DIY Fabric Transfer

by Allison Cawley, Jul 21 2016

Have you ever seen a neat design on a napkin before and wondered how you could recreate something cute like it?  

One cheap way of creating your own design, is using wax paper to transfer a template onto your napkin (or other piece of fabric) and tracing over it to bring out the richness and design.  

In this case, I designed the simple image below and printed it on a normal ink jet printer at home. 

Here's what you'll need to recreate this fun design or replace it by printing your own design: 

  • Wax Paper
  • Light Cotton Napkin/Fabric of your Choice
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ink Jet Printer
  • Copy Paper
  • Iron


  1. Cut out a piece of wax paper the size of your copy paper, and tape it down to your piece of copy paper. 
  2. Print a mirrored image of your design (aka print it backwards). It works better with a dark black ink. 
  3. As soon as your image has finished printing, lay it face down onto the flat napkin or piece of fabric.  Press firmly down on the back of the wax paper, being careful not to have the wax paper shift. (my example doesn't show the template on the photo too well, but it will look better in person!)
  4. Carefully pull back the wax paper & let dry. 
  5. Using a permanent marker, trace over your design to bring out the details. 
  6. Place a piece of copy paper over the fabric and design, and then iron over it to heat set the permanent marker. 

So the next time you're looking to jazz up plain napkins or something else, give this a shot and design your own!

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