Today, we will be making DIY freezer paper transfers and giving these items a makeover! I will share tips for creating quality transfers along with the pros and cons of using freezer paper transfers and how they compare to ink stamps.
We will be applying freezer paper transfers to painted glass, ceramic, wood, and metal.
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Each item was cleaned, and painted with DIY Paint in the color “Vintage Linen”. The paint was thicker than usual because I used the last of my can and I should have added a touch of water before using it.
These items do have more of a textured finish than I would have liked to use for freezer paper transfers. But overall, I think they ended up with the aged/vintage feel I was going for.
If you want a bolder, darker look I will show you how you can get that as well.
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Materials & Tools for Creating DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
- Basic Inkjet Printer -I use an old HP Printer but here is a similar model and the one I will most likely purchase next
- Reynold’s Freezer Paper – Can be used for multiple craft projects to create stencils, use as finger painting paper, for sewing projects & more!
- Scissors –
- Rubber Scraper – for transferring your image (fingertips work the best but use what is best for you)
- Cardstock & Scotch Tape – (optional)
- A Printable Graphic or Image – you will need to reverse your image prior to printing if it has words or letters. I reverse my images easily using Canva.com. Thegraphicsfairy.com is a wonderful resource for printable vintage images and they offer both a free and paid version.
I started to create and share FREE Printables here on my blog you can find them @ https://creativediypurpose.com/category/free-printables/. I add new ones each week and I take requests for ideas on future printables!
Tips for Making Quality Transfers
#1 Apply your transfers onto a porous surface one without a lot of texture If using a thicker type of paint try to use softer brush strokes to lessen the texture
#2 For a darker, bolder transfer try to choose a wide font & crisp images
#3 When applying the transfer rub over each section of your transfer a few times to allow the ink to transfer evenly, layering it onto your surface. Applying even pressure each time.
#4 Check if your printer has an option to self-clean & apply that prior to printing your transfers.
#5 Pull back your transfer while holding it in place with your other hand. This allows you to see how your transfer is adhering so you get full coverage.
#6 Test your favorite sealer on a sample piece using the same type of surface, prior to applying the sealer onto your finished project
Pros of using DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
- You can create and use your own designs to transform your projects!
- UNLIMITED choices for designs
- You can print from 1000’s & 1000’s of available graphics and printables online
- Inexpensive – each transfer costs pennies to create
- Freezer paper can be reused (for some projects) by wiping off the “used” transfer
- Sometimes you can get two transfers from each print
Cons of using DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
- If paper tends to get jammed in your printer often, or if images print blurry then this may not be the best option
- You can’t print till you are ready to use your transfers. For best quality use your transfers within five minutes to an hour after printing
- The surfaces you apply the transfers to must be porous but not overly textured
Printing Instructions for DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
- You will want to print onto the SHINY SIDE of the paper using an inkjet printer
(find out first which way you will need to lay your paper inside of your tray in order for it to print on the shiny side)
- Cut your freezer paper to the size of a regular sheet of printer paper (8.5”x11”) then place it inside the paper tray OR
- If you want to send the freezer paper through on a firmer surface (for difficult printers)
cut the freezer paper about a half-inch smaller on all four sides. Apply scotch tape along the edges to adhere it to a sheet of cardstock.
Be sure that the tape is flattened down smoothly to prevent printing issues.*
*If your printer tends to be “high maintenance” and you are concerned about the freezer paper getting stuck inside of the printer you may want to try this option.
Upcycling Home Decor using DIY Transfers
Project 1 – Metal Tray Upcycle Project
I paid $1 for this metal tray at a thrift store. It turned out with a soft aged vintage look that I love!
This graphic was created from a vintage french ad found at Thegraphicsfairy.com AND I added birds to both sides using the Canva Pro version (I use Canva Pro several times a day for creating & editing)
Project 2 – Wooden Sign Upcycled DIY
I paid $4.99 for this wooden sign with hooks. I removed the metal design (will keep it for a future project)
The image came out fainter than I would have liked due to using a thinner style font and this transfer sat out for about two hours prior to me applying it.
This graphic was created on Canva.com and is available for you to download for FREE!
Can I Darken My Transfer or Add Color?
If you want a darker finished image you can apply for the transfer as usual then go over the image with a paint marker or Sharpie once the ink has dried.
You can use a colored pencil on your item over the transfer once the ink has dried to add a pop of color.
Watch the Video Tutorial for DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
Upcoming DIY Projects
We will be trying to make freezer paper transfers in color in an upcoming video. We will also show other ways to transfer images and designs using an inkjet printer.
Then we will be comparing them side by side and making a “Vintage Seed Pack Garland” from the best transfers! I will be sharing my FREE PRINTABLE Vintage (Inspired) Seed Packs with you!
Project 3 – Upcycled Glass Bottle
Painting glass bottles is one of MY FAVORITE projects! It is easy, fun, free, and keeps other items out of our landfills.
Do you love a good trash to treasure project, too?
Especially one so easy to recreate. I added to the vintage look by distressing the edges using a Sharpie marker.
This graphic is from a vintage french lavender ad found at Thegraphicsfairy.com.
If you like repurposing glass bottles or jars here are a few more ideas you may like:
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Project 4 – Ceramic Pitcher Project using DIY Freezer Paper Transfers
I paid $1.99 for this thrifted pitcher and did not paint the inside so that it can be used as a vase or little planter. The transformation is adorable, don’t you think?
I found this farmland image on Canva.com, and can not remember if it was one of the Canva Pro or free version options.
If you select “elements” and then type in “farm” you will see all of the image options available.
How do I Seal my DIY Transfers?
You can apply your favorite sealer after the ink has fully dried (overnight works best). Apply two thin coats allowing them to fully dry between each coat for long-term durability and less chance of reactivating the ink.
I use the Poly-Acrylic brush on the sealer they offer a spray version of Poly-Acrylic, as well.
A wax sealer would also work and you can apply colored wax for a more aged look.
Rustoleum spray sealer (this can be used prior to painting on surfaces that may be a challenge for the paint to adhere to.
I don’t recommend regular Mod Podge for sealing in these transfers due to its lack of durability over time and it can reactivate and smear the ink. Maybe their dishwasher-safe version would work ( I need to try that one soon).
Freezer Paper Transfers vs Ink Stamps
You can achieve a darker look in less time using regular ink stamps vs freezer paper transfers. However, they limit your design choices and offer only one size option. Stamps, pads, and ink can be very costly upfront and require storage.
Freezer paper transfers require a decent working inkjet printer, ink cartridge, and freezer paper.
My take is to use both which allows us to reap the benefits of each option. I love my ink stamps and have even found a few secondhand which saves money. I have limited storage and a budget so being able to supplement using the freezer paper transfers (& printing my own designs) is an exciting option!
What do you think? Have you tried them or want to try making them?
Shop this Post & My Favorite Products:
- DEWALT 20V MAX Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch, Cordless Kit
- *Reynold’s Freezer Paper – (for printable transfers)
- DAS Air Dry Clay (white clay) OR (terra cotta clay) OR (stone-colored clay)
- Gesso Surface Prep Medium, 16-oz, White
- Rice Paper (for decoupage)
- Waterslide Decal Paper (for inkjet printer)
- E6000 glue – https://amzn.to/329hrZe
- *HP INKJET Printer (my HP model is no longer made but this is similar) – Basic, easy to use –
- Wax & Chalkpaint Brush – https://amzn.to/3kiZ5dQ
- Polycrylic Sealer by Minwax (Brush on)
- Water-Based Poly Sealer by Varathane (Brush on)
- 10 pcs Wooden Knobs (feet or toppers) – https://amzn.to/3ruQd9a
- Lavender (faux) is AMAZING for the price
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