How to transfer an image onto fabric using wax paper and your printer!

How to transfer an image onto fabric using wax paper and your printer!

If you were here yesterday, then you know that today I have a little tutorial for a super-easy short cut for getting an image transferred onto fabric. This is for those of us without fancy cutting machines or special materials around, unless you count wax paper as a special material, which sometimes I do!

Here’s the pillow, which I showed you yesterday, with the turkey silhouette we’re going to be working with today.

Before we get into it, let me tell you,we are going to get real close today, me and you. I don’t go around taking just anyone into this area where I do my blogging and my real work. This is special, just for you. Sometimes you see pictures around this blog that make it look like we’ve got a pretty cozy little house around here and today you’re going to see that we have all kinds of ugly around here too.

I wanted to show you how it’s really done and how really unfancy a process this is, so today, we’re keepin’ it real!

Find a free clip art image online and copy/paste it into Word. I just find it faster and easier than using anything else. So this is what I do!

Gather your supplies: Wax Paper and scissors. Cut the wax paper to about the width of a regular sheet of paper.

Load the wax paper into the printer and hit print! It helps if you put the concave curving side down, I find.

Now you have your image on the wax paper. Careful, the ink is still wet! No touchy! Find a flat surface like a dresser next to a half-demolished wall to work on.

Since the ink is still wet and doesn’t absorb into the wax paper like it does in regular paper, you’re going to use this like a stamp. Find the spot where you’d like to place your image. You can measure, or you can do like I did and just eyeball it based on where my image was on the other side. Smooth and press with your hand.

Peel ‘er back!

The pillow cover that I’m working with here is actually the back side of another Halloween themed pillow cover I did about a month ago. So I made it reversible!

You can see there are some areas where it bled through from the other side when I was doing the first image. Lesson learned. If you look at the finished product, you can see I came up with a clever solution for this.

Your image will now appear to be a light grey. You can leave it like this, which looks perfectly nice, or if you want it a little darker, just color it in with a Sharpie! Don’t forget to place a sheet of paper underneath so the ink doesn’t bleed through! Just look at that mess I made the first time when I didn’t have the sheet of paper!

Color, color, color.

Hmm, now what to do about all those little ink marks? Oh! I know!

Now it’s a turkey in the grass! With a cloud over his head! It’s an angry turkey in the grass!

The classic Thanksgiving imagery of the brave turkey, angry because of the impending turkey injustice about to take place!


Well, if it’s not a new classic, and it’s not really a political poultry statement, then at least it’s cute!

How to transfer an image onto fabric using wax paper and your printer!


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  1. Donna says

    I love this idea as I am not sure I want to invest in a lot of materials for a new project. So I will try it before I buy it. Thanks.

  2. says

    Your pillow looks great! I didn’t realize you could use wax paper like that. I wonder if that would work with freezer paper too? I use that for lots of stuff and it’s a little heavier weight. I’ll have to give your method a try.

  3. Scott says

    Would it be more simple to print it out on a normal bit of paper and trace the image though the fabric?

    If you use glass with a light behind it, you will see the image clear.

  4. Monica Heath says

    Could you use a family picture on a quilt top? I would love to make one for each of my grandkids!!

  5. says

    Tried this to make 20+ tshirts for a class field trip. Only problem is that I didn’t know how to set the ink so the shirts could be washed. Left with only a faint black outline… :(
    Any thoughts on how to fix this issue?

  6. gloria garrett says

    After the transfer is made do you think I can use it as a pattern like a hot iron transfer? After the image dries,I think I can embroider over it. Then it will make no difference if it washes out. Because it is impossible to find hot iron transfer for all kinds of pictures. Does anyone have any ideas for me? Thank you for your help.


    • Courtenay says

      It won’t transfer onto anything if you print onto paper because the paper just absorbs the ink. With the wax paper, or something similar to that, the ink just sits on top and stays wet, so it kinda makes a stamp!

    • Courtenay says

      Thanks so much, Lisette! And what an awesome adventure you’re on! Welcome to Canada! I lived in Edmonton for about 5 years and it was honestly one of my favorite cities ever. I can totally understand why you love it so much. Happy first Thanksgiving!

  7. Rochelle says

    This was one of the most useful finds! I’m very impressed. Thank you. I found while working with images where detail is important (I.e., grandkids faces on a pillowcase for Mommy’s hospital stay!). I used a gluestick on the edges of my wax paper and stuck it to a sheet of printer paper.


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