Easy Image Transfers

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How To Make Image Transfers from Muse of the Morning

Image transfers are a really easy way to spice up an altered art project. They are really easy to do with easily obtained supplies!

How To Make Image Transfers!

cotton balls
receiving paper
a photocopied image to transfer (this must be an image that has been photocopied, it cannot be printed from your computer, or taken from a magazine or a photo.)
a clean work surface

How To Make Image Transfers!

Lay the image face down on your receiving paper. Put a little acetone on your cotton ball*. Just enough that it is wet- not dripping.
How To Make Image Transfers!

Hold the image firmly in place as you rub the cotton ball firmly over the back of the image.

How To Make Image Transfers!

Gently lift the corner to see if the image transferred. If not, repeat the above process.

How To Make Image Transfers!

Gently lift off the transferred image to reveal your image transfer below!

The response to this post has been overwhelming! Thank you all for viewing and commenting on this post. I hope the technique has worked for you. I wasn’t getting notifications when a comment was posted, so I was really surprised when I took a look back and there they all are! I’m going to answer all the questions here that I know the answer to. If you don’t see your question, its because I don’t know the answer, not because I’m ignoring you. I really am excited to see so many comments!

That is so neat! Would it work to transfer images on to fabric?
This I don’t know. I would think it would onto a woven, but I think with a knit, the fabric would stretch too much with the rubbing. You would also need to heat set it, which I know you can do with acrylic paints by tossing it into the dryer for 20 mins, but I don’t know if copier ink would wash out or not. If you try it, let me know and I will update this with your results!

wow ,can i do it on glass or wood?!,thnx
I am fairly certain that it would work on wood, although I think it would be lighter. If it does work on glass, I think it might smear if you use too much acetone, and then after it were transferred, I don’t think it would dry very well.

It works on fabric…
Well look at that! It does work! I’ll have to give it a try. 🙂

will it work with any kid of photo? and what is recieving paper?
I didn’t specify, but this only works with a copied image- like from a copy machine. It will not work with something you scan and print from your computer. It won’t work from a photo. The receiving paper is the paper that receives the image.

Would this work with color prints, or only black ink?
I am not sure on the color prints, but it’s only going to work on a photocopied image, not a printed from your printer image.

does it matter what kind of image it is such has magazine picture, newspaper, etc?
Wow. I really didn’t answer this question well in my original post at all, did I? I’m sorry about that! This transfer will only work with a photocopied image, like one from a copier from Kinkos. It will not work with magazine pictures, images printed from your computer or photos. For those, you might try transfers with gel medium or packing tape. 🙂

Chrissy Leiberan-Titus writes for Muse of the Morning.com

Posted in 1Creativity & Inspiration and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I am so glad to see this. I did these in art school decades ago, and had forgotten this particular way to do image transfers. Thanks for the post

  2. does it matter what kind of image it is such has magazine picture, newspaper, etc?

  3. This is nice, we did this years ago. We copied some photo’s of our friends who were getting married, and ‘printed’ this on two wooden chairs. We didn’t use aceton though, but we used thinner. So it does work on wood. 😉

  4. Hi Gies! That sounds like a fun project. Thank you for sharing that this tutorial would work on wood!

  5. Regarding the last paragraph of your ‘edited’ … You actually did an excellent job of describing the use of photocopied images in your original post. Don’t apologize because a few didn’t read the directions!!
    I love this transfer method but was advised to do it outdoors to avoid the fumes.

  6. did this in an art class years ago. We used magazine photos on watercolor paper. As I recall not all magazines worked, just the ones with a clay-based ink. Fun project possibilities.

  7. If you are taking an image from a photocopy (on paper), what would be the practical reason to transfer it onto yet another piece of paper? Seems like a redundant craft. I can understand the appeal of putting the image onto cloth or wood, as this has a lot of possibilities.

  8. This technique will work with a printed image from your computer but it must be printed from an ink jet printer.

  9. I did this for an art project and it works on fabric, wood, matte board, and any paper. You can also use color ink and you can use an image printed of te computer IF it is NOT good quality ink.

  10. I’m not sure how you would transfer an image with packing tape because once you put the packing tape on the image you can’t remove it or it will just tear the paper. I know receiving paper is paper that receives an image but what is the paper made of and where do I buy it?

    • Receiving paper can be any type of paper that you would like to use for the transfer. I think I used printer paper for this post, but it could be any type that is heavy enough to take the wetness of the acetone. Some people have used wood and other things as well.
      I haven’t tried using packing tape to transfer, but I would imagine that either the stickiness would come off with the image as part of the transfer process or yes, the packing tape is stuck to the paper and becomes part of the artwork.

  11. Please be careful with the use of Acetone…although it does work well for photo transfers on all manner of surfaces, it can also be toxic to breathe. Make sure you are using it outdoors or in a very well ventilated environment.

  12. When doing this on wood, matte board, etc…, should I use any particular sealant? Just a clear stain? Thanks. 🙂

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