DIY – How to transfer ink onto fabric

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Love this reblog from “mademoisellechoas” How clever is she!? Enjoy.
~ Sarah xxx

I can say that this is fairly permanent on fabric, I’ve been mercilessly washing my printed shirt, and though slightly faded, it still is undeniably present. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend it for the use with delicate embroidery, but if you’re going to cover all of it with (dark) thread, it could as well work.

It’s really quite simple, but I have to inform you: we will be dealing with potentially dangerous chemicals, that means: no smoking, no inhaling, eating & drinking of the paint thinner, and no kids left unattended! Really! I don’t want anybody to be harmed in this process, so open your windows for fresh air and pay attention that nothing spills!

What you need:
a computer
a laser printer (more specifically, something printed on a laser printer 😉 copyshop will also work!) EDIT: It recall it working with newspaper/some magazines, too!!
paint thinner
(EDIT: as some people have pointed out, the proper stuff to use would be lacquer thinner — mine contains xylene and benzine, just so you can re-check an see if the problems might have to do with the chemicals you use)
q-tips
a solid, flat, smooth thingy (letter opener or so…)
a surface to transfer the motif onto (fabric, paper, cardboard, wood, metal,… it works with a lot of stuff)

First, prepare your picture (size, resultion etc is pretty much irrelevant, this technique also transfers fine details!) with a graphics program so it is b/w or grayscale. There have been rumors it works with color, too, as long as it’s laser printed, but I myself only work monochrome. Then — and I can’t stress enough how important this is, even more so with actual lettering in the design — FLIP it horizontally. It should be mirrored, because we will put it on the surface with the printed side down!

Next: print! Check double if it’s really mirrored (stand in front of a mirror and if you can read your text, you’ve done well :D).

Cut out your design with a generous border (for easier orientation etc.) and pin/tape it down (with the printed side DOWN) to the surface if necessary. Be careful not to cover/prick any of the picture area, but only the border. Small pictures also work without fixation, you can just hold it down with your fingers.

Dip your q-tip in paint thinner and rub it on the back of your printout — it will become translucent! Unlike me, you should hold it down while rubbing, but I didn’t have a third hand for handling the cam 😀

Then, take a solid, smooth anything (I used a letter opener made of bone) and carefully but firmly rub all over the picture, so the ink transfers well to the surface. Larger pictures may need step-by-step action, as the thinner quickly evaporates (hence the open windows and no inhaling rule… otherwise you would feel dizzy soon).

Peel away and adore 😀

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