Updated date:

Printable Iron On Transfers


Lee is a life long crafts enthusiast and designer of paper crafts, fiber arts and adult coloring pages. Visit her websites (info on profile)


Make DIY Gifts and Home Décor with Iron On Transfers

It's easy and fun to make your own custom tee shirts and gifts with printable ironon transfers. They're fun and easy to print on clothing, bags, household linens and other fabrics.

You can make your own cool custom printed tee shirts, tote bags, patches, mouse pads, hats, fabric designs, home décor items and lots more with printable hot iron transfers.

All you need for making custom printed shirts and fabric crafts is an ordinary household iron, a computer with a color inkjet printer, special printing paper and a piece of plain clothing or fabric you want to jazz up with a colorful pattern, photo, lettering or design.

Oh, and for you tattoo lovers - iron on transfer art is perfect for making temporary tattoos! Just use printable temporary tattoo paper instead of transfer paper in your printer.

HP Dark Fabric Transfer Paper - Special Iron On Paper for Colored Fabrics

Make iron-on transfers for t-shirts, aprons, hats and more printed on colored fabrics from you favorite photo, graphic or word art.

Video: How-To Print a Design on a Tee Shirt - Learn how to print an image from your computer onto a tee shirt

how to make iron ons

how to make iron ons

Click link below to view this tee shirt video in a separate window:

How to Design and Print Your Own Tshirts

Wedding Iron Ons - Bridal Shower, Wedding Rehearsal, Bachelorette Party Crafts

Printable wedding iron on transfers

Printable wedding iron on transfers

Make your own fun wedding t-shirts for bride, groom best man, maid of honor, flower girl and ring bearer with printable wedding iron on transfers.

Bridal and Bachelorette Iron On Transfers

Make tee shirts for all the members of your bridal party, from flower girl to father of the bride or whip up a set of bachelorette party tees or tote bags with free wedding and bridal iron on transfers.

Free Wedding Iron Ons - Printable transfers for use to make bridal tee shirts, tote bags or other fabric transfer gifts for your wedding. Bride, Groom, Best Man, Maid of Honor.

Wedding Printables: Bachelorette Party Iron Ons

Design & download Bachelorette Party T-Shirt Iron-on projects at HP Creative Studio. Site offers a variety of templates to use with HP transfer papers.

Imaging Basics

Make Easy Gifts and Crafts with Heat Transfer Images

To make a printed fabric craft like these you'll need a transfer pattern, special paper and a tee shirt or other fabric item to print on. There are plenty of free printable transfers online. With a few simple steps and some nifty clip art or a favorite photo you can design and print your own custom ironons, too.

If you have a fairly new printer it may be all set up to "flip" a design so the image will print the way you need it right from the print setup.

I'll share a few computer software tricks you can use to design your own transfers using free clip art or photographs.

You can use ready-prints to decorate most cotton and cotton-polyester blend clothing, pillow cases, cotton sheeting, mustlin, mouse pads, hats and many other fabric items.

You can also make printed patches, trims or badges to glue or sew onto hats, jackets, blankets, pillows or banners.

To decorate a tee shirt with an iron on transfer you'll need:

  • a computer
  • an inkjet printer
  • a plain cotton pillowcase
  • a sheet of special heat transfer paper
  • a household iron
  • light colored or white cotton tee shirt, mousepad, BBQ apron or piece of clean fabric.

How to Make Your Own Iron Ons

Skeleton iron on transfer sample, free printable

Skeleton iron on transfer sample, free printable

Christmas Iron On, Kitty in Stocking

Christmas Iron On, Kitty in Stocking

How to Create a Custom Design Iron On Transfer

It's easy to make your own fancy ironon designs from clip art, photos or graphics you've saved on your computer. To create a print that looks correct after pressing on light-colored fabrics you'll need a computer graphic that's a mirror image (or a flipped image) from your original clip art or photograph. The flipping can be done before you print or if you have a fairly new inkjet printer, it may have a special setting for tee shirts that will reverse any image automatically. Don't use that setting if you are starting with a ready to print graphic that was set up ahead of time.

Image Resolution - DPI

You don't need a high resolution graphic to print on a tee shirt; images between 72dpi and 150dpi work well for iron ons. Higher resolution images might result in muddy prints.

Flipping Your Design- Creating a Mirror Image

You'll need to flip or reverse an image so you can use it as a transfer design. You can easily flip images, photos and text using a computer software program like Paint, Photoshop or Corel. You may even be able to flip text in Word using the Word Art tool. If you don't have a graphics program, you can often use a printer setting that will flip an image for you when you get ready to print. Look for a "tee shirt" setting on your print options if you want to flip an image when you print the image on special transfer paper using your inkjet printer.

If you have graphics software available, open the image using the program, select the image, then choose an edit feature that will allow you to "Flip Horizontal" or "Reverse" the image. Save the flipped graphic as a new file that will become the master you can print to create your hot iron transfer.

Be sure to size the image to fit on the tee shirt of fabric you plant to use for the transfer. You might want to try a test print on regular paper to check the size and verity the "flipping" before you print on your special transfer paper. An iron on should look backwards when it prints out on the paper. When you iron it onto the fabric it will look the way it should. This is most important for any printing you want to do that has numbers or words in the image.

Where to Find/How to Make Iron On Transfers

You can find ready to use printable iron-ons online for free or you can buy DIY kits. You can also design and print your own transfers from clip art, scanned or printable coloring pages, photographs and Word Art designs.

Read How to Make Your Own Iron On Transfers for more information.

Patriotic Iron On Transfers

Free printable iron ons from Pastiche Family Portal

Free printable iron ons from Pastiche Family Portal

Make a banner, tee shirt, tote bags, decal, mouse pad or hat with your favorite patriotic iron ons. Included in this collection are flags and patriotic symbols of USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland. Patriotic transfer printables set includes Statue of Liberty, Flags, Canada, Poppy, Beaver, Peace Sign, Ireland and Stars Iron On transfers.

Printable tee shirt graphics, iron-on transfer art for you to create inexpensive and fast fabric crafts. Images include baby shower, wedding, trick or treat skeleton, lady liberty, US flag, Canada flag, pirate flag, maple leaf, peace sign, First Time Dad, Canada beaver, stars and stripes, Pirate Talk and more

September 11, 2001 - Graphics for Web or for Iron-on Transfers at about.com has a set if graphics created in remembrance of those who died in the September 11, 2001 attack on America. US Flags with text. Includes reverse images for making your own iron-on transfer projects.

Professional Quality Heat Press - For high volume printing, invest in a heat press machine

For most at home image transfer projects you can use an ordinary household iron. If you need to make many imprints for a team or for classroom projects, you might want to invest in a special heat press designed for making tee shirts, mouse mats, bags, flags and other imprinted items.

Wedding Tee Shirt Iron On - Best Man

Give every member of the bridal party a special keepsake tshirt to wear at rehearsal or engagement bash

Give every member of the bridal party a special keepsake tshirt to wear at rehearsal or engagement bash

Flipping Images and Text - Special Effects to Make Iron Ons

How to "reverse" your image to make it print correctly on light colored fabrics

Most ready to use transfers are already flipped for you so all you need to do is print them on an inkjet printer and then iron them onto your fabric item. These images may not work properly for images that use transfer paper for dark colored fabrics. If you want to use dark colored fabrics transfer paper for a flipped image, you will need to flip the image back to look "normal."

Transfer paper for light colored fabrics uses a backward image to make a print on fabric, but iron ons for dark fabric don't need to be flipped. To make your own reversed or flipped image to print on light colored or white fabric you'll need a printer that can reverse or mirror your image when you print it or you'll need to use a software program to flip the image before you send it to the printer.

DON'T use the tee shirt setting for an iron on that's already reversed or flipped unless you're planning to use special transfer paper for dark colored fabrics.

Here are a few links to instructions and online tools to help you flip or mirror a normal image or text to make your own iron on transfer images for printing on white or light colored fabrics.

How to Reverse Letters on DIY Tee Shirt Transfers - step by step instructions from eHow article.

Avery T-shirt Transfer Paper - For white and light colored fabrics

Color Shield formula, colors stay bright, even after being washed. Includes free downloadable templates and clip art images from Avery.com

Ready to Use Iron Ons - Printable Hot Iron Transfers

These web sites and blogs offer very cool collections of free printable iron on transfers in many different styles and themes. The printable iron ons are sized, flipped and ready to print and use. Make your own tee shirts and other nifty stuff with printable iron ons.

Printable Fabric for Inkjet Printers - No need to "flip" images - print directly on fabric

Make patches, badges, quilt blocks and fabric pictures with this unique printable fabric.

Mom, Dad, Grandparents Iron Ons - Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Grandparents Day, Any Day!

Make special gifts for mothers, fathers or grandparents with printable transfer designs.

Iron on Transfer Crafts

Iron on transfers aren't just for making tee shirts. You can make many more useful and crafty items, both practical and for fun.

For example, there are dozens of home décor crafts to be made with transfer fabrice and -rintable iron ons.

The links in my reviewed sites list will take you to creative craft tutorials and ideas to get you started.

Transfer Printer Paper for Dark Fabrics

When you want heat transfer images onto dark fabrics, a special imaging paper must be used to make the ironon. Don't flip or reverse images when you use this paper, unless your iron on is already "flipped" because it includes letters or numbers.

Print Your Own Tee Shirts - Special Paper for Printing on Light Materials

If you plan to print on a light-colored fabric, this is the type of paper you need for your printer.

Each manufacturer includes complete instructions for using your home computer, printer and a household iron to transfer images to white or light materials.

Most woven cotton or cotton-rich fabrics work well for DIY iron-on crafts. If you're designing your own transfer, remember that the print that comes out on your special paper will be a mirror-image and words will appear backwards. That's normal.

For best results on stretchy fabrics like cotton knits, you may want to try using a special paper designed to print best on jersey materials.

Printable Iron Ons - Movie, TV, Video Characters - Popular Tee Shirt Transfer Pictures from Popular Media

Find a favorite film, video or cartoon character transfer to print on your own tee shirt, tote bag or fabric banner.

Are you a hot stuff fanatic?

© 2011 Lee Hansen

Please Sign My Guestbook! - Have you made printed crafts with transfers?

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 22, 2015:

Lee, this is a clever crafty idea. I love it. Voted up for useful!

Linda Pogue from Missouri on September 23, 2014:

You have some great ideas! I have been wanting to make t-shirts for all my grandkids for Christmas. Now I know how. Thanks.

yayang0405 lm on July 18, 2014:

Thanks for sharing these ideas. I really needed it.

Lee Hansen (author) from Vermont on March 31, 2014:

@anonymous: I think the fine line is whether you are producing the t-shirts or the kids are making them as one-offs.

cashpam77 on March 24, 2014:

yes still learning buy i need more themes

anonymous on May 20, 2013:

@Lee Hansen: Thanks for your comment. I'm a children's librarian and have always been very leery about using artwork from children's literature. Members of my staff wanted to create iron-on transfers to use for the 4 Hogwarts house crests so that kids attending a Harry Potter program can bring in their own t-shirt and iron on the crest. We're not selling anything and it's for the own use of the kids, but there will be multiple versions of these t-shirts. I see such things being used all over the web on craft sites and wonder whether people are essentially breaking the law by creating their own things for use as Halloween costumes, and craft projects. As long as items aren't being sold for profit, it's OK, even if we may have 40 kids with such t-shirts with Hogwarts crests on them? Or not? Or should I consult an attorney? ;-)

ConvenientCalendar on May 10, 2013:

Great lens! I enjoyed it!

Lee Hansen (author) from Vermont on May 06, 2013:

@anonymous: Unfortunately for fan artists, use of a licensed or other copyright protected work - even if you create it on your own - is a breach of copyright. You cannot use your own images or even words/phrases that are the property of someone else. The only exception is if you're making something for your own use and not making any extras to hand out or sell. A current example in the courts right now is the lawsuit regarding Eat More Chikin and Eat More Kale - not my idea of a breach but that big corporation is nasty and attacking a small entrepreneur in Vermont.

anonymous on April 30, 2013:

Are there any copyright issues with using artwork that appears to be exactly what is in movies or books, such as Harry Potter crests, etc.? While there are lots of cool-looking images out there that I'd love to use to create iron-on transfers for t-shirts for a children's program, I do not want to get in any trouble using any image that Warner Bros., JK Rowling, Scholastic or Bloomsbury might have an objection to! Thanks!

JeffGilbert on March 24, 2013:

this is a great way to give a new life to an old t-shirt, or start a new t-shirt with a different purpose. Great lens!

myoyster1957 on March 12, 2013:

Some nice ideas, great lens

Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on August 22, 2012:

Awesome to find this very professional how to with free iron on transfer art :)

DMVAgent on August 13, 2012:

great shirts, nice choice! all options are very well designed.. great lens, thanks!

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 10, 2012:

When I was in school as a youngster I recall making our own iron on transfers but I really cannot remember how we did it.

Rose Jones on March 15, 2012:

Well, you had me at "free" and yes I have done crafts like this when I was a little girl, with my mother before she passed on. We bought the transfers at the "dime store." Brings back great memories.

davies86 on November 19, 2011:

Great selection... thanks

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 09, 2011:

Nice selection! Found this on Twitter. @bigscarlett

TapIn2U on September 01, 2011:

This is a great idea! Thanks for the information! Sundae ;-)

Related Articles