics, try out this tutorial I made. :) You can also use fabric carbon paper for almost any fabric.
I know lots of people like iron-ons, they're fast and easy, and guess what? You can MAKE YOUR OWN!! yep, lookie here:


It's easy as pie, (much easier, in fact.)
1. Print out your design on a Laser printer, or make a Photocopy. (Inkjet won't work.) Just use plain white paper, nothing special. Remember to reverse the design first, especially if it includes type. Black lines are probably best.
2. Place your printout face down on your fabric and iron it on (dry iron, cotton setting.) That's it. The lines will transfer onto your fabric. Depending on what type of fabric and paper you're using, you may get a few uses out of your transfer.
3. Start stitching! How's that for a quick set up? :)

(PS: It's a good idea to test out any transfer method on a scrap piece of fabric first. Just to be safe. :)

33 comments:

  1. Bless you! I prefer the iron-on transfers, but hate having to trace out the patterns. THANKS!

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  2. Nice tut !
    Just a quick note ... Just Saw Your Book at Amazon... HOW AMAZINGLY CUTE !!!! (screaming do to excitement). Oh Aimee I love it !!! Congrats !!! When are you getting some in your shop ????

    Here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Doodle-Stitching-Collection-Embroidery-Designs/dp/1600595812/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1K85URKB5GDYZ&colid=1PI1Q9V8UQLX4

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  3. Thank you so much for this tip! I happen to have a laser printer! Score!

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  4. Thank you everyone, and you're welcome!! :)

    Bambina: Thanks!! you are quick! :D I don't know when I'll have them myself yet. Probably not for several months though! :)

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  5. This is just what I needed to know. Thank you so much for posting about this.

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  6. i came from craftgossip today and was so excited to see that you are the brain behind doodle stitching! i found your book at the library last week and haven't put it down yet. it's on my "to purchase" list. i'll be following you now, because you rock!

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  7. Amazing; will try. We have a laser printer and can't do a lot of 'embroidery' on it.
    Thanks
    Nancy in IN

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  8. Thanks for giving this tip.. it worked!!

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  9. What do I do wrong. I had a laser print (a few months old) a prewashed piece of fabric and an Iron. But nothing will transfer on the fabric.

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  10. I will definatly be trying this. Thanks.

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  11. Thank you all!! glad to be helpful. :D

    Lean: hmmm, I'm not sure! You could try a different, perhaps lighter weight paper to print on, or a different type of fabric? The lines transfer pretty lightly for me, but clear enough to see, but I've not had them not transfer at all before.

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  12. Hello! This is now August, so I'm kinda late on asking this, but I'm wondering some things. I've never used any iron-on transfers because I always trace. But I've been wanting to do some more complex patterns! Does the transfer wash off? Also, could I print it with a light color (like yellow) and have it show up on a dark fabric?

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  13. The transfer lines will be permanent, but mine came out fairly light so it shouldn't be a problem to cover the lines up with embroidery. I'm pretty sure this will only work for dark lines/ light fabric, for dark fabrics you'll want to use a light colored transfer paper. :)

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  14. This didn't work at all for me, not a mark. But I adore your book anyway.

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  15. what's your favorite transfer pen if you don't mind sharing :)

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  16. I don't really use transfer pens at all. I've heard Sulky makes good ones.
    If you mean fabric pens, I don't really have a favorite, I just buy whatever I can find at Hobby Lobby, as long as it's removable with water. :)
    I've gotten this type before:
    http://www.createforless.com/Dritz+Marking+Pen+Fine+Point+Mark-Be-Gone+Blue/pid77180.aspx

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  17. Hey. I've tried all the Sulky (White and Yellow as well). The Yellow one works on Navy Heavy Cotton but you need to MARK DARK. Don't let the ink run. Use hot hot hot iron (no steam). Works great. I just transferred a detailed dragon on a toddler backpack and had no prob. However, I sat under a very bright craft lamp. Good luck. Oh, yea. I had no luck at all with the white one.

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  18. I know I'm late to the party, but I tried this today with a laser printer, cotton-hot dry iron, and muslin -- not a trace of any markings. I even printed at best quality -- nothing :(

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  19. That's odd, someone else had the same problem. I wonder if it has to do with the type/brand of ink? I've gotten very light results but always enough to see at least.

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  20. I wonder if a photocopy is the best bet?
    I would like to make and sell my own patterns. I wonder if this would work for me?
    Do you have any suggestions on the best paper to use? I would think that if I went to a copy shop they might have some ultra thin paper I could use. I just want to make sure the quality is there.
    So far this is the best idea for making transfers that I have found.

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    1. If I were you I would run some tests on different types of paper and fabrics to see what works best. It seems like some people are getting mixed results. I've had pretty good results with a laser print on plain white paper, with cotton quilter's fabric but I haven't tried many other things. :) Good luck!

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  21. I'm just reading these posts through and wonder if when you are going to print, try setting the print settings for photo printing, that might give darker lines than standard printing...hence more ink to transfer when ironed.

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    1. I haven't tried that but in theory it sounds like a good idea!

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  22. Has anyone had any trouble washing fabric after using the laser printer/iron option? Just curious; I'm making an heirloom quilt and fear a laundry stain disaster from the printer ink. Thanks.

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    1. The transfers I've made make pretty light lines that are covered by embroidery. If you are worried, always do a test piece of fabric before using any method on your real project! :)

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  23. I've done, this, it does not wash out. The laser printer/copier toner is a kind of plastic, and is heat set onto the paper. If image is not transferring, I'd guess the machine's fuser rollers are already so hot that the image is completely fused to the paper. A colder machine would leave some toner still sticky to make the transfer. What I did was stop the copier before it passed the paper through the rollers and open the door, removing the paper with the image still laying there as a loose power, lay the cloth on it (carefully) and lightly iron. (I should have tried to make a transfer sheet.)

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    1. Thanks for the details! That's great to know.

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  24. Hi I haven't tried making my own transfer yet ,but did buy some vintage transfers but they will not transfer on to the fabric I wondered if I was doing something wrong can anyone help !!!!

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    1. I'm not sure, it could be just that they're old. You could try different heat settings or fabrics...

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    2. I think you are right ! I have tried every thing still no good ,thought I could try transfer pen over the designs see what happens .

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Thanks for your comments! I love hearing from you! :)