Spruce up anything on the fly with Simple Ink Transfers

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Simple ink transfers

How many of you craft-a-holics have purchased a rubber stamp and used it only once?  Sometimes it’s just not practical to have things stamped or custom printed in mass quantities.  Simple ink transfers can jazz up just about any project, take only minutes to execute, and are quite budget friendly.

I’ve implemented the ink transfer technique on everything from wedding tree tags to return address labels.  The rustic feel of the technique complements kraft paper gift wrap, and you can even use it to embellish fabric!

Savannah Westin Wedding Photography Diana Daley

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Colorless Blender Marker– I use Chartpak brand
  • Light Colored Cloth Napkins
  • Mirror Image Photocopies of Your Design
  • Spoon
  • Tape
  • Iron

Here’s a step-by-step to custom monogram cloth napkins using the Ink Transfer technique:

First, decide how large you want your monogram to be.  In this case, I printed an 8.5×11 inch sheet of paper with the letter “D” in different sizes and fonts.

Next, take your print out to your local copy shop and have them print you a mirror image of your paper on the cheapest copier they have in their shop.  Note:  I recommend black ink only, and you can NOT use a print out from your home printer.  You must have a toner based ink copy.

Tape your fabric down so that it does not shift while you apply the transfer.  Cut out the monogram you wish to apply and tape it face down onto the fabric.

Use the colorless blender marker (like my Chartpak one shown) to transfer the ink onto the fabric, applying medium pressure. After you’ve thoroughly saturated the paper, use a spoon to really rub the design into the fabric.

Carefully peek underneath to see how well your ink has transferred, and apply again if you want a darker result.  Keep in mind that you’re looking for that rustic feel, and slight variations in the transfer are a good thing!  Just take care not to move the transfer while you’re applying it, or it will blur the image.

Once you’re satisfied with your design, set it with a warm iron.

There are a million ways to utilize this technique! Leave us a comment with your favorite ink transfer ideas!

About the author:

Artist Heather L. Young is the creative genius behind FLYoung Studio blog. Check out FLYoung Studio to see her work, which includes illustrations, painting, crafty madness, studio messes, and more! Whether you want to see some impressive commissioned artwork or just want a new crafting idea, take a look at Heather’s blog for some great inspiration.

You’ll also find Heather’s online portfolio of murals, illustrations, drawings, web design work and shop over at her FLYoung Studio site. My particular favorites are her pen & inks, which have a lot of detail to them.