Transferring Photo to Fabric


Lately I’ve been really getting the itch to transfer photos to fabric to incorporate in my pieces. Before I went out and purchased photo transfer paper I wanted to try a DIY method, and found a pretty simple tutorial over on A Beautiful Mess using everything I already had so I decided to dive right in. The instructions called for:

  • Fabric
  • Photo (any laser copied image or from a magazine)
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Squirt bottle with water
  • Gel medium

I’d like to say I was 100% happy with the results, but…none of them really turned out that great.

First I tried my own images that I printed on computer paper. These turned out the worst. I was hoping it would be awesome, but it was my first try so I guess I was expecting too much.
DSCN4793 DSCN4787Not all of the paper would actually come off so it just ended up looking pretty messy.

Then I decided to try it again using photos on paper, but smaller size photos:
DSCN4792 DSCN4791They turned out a little bit better, but not much.

Next I tried to use an actual photo, which turned out the best.
DSCN4788…besides that spot in the middle.
DSCN4790Such a bummer! It all stayed on so well, and of course it was a spot RIGHT in the middle that didn’t stay.

Lastly I tried using magazine photos, I was pretty happy with the results of those as well.
DSCN4794I got this photo from National Geographic. It is of an underwater statue and I thought that the texture and colors were so great.
DSCN4799 DSCN4800
With this method you will never really be able to get a perfect transfer, and that is some of the charm. I think moving forward I am going to use photo transfer paper, but it was fun to experiment with.

Has anyone ever transferred photos this way? If so share any tips, or if you have another DIY way that works well!


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Filed under DIY, photos, Printing

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