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diy project: inkjet transfer table settings

by Grace Bonney

for my third textile upgrade project, i drew inspiration from the work of . her vintage china tablecloth is truly gorgeous and i love how she employs photorealism in her work. i wanted to do the same, so i used a simple inkjet printer transfer paper for these and i was amazed with the results. transfer paper has come a long way in the past few years. gone are the days of glossy, rubbery images; these transfers are crisp and clean and completely flexible and soft on the fabric. you can do so many variations on the images for these linens: botanicals, figurines, vegetables, plates of your favorite foods, cooking utensils, tchotskies, etc. i recommend printing everything at life size to compliment the realist look. get your camera and go to the grocery store! have fun! –


CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


1. photos of food, dishes, figurines, plates, etc. (anything you want, make sure it high resolution)
2. scissors
3. inkjet printer transfer paper
4. inkjet color printer
5. napkins and placemats (mine are from ikea and cost less than a dollar each)
6. iron
7. computer



1. if you don’t want to take the photographs of objects yourself, you can find some great images in food magazines, or cookbook images, or just search flickr for yummy food photos. upload your photos to your computer and play around with them to get them to be the size you want. make a couple black and white prints on 8.5 x 11 paper to check that you like the size and detail on your photos. you want your images to be something you can cut all the way around to have a freestanding object. the transfers print in reverse so if that matters to your object, you need to reverse the image on your computer before printing.

2. when you have the images ready at the size you want them to be, print them in color on your transfer paper according to the directions on the package of the transfer paper. if you have the option on your printer, you should choose the highest quality of printing.

3. allow the transfer prints to dry. meanwhile, iron all the wrinkle out of your placemats and napkins on high temperature with no steam. allow these to cool.

4. cut out your shapes with scissors. you want to cut all excess off your shapes and cut right up to the edge of you object.

5. lay the transfer paper down on the fabric and iron it down according to the transfer paper instructions.

6. continue following the transfer instructions for cooling, peeling off the backing, and setting the image.



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