Okay, so you may know this already, but I haven’t run into a crafter yet who does. So I thought I would share. When I went browsing on the internet late one night to solve a crafting dilemma, I ran across this quick and easy trick which totally blew my mind and allowed me to do so many things I previously couldn’t.
The dilemma was this: I do not have a printer that will allow me to print onto card stock. This hinders a number of my creative pursuits and is the reason I am not currently creating invites or wedding programs for my shop. But this little technique I am about to show you allows me to essentially print on card stock in very small batches.
I am going to show you how to make your own rub-on transfer at home.
You will need:
- A computer
- A word processing program
- An ink-jet printer
- One transparency
- A wet paper towel
- A dry paper towel
- Your thumb
- Card stock
The first thing you will need to do is type out what you want transferred. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will show you how I label the divider tabs in my perpetual calendars.
So I will type “Jan” into Microsoft Word, pick a nice font (Blackjack), a dreamy color (teal), and even some text effects (a brown outline). Don’t forget to size it correctly. If you’re not sure about the size, fret not, you can easily make that adjustment after a trial run and only waste a small amount of ink.
Now you’re going to print. Make sure your transparency is in your ink-jet printer and that the printer accepts transparencies, I had to pull my old printer out of retirement because my new fancy high tech printer is a transparency snob. Before you hit that print button, go to your printer properties, click the “finishing” tab, and check the box for “mirror image”. This step is important, if you don’t do this, your text will come up backwards.
Now go ahead and click that print button.
Once the transparency goes through the printer you want to work fast before the ink dries.
Hold the transparency over the paper and get it lined up just right before you place it down. Once it is in contact with the paper, do not move it or the ink will smudge.
If the size is not right, go ahead and wipe the ink off the transparency with your wet paper towel, dry it with your dry paper towel, put it back in your printer, adjust the type size and print again, no biggie!
Press the transparency against the paper, hold it carefully in place with your non-dominant hand and then start rubbing over your text with your dominant thumb. Rubbing with your thumbnail works best. You can pick the transparency up a bit to see if you’ve rubbed all the right spots; if not, just place it back down and keep rubbing. This step shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds.
Pull up your transparency and voila!, you’ve printed on card stock.
There are a few things to remember. You can use your transparency over and over again, just make sure you wipe it down with water and then quickly dry it. Any large office store will sell you individual transparencies in their copy center, so do not buy a $3o carton of transparencies just for this technique!
The image will not be as crisp as a print job; it will look more like a stamped image. Be warned!
I use this all the time now. Here are a few examples from my recent work:
Have fun with this and keep pressing on,