Transfer images or photos onto fabric using iron-on transfer paper. These Iron-on Transfer Dish Towels were made with simple cotton dish towels or tea towels, images found online, a printer, and transfer paper. This easy DIY craft is great for creating a custom look or gifts.
Learn more on how to create your own images from my Printables for the Creative Home Course. No graphic design skills or fancy software needed.
Iron on Transfer Dish Towels
Some people collect shoes, I collect dish towels. I love a simple vintage-inspired dish towel, which explains my latest obsession with Iron On Transfer Dish Towels. I’ve done iron on transferred book bags or even Halloween Treat Bags, but now my attention is dishtowels!
Actually, I may also have an obsession with iron-on transfers. I love them. Last month I did a guest post for Tatertots and Jello and showed off my vintage Santa iron-on pillow. I was so sad to put it away.
I’ve been visiting my friend Karen’s site, The Graphics Fairy several times a week finding inspiration for my next project. She makes it so easy to download the image for whatever you have up your sleeve. After seeing so many adorable farm animals that I loved, I figured new dish towels were in my future. I love the large cotton White Flour Sack Dish Towels that I find at our local Fred Meyer and then of course the 10 dish towels I had picked up at IKEA for $.99 cents. They are perfect for this type of project.
- Iron-on Transfer Paper
- Cotton Dishtowel - I used the IKEA towels or a simple cotton tea towel.
- Gather your supplies.
- Find your image (found mine on The Graphics Fairy). Save to your computer or device.
- Load your printer with the transfer paper. My transfer paper sheets have a single-colored line to help indicate it is NOT the side. Each printer is different in what direction to load the paper so you are printing on the correct side. Print it on the non-glossy side of the paper. Read the package directions.
- Open the image and print.
- Trim the images leaving at least a half-inch surrounding the design.
- Set your iron to the cotton setting. NO STEAM. Iron your towel to get the wrinkles and moisture out.
- Lay the image face down on the towel where you want the image to appear.
- Check the transfer paper instruction for ironing time. Different brands may differ.
- Using a hot iron, no steam, firmly pressing as you iron. If your fabric has any polyester, as a pillow cover project I did, you have to watch that you don't "burn and yellow" the fabric.
- Let cool completely, then gently peel the paper away from the fabric.
Using a Cricut EasyPress
If you're using a Cricut EasyPress instead of an iron, set your temperature to 300 for about 18 seconds. Cricut also has a chart helping you determine what temp and how long depending on your fabric. See the Heat Guide here.
After ironing and you are starting to remove the transfer paper. Go slow. If you notice any part of the design lifting, apply the iron again.
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Iron-on Transfer Paper
I’ve had many questions on where to buy iron-on transfer paper and what brand. I have found what I need in craft stores, online and even office supply stores. There is iron-on transfer paper for dark fabric, light fabric, and stretch fabric. I tend to use more for light fabrics than any other kind.
Avery Iron-on Transfer Paper for Iron-on Transfer Dish Towels
I used Avery only when I first started and then found the Jolees at my local craft store. Both are of great quality. Buy Avery Iron-On Transfer paper here.
Walmart Iron-on Transfer Paper
Walmart doesn’t have its own line, but they do have several to choose from. They also have all the options for dark, light, or stretch materials. See their selection here.
If you look closely, you can see the iron-on transfer plastic border. If you let your image cool all the way before peeling the paper away, it makes the border less noticeable. It also helps to wash it. No cracking has occurred on mine.
I don’t think you can get a cuter more vintage-inspired towel anywhere than this pig one! The IKEA TELKA Red and White Dish Towels are great! I love the red ticking down the sides. I was concerned about the texture at first, but it didn’t seem to affect the transfer at all.
Depending on your decor style, you can customize them to fit. I teach you how to create creative home decor using printables in my Printables for the Creative Home course. I’ll teach you how to make your wall art, pillow covers, dish towels, etc.. check it out here.