How to Make & Use Iron on Transfer

When it comes to making and using your own iron-on transfers, the first time can be quite intimidating. You never want to deal with wasting fabric because you made a mistake during the transfer! I made an easy guide for you below on how to make and use your iron on transfers.

Step 1: Find Transfers

You can easily find transfers at a store in your hometown. It may be easier to buy an already packaged transfer it at a crafts store near you. They usually provide you with everything needed to complete transfers. Some even include a t-shirt. Iron on transfers are images that can be pressed on the fabric. There is the paper on one side and on the other side is the image that will be transferred in reverse.

Step 2: Create Your Own Transfer

You can either find an image or create one on your own that you will want to use. Simply scan the image into your computer or just save the one you found online. Some use applications like Photoshop to create unique images and print it out on transfer paper. Just make sure you have the rights to the image if you found it online and remember that transfer images with dark colors show up better than those with light colors. If an image has white or very light colors the iron on transfer will show up clearly in that area or the fabric color will show.

Step 3: Manipulate the image

You can use easy image editing software to adjust your image. You can add effects, change colors, resize, or make any additional corrections needed.

Step 4: Mirror your image

This step is only necessary for images being printed on light colored fabrics. Be sure that the image is mirrored so that the finished product is facing the correct way. You don’t want to read the image backward once it is ironed on to your fabric. The image should look flipped on the computer before it is printed. This is especially important if you have words on your transfer image.

Step 5: Be sure to use the right transfer paper

You can get transfer paper in two different forms: sheets to be used on light color fabrics and ones to be used on dark colored fabrics. This will help you get the best results depending on your project. Transfer sheets for light fabrics are meant for white, yellow, light gray or any other light color. Transfer sheets for dark fabrics are meant for black, dark gray, dark blue, and any other fabric that is in that range.

Step 6: Print the transfer

It’s almost time to print but before you do make sure to do a test by printing the image on regular paper. This will make sure that the colors and everything are exactly how you want it. Once you print to make sure you print the image on the correct side of the page. Usually, the printing side is free from any markings and the back has a design printed on it. You can always test again if you are unsure by marking one side of normal paper and see what side the image is printed on.

Now It is Time to Apply the Transfer:

Step 1: Lay Out the fabric

Place the fabric on a hard and flat surface and smooth it out with an iron. Make sure that the surface you are ironing on is heat resistant and large enough to iron the entire area of the transfer.

Step 2: Trim

Trim around the image you are transferring so you know what shape the image will be. This will make it easier to correctly place and position it on your fabric. When cutting stay close to the edge of your design to make the transfer on the image look seamless. If doing a light colored fabric you want to wait to peel the backing off of the transfer image until after it is ironed on. If you are doing a dark fabric you can peel the backing off before you iron on the design.

Step 3: Protect fabric

Make sure you place a piece of cardboard or folded up brown paper bag inside the shirt underneath the fabric where the image will be ironed on. This will prevent the image from being transferred onto both sides of the fabric.

Step 4: Position the transfer

Place it image side down. Be sure to place the transfer exactly where you want it to be.

Step 5: Iron on the transfer

Use caution when ironing the transfer as it is different from ironing regular clothing. There needs to be a lot of direct heat so using an iron board would not be efficient since those are used for diffusing heat. Set your iron to the hottest setting so it can transfer to the fabric properly and do not use the steam option.

Now it’s time to let your fabric cool down and once it’s at a good temperature gently peel it off if need. Be sure to wait 24 hours before washing and only wash and dry the fabric on cool setting. If it was done on clothing you can turn the clothing inside out before you wash it or hand wash it as well.

What is your experience with making and using your own heat transfer? Comment down below any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way!


**HEAT TRANSFER: Which Machine Should I Buy?
Super Deal PRO 12" X 10" Digital Swing Away Heat Press Heat Transfer Sublimation Machine







★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

2438 reviews

Greetings and thank you for your art vibes . She's sassy and looking good ,once again thanks for your vibe. Anyone who reads this just pick up and support this artist you wont be let down.

Big Beautiful Woman Large Size Pretty and Chubby Plus Size Sister Voluptuously Obese Obesity Conf...

Going to make a T-shirt for my niece. She’s a very Confident young lady and this perfect for her.


I am so happy to have found art that reflects me as a black woman. I needed art for a PowerPoint and this was the best place to find all the artwork I needed. I will definitely get more in the future!


Amazing design and quality i recommend to anyone looking for the best to give designbyaymara a try love it