8 Ink-Jet Image Transfer Experiments


Happy Football Sunday Morning to you!  Well, I’ve always been fascinated with image transfers in my work and the amazing work of others and the results I see others getting….not that I haven’t gotten some great and very cool results myself, but I’m always looking for more…especially with Ink Jet Prints since that’s what I work with….so I downloaded from Cloth Paper Scissors the following free tutorial on Ink Jet Transfers….


This is what I came up with….with much experimentation….and yet although I’m coming up with some great stuff, they are of course NEVER exactly like what the papers and tutorials claim to do…..but I guess that’s what MORE experimentation is for!

Here’s the orignial image I worked with on 60 lb press watercolor paper and here are my results….

  • The first I tried was Sheer Heaven which is supposed to be the “be all end all” of all transfer paper…..


Well, as you can see my results we less than “Heavenly”.  Now admittedly I only experimented around six or seven times with small images, but I just never came up with the smooth perfect image that they do.  You print on the rough side of the paper, mist alcohol on the image and burnish lightly.  It is supposed to lift perfectly into an exact replica of the original.  I didn’t get this result, but I have high hopes and plan to keep experimenting.  Now this paper is $24.00 with shipping for ten pieces, so I won’t be doing A LOT of experimenting freely, it’s just too expensive, but who knows maybe I’ll figure it out and love it as much as everyone else does.  If YOU know the secret to this paper I would LOVE to hear from you!!  Please comment and let me know your thoughts.  I do love the result, it’s just not what they claim.

  • Next I tried using Inkjet Transparency paper over Matte Gel to transfer the image. Now you’re supposed to look for the “Non-Quick Dry” But I couldn’t for the life of me find anything but Quick Dry…so you have to move fast.  These were the results I got.

    So the instructions are to put down a light layer of gel medium and lay the printed side (rough side of the transparency) down on the gel then burnish.  You do have to move quick with the quick dry, but I actually loved the result.  It was one of my favorites.

  • Third I used Glossy photo paper with gel medium using the same process

So this image was created by printing on Glossy photo paper, putting down a light layer of gel medium then burnishing.  The next step involved spritzing with water and using a sponge to peel off the paper backing leaving only the “gloss” layer with the image left on your paper.  I also loved this effect.  It came out great for simple cheap glossy photo paper.

  • So Next I tried a transfer with Matte Photo paper.  I was also happy with this one.  Not a clean transfer and needs more experimentation but it came out pretty cool.

I took the matte paper with the image fresh off the printer.  With Matte laid down on the paper I put the image face down and burnished.  Now because of the backing of the paper you can’t spritz with water and peel off the back of the paper so you have to burnish (I used a bone folder on all of these) then just gently pull of the paper.  It leaves a nice partial image that I think would look great on  canvas.  This is another one that I was very happy with and look forward to playing with it some more.

  • The fifth image came quite by surprise and was just a ghost image, but very cool none the less,,,,


Using the glossy photo paper image I spritz the paper surface (substrate) with water and simply put the image down and burnished with the bone folder.  I got a nice ghost image while trying to achieve something completely different.  It was a nice surprise. 

  • The sixth image is by far my favorite.  I bought typical iron on paper from Office Depot that is used for ironing on fabric and t-shirts.

The next transfer you’ll see the traditional use of this paper, but I thought….I don’t keep an iron in my studio…let’s play with the heat gun and sure enough, just using my embossing heat gun I cut out the image and heating the paper with image face down of course, an almost perfect image appeared.  Then I went over the image with gel medium because it didn’t quite adhere all the way due to the lack of pressure from the iron.  I was thrilled with this option.  TRY IT!  Just be careful not to burn the back of the paper.  You need a lot less heat and time with the gun than you think.

  • Of course the next one is the traditional iron-on use of the iron-on paper.  Using an iron I got a pristine perfect image.  The problem is we can’t always use an iron on our canvases so that’s why I love the heat gun above, but if you’re working on a flat surface and in a journal, this works great.

  • Finally by pure accident I was doing the matte photo paper transfer to get our 8th image, using only water the spritz on the paper then laying the image face down on the paper and using water and a sponge returned the back of the paper leaving only the image.  Well after it dried I was surprised to be able actually pick the image up off the paper leaving me with a pure transfer that looks like this…..

Now to be honest I was unable to repeat this transfer with the photo of our lady above,  I tried and the paper kept falling apart, but I’m going to keep working at it because it’s just a great transfer.  I’m going to try with both the glossy and the matte photo paper again until I can repeat it.  It’s just too good of a transfer to give up on.  This one has been adhered to a canvas I’m working on and below you’ll see how I’ve used some of these techniques in an UNFINISHED (so be gentle, it’s in process 🙂 piece I’m working on.

  Flipped matte photo image

 Non Flipped Photo paper image

 Iron on paper with Heat Gun

 Ink Jet Quick Dry Transparency burnished on with gel Medium

This is the work so far, just playing around with these images and I’m excited to finish up and see how it turns out!

As always…..I want to hear from you!  What are your experiences with Ink-Jet transfers?  Or ANY transfers for that matter!  Let me know what you think of the PDF from Cloth paper Scissors,  Let’s see pics of any transfers you try from this tutorial.  COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT!  I LOVE new ideas.  So let’s hear them!  Try these transfers and get back to me!

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Love and Light….WK


22 thoughts on “8 Ink-Jet Image Transfer Experiments

  1. Very cool. I’ve seen this done a couple of times. It looks messy to me, more messy than I want to get. But the heat gun? That one I could get behind. Thanks for sharing the info.

    And I love that image you were working with. She’s lovely.


    • This was just sooo fun to do! Transfering images is my thing….so glad you liked it and I would love to see some of the results! Can’t wait to head over to your site and take a look!! – WK


  2. I just took a class on Dass image transfers. It’s very cool. You use Dass transfer sheets, print your image on an inkjet printer, cover your paper with hand sanitizer, press the image on and peel off the transfer sheet. It’s very cool.


  3. I had good results with the Sheer heaven, but made sure to use smooth paper to transfer it to. The other technique that I didn’t see you mention, is to lay the ink jet print face down on watercolor paper, then paint the back of the images with either Gin (like you drink) with a moderately stiff brush, or with a Chartpack Blender pen, then burnish them with a spoon or a bone folder. The main problem with the blender pen is that it is very smelly because it has Xylene in it.


    • Super idea with the gin, I’ve never tried it….the blender pen has never worked for me, but I could very easily be doing something wrong…so I’ll have to play around with it some more…..THANKS!


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