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How To Make Heat Press Transfers At Home

So you want to learn how to make heat press transfers?

 

I’ve been making my own heat press transfers for a while now, and I still find the process so exciting and enjoyable.

 

Let me share with you 5 different ways how to make heat transfers for home, crafts, & business.

 

How To Make Heat Transfers

 

how to make a heat press transfer with heat transfer paper

I made this t-shirt using HTV & Avery Transfer Paper

 

Here are the 5 methods of making custom heat transfers that we will take a good look at in this post:

  1. Custom HTV transfers (aka. iron-on)
  2. DIY Avery fabric transfers
  3. Fun freezer paper stencil & screen printing ink transfers
  4. Rhinestone transfers
  5. Sublimation transfers

 

Let’s get into it!

 

1. How To Make A Heat Transfer With HTV

 

Perhaps the most common way to make you own heat transfers is with heat transfer vinyl.

 

A design is cut into the HTV with a cutting machine (I prefer Cricut cutting machines for craft use). There are tens of thousands of free cut files that you can choose from.

 

how to make a heat press transfer with heat transfer vinyl-min

Siser Glitter HTV ready to cut in the Cricut Explore Air 2

 

The design is cut (in reverse) into the vinyl, and then the excess vinyl is pulled away. This process is called weeding the vinyl.

 

how to make a heat transfer with iron on-min

Weeding Glitter & Foil Iron-On

 

You can see that after weeding, you are left with the design, which is then ready to be pressed onto your item of clothing. The transfer can be applied using a heat press, iron, or EasyPress!

 

how to make a heat press transfer with HTV-min

That’s how to make beautiful custom heat transfers!

 

We have a ton of tutorials on how to make heat transfers using iron-on or HTV (same thing). Take a look at some of my favorites here:

 

2. How To Make A Heat Press Transfer With InkJet Transfer Paper

 

Using Avery Transfer Paper is another way you can make heat transfers at home. All you need for this method of making heat transfers is:

 

Once you have chosen your design, you can print it through an ordinary inkjet printer onto the inkjet transfer paper. Then using the print and cut feature with your cutting machine, you cut around the outside of the image.

 

how to make a heat press transfer with an inkjet printer

Making an inkjet heat transfer with Avery Fabric Transfers

 

Once the transfer has been printed and cut, the backing paper is pulled away and the transfer can be positioned onto the garment. That’s how to make a custom inkjet transfer – now it just needs pressed!

 

how to make a heat transfer with avery transfer paper

The Narwhal image is on Avery Paper, while the text is HTV

 

It’s super easy to make these custom heat press transfers, and Avery Paper works well with an iron, EasyPress, or heat press.

 

how to make a heat transfer with avery transfer paper

I’m using the Cricut EasyPress for this Inkjet Transfer

 

And that’s all there is to it! Here is the final result.

 

how to make a heat press transfer and apply with cricut easypress

This tee has since been worn & washed a lot – and it’s still good!

 

See here for the full tutorial on how to make an inkjet heat press transfer.

 

3. Make A Heat Press Transfer With Screen Printing Ink

 

We recently featured a project showing how to make a heat press transfer with freezer paper stencils and screen printing ink.

 

These types of transfer have a different look to both HTV and inkjet transfer paper transfers. The screen printing ink colors the cotton, rather than sitting on top of it (as with the previous 2 methods).

 

For how to make a custom heat transfer this way, you need:

 

The design is cut (with the cutting machine) out of freezer paper to make a stencil. You’ve got to remember to weed out the design rather than the excess in this case!

The freezer paper is then ironed into place on the t-shirt.

 

how to make a heat press transfer with freezer paper

How to make Disney heat transfers

 

Then Speedball screen printing ink is painted over the stencil, and applied to the garment.

 

how to make a custom heat press transfer using speedball screen printing ink

Speedball ink for custom heat transfers comes in many colors

 

And that’s how to make a custom t-shirt with a freezer paper stencil!

 

how to make a heat press transfer with screen printing ink

 

You can see the full freezer paper project here – with tons of other examples (make sure you check out the Storm Pooper baby onesie transfer)!

 

4. How To Make A Rhinestone Heat Press Transfer

 

Another great way to make DIY heat press transfers is with Rhinestones. Rhinestone transfers transform ordinary garments into sparkling statement pieces!

 

To make your own heat press transfers with Rhinestones, here’s what you need:

  • A cutting machine
  • A heat press or iron
  • A Rhinestone kit

 

 

I think Rhinestone transfers are especially fun for girls clothing – as long as she doesn’t try to pick them off!

 

5. How To Make A Heat Transfer With Sublimation Ink

 

How to make a heat press transfer with sublimation ink? Now that’s a little more complicated than the above methods.

 

In order to make your own sublimation transfers you need to have a dedicated sublimation printer set up with sublimation ink. This machine can’t be used at all for ordinary printing if it is set up for sublimation.

 

The other difficulty is that Sublimation transfers need to be pressed with significant pressure at 400 degrees. An iron can’t get hot enough for this, and while the new EasyPress 2 can reach those temperatures, I’d be hesitant to do sublimation transfers with it because it would be hard to achieve enough even pressure.

 

Here’s everything you need to know from my favorite heat press and heat transfer supplier, Heat Press Nation.

 

 

How To Make Your Own Heat Press Transfers

 

So those are the 5 most common methods of making your own heat transfers – at least at home.

There are some other methods such as:

  • Plastisol transfers – a PVC based ink that is printed onto paper and pressed onto the garment
  • DTG transfers – a direct to garment transfer is printed directly onto the t-shirt
  • Screen printing – commercial screen printing involves screens with ink (not freezer paper!)

 

My favorite method is definitely using all the different types of heat transfer vinyl. There are just so many to choose from and play around with, it’s hard to run out of new options!

 

Thanks for visiting – please leave any comments or questions in the comment section below!

 

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