Tuesday, August 7, 2012

10 Easy Steps to A Freezer Paper Transfer {Tutorial}

I wish I could take credit for this ingenious idea.

But, I can't.


I learned the technique from 
Karin at Art is Beauty.

But today, I'm going to show you 
how I made these pillows from grain sack scraps.

Specifically, this pillow because 
it's the only one that I took pictures throughout the process...


Let's get started.

First of all, what do you need?

1.  Printer Paper

2.  Spray Adhesive

3.  Freezer Paper

And yes, you really need the spray adhesive.  

I tried the cheap-o way out and 
tried to simply tape the freezer paper to the printer paper.


Doesn't work.


Spray the piece of paper with the Spray Adhesive and adhere your freezer paper to the printer page PAPER SIDE DOWN.  

The waxed side of the paper should be facing out.  

This is the side you're going to print on.

Next, you're going to find an image online to use.

The Graphics Fairy is a great place to find just about anything you would want to use, 
but I would imagine any image online would work.

For sake of illustration and because it's what I used, 
here's The Graphics Fairy.

For an image, she gives you a couple of options.

For this particular illustration, 
you're going to need to download the image onto your computer.

I use an iMac, so if you have a PC, 
you're going to have to muddle through this part yourself.


These are the step by step instructions
 to download your image to a Mac.

1.  Click on image to make it larger.

Another screen or tab should open on your computer
 and then you'll have this:

2. Save this image to your computer.  

Right click on the image.

You can download it or you can "Save Image As".

I chose to SAVE it onto my hard drive first...

and then transfer it to my "Crafts" Folder.

Yes, I have a Crafts Folder on my computer.  


3.  Click on the file to open it again.

On an iMac, it's going to open in your "Preview" folder.

4.  Next, you're going to want to PRINT it.

5.  When the Printer opens, you're going to want to REVERSE THE IMAGE.


If you don't reverse the image or select "mirror image", if there is any writing on the image, it will be backwards on your transfer.

  For an iMac, you're going to change the "Layout" on the printer tab.

 Click "Preview".

  Then click "Layout".

  Then your going to check the 
"Flip Horizontally" box.

This will reverse the image.

6.  Take your piece of paper that you've adhered the freezer paper to and place it freezer paper side DOWN into your computer tray.

7.  Print the image.

Be careful when you pick up the paper. 

 It WILL smear if you touch it.

8.  Turn the paper upside down over whatever it is you're transferring to and lay it face down CAREFULLY.

9.  Gently, apply firm pressure all over the paper to transfer the image from the freezer paper to the object.

Be careful not to move the piece of paper or your image will smudge.

I can't stress this enough.

It's a fine line between applying enough pressure to transfer the image and so much that your paper moves and your image smudges.

10.  Carefully lift off the paper 
and you should have this:

If you really want to go all out, you can go into iPages or Word and make some wording to go underneath your image.

Just remember to reverse the image before you print it.

And that's all that there is to it.

Now, for those of you that freaked out over all the above steps, there's an easier way, but your options are a little more limited. 

The Graphics Fairy also sometimes provides images that are already reversed, like the one below...

In that case, it's easy to click on the "HERE" 
and just print out the PDF onto your freezer paper sheet.

Really, the other way is just as easy.  

There are just more steps to it.

And options are limitless...

You can even print out a portion of the image onto a smaller piece of cloth and hand stitch it onto a pillow to give it some depth.

Honestly, the first couple of times I attempted it, 
I wasn't sure how Karin @ Art is Beauty 
got her images onto her surfaces without smudging.

Like with anything worth doing, practice is key.  

And the great thing about freezer paper transfers 
is it is REUSEABLE.

You messed up?

Smudged the image before you got it on your object?

No worries.

Simply wipe off the image from the freezer paper 
with a damp paper towel.

I used the same sheet for all three pillows.

Practice on some scrap cloth first 
or on some scrap wood 
until you get the hang of it.

You'll be doing it like a pro in no time flat.

UPDATE:  This method is NOT machine washable.
I found this out AFTER I washed a pillow and it took the entire print off.

You can easily remedy this by marking over your image with a sharpie marker.  This will make the image permanent.



I'm linking up to these lovely linkies...

From My Front Porch To Yours: Treasure Hunt Thursdays
DIY Showoff Project Parade
House of Hepworths: Hookin Up With HOH
Tatertots & Jello: Weekend Wrap Up Party
Redoux Interiors
Funky Junk Interiors: SNS 147
Graphics Fairy: Brag Monday
Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials & Tips


  1. LOVE THEM!!!!!!!! You have done well my Young Patawan Learner (sorry star wars geek in me) LOL
    I may be stealing the BEE u-ti ful one for my booth....YOU ROCK!!
    I never thought of doing them on the pillows miss smarty pants.

  2. Great job! They look nice and faded which is GOOD!

  3. This looks wonderful. Thank you! I need to make some rooster items for someone. Will this work to transfer to glass?

  4. Wow. That's amazing. One question: are images washable or would they fade out?

    1. She says in the write up that they will wash out. She recommends going over the image w/ a magic marker to make it permanent.

  5. Awesome! Love it! I have tried transferring images with mod podge and now I need to try this. Thanks for sharing!


  6. I love, love it! Do you know if it's washable, say if you wanted to transfer onto kitchen towels?

  7. So excited now to make my cushions for my table! Thanks for the tutorial Laura!

  8. You know I have been waiting for this...God help every surface in our house!

    Love it!


  9. Just know I'm pinning this. If my life ever leaves me alone long enough to have a creative moment I'm making pillows.


  10. I'm pinning this too! I was just thinking of trying this today but I don't have any freezer paper!!! Thanks for sharing! Oh, and your projects turned out great!!

  11. I have yet to try this Laura...but you can rest assure I know where to come my friend. Thanks for sharing and joining me. So happy to see you.

  12. The pillows look amazing, I must try this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. I could never do a tutorial on freezer transfers that this was good, so I am sharing yours tomorrow at my party!!! Thank you, this is just so good! -K

  14. I am visiting from Debbie dos! I have always wanted to try this! Thanks for explaining how! These really are fabulous!

  15. This is beautiful transfer lesson, Laura--your pillows turned out gorgeous! I so want to try this now!

  16. Your pillows are fabulous! My mom and I want to make some...I just have to find the right fabric since I don't have any grain sacks hanging around. :)
    Love them!
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Thanks for this tutorial. I've done printing on fabric via my printer before, but this looks like it would be better on my printer. I'm your newest follower. I'd love to have you visit me at Thirty Parsonage Living.
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  18. Gorgeous pillows and thanks for the tutorial! I have found that this particular method works better on hard surfaces (i.e. furniture) than cloth. There is an excellent method for fabric transfer using citrasolve that works great with fabric, too. I love your blog, please keep up the sharing!

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  27. I have been searching this type of transfer and on a different site she barely sprays the fabric with a mist of water, not too wet just to dampen before applying the image and it actually comes out a lot darker. I tried it and it really works. hope this is helpful :)

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  51. I wanted to comment that I have seen on another blog, that after you do the transfer, and it is completely dry, you can soak it in a bath of white vinegar, and that is supposed to make it WASHABLE... and maybe someone else already commented that - I tried to look, but there were alot of comments, AND may I say: EW!!! to the 2 right above mine?!?!?! GROSS, nobody wants to see that, I wish those nasty spammer commenters would go back under the ground, where they obviously came from. They are NASTY!!
    I am sorry you are having that. Your post is awesome and helpful!!! THANKS!!!

  52. So after a YEAR of wanting to do this since I read your post I have FINALLY DONE A TRANSFER!!!!!!!!!! Oh my word I can't even believe it took me this long. Mainly because I kept forgetting to by freezer paper when I was in town!!! ANYWAYS. A whole new world has opened up to me. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh man. I did a bike on a bench. Then I loved the bike so much I put it on a shirt. However, I'm SUCH AN IDIOT and never seem to read directions ALL THE WAY THROUGH..... Yup, did the coolest t shirt refashion EVA and I thought I'd better wash it and dry it before blogging it and yuppers, ink is almost gone. You warned me with your update, but alas, I see it NOW. Ha. :) And now I need to find a way to do it so I can wash it. oh, hello Kammy. the comment above mine......:)

  53. Thanks for the tutorial! Don't know if I'll get a chance to use it any time soon, but I'm definitely keeping it in my files.

    (The spammers kept cracking me up, too; I haven't seen so many different script techniques in one place before! I thought the pizza recipe was a nice touch. ;) )

    I have one thing to add on permanency - Sharpies will only be semi-permanent. I learned from getting band signatures on shirts I actually wore during high school, if you wash Sharpie enough times it will start to fade out eventually. I got around it by just going back over the writing occasionally, but if you've got a large design that'll get time consuming! Home decor probably would be ok since that doesn't get washed nearly as often, but for wearables definitely look for something designed for fabric marking.

    --Lauren F (only Anon since I don't have a relevant account)

  54. Did you use a laser printer or a deskjet???

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  56. Do you think this would work on a white ceramic vase? I'm trying to find the best way to print an image (graphics fairy, such an awesome site) onto it.

  57. Do you think this would work on a white ceramic vase? I'm trying to find the best way to print an image (graphics fairy, such an awesome site) onto it.

  58. Easy to use tutorial. I have started making these pillows as gifts for next Christmas. I live in the mid-west and have found plenty of grain sacks from my neighbors to use!

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