How To Do an Image Transfer over a Kitchen Towel

You can use any Image you would like to transfer…

You may have a favorite picture, or you may want to have a look around the Graphics Fairy. But you will want to make sure that you are using a laser print. Most of us have multi functional printers in our homes and those printers are normally not laser printers. They are ink jet printers. The ink is not permanent. The ink will run and bleed. For this project you will either want to use your own laser printer, borrow a friends, or if you’re here in the US you can go to any copy center and make copies yourself. All of the copiers in the Copy centers use laser prints. (with the exception of some of the very large printing copiers) If you would like to purchase a laser printer or just read more about it you can do that here:  

This printer is retailing on Amazon (which the above link will take you to) for 40% off list price right now. (July 5th 2017) 

I used 2 graphics from the Graphics Fairy that felt like they belonged in the kitchen-including the image of the sheep/lamb above. I especially loved the French script on these. Something you may want to keep in mind….if you’re not sure how to print in reverse, you may want to choose any image that does not include script or words of any type for your graphic. That will make it easy to just print the image you want and work from there. There are some graphics that include script on the Graphics Fairy that are already flipped (reversed) for you, so that you can easily print them out too. 

How to Begin our Image Transfer onto a Kitchen Towel

You may want to practice this on an old pillow case. Since I am strictly using these towels for decorative purposes only ( The paints and gel medium will render them useless for cleaning or drying) I made sure to work on a flat material. You know how most kitchen towels are already absorbent and fluffy-ish? I went to the dollar store and purchased a set of 5 towels for 4.44. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t find plain flat white, I knew I was going to paint them anyway. If you have a plain white towel or pillowcase, you can follow these same instructions and skip the painting. I do not think these will be machine washable. The paint and the gel medium make them dry so that they are stiff and I don’t think the gel medium will hold up in the washing machine. You could try it but for me? I’ll only be cleaning these towels with a damp cloth. I also experimented with acrylic paint and chalk paint. I use chalk paint for everything these days and I am always asked if a project that I have completed will work if using acrylic paint instead of chalk paint. I took one towel and painted acrylic paint on one side and chalk paint on the other. (This picture is showing the transfer drying on the chalk paint side-while the acrylic paint is drying on the other side) Also? I diluted the chalk paint. 1 teaspoon of chalk paint to 2 tablespoons of water. Mixed it up and brushed it over my surface. It’s best to work on a craft sheet or a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up) so this paint doesn’t go through to your surface. I then painted the other side of the towel with this stunning color by Martha Stewart, it’s one of her multi surface paints and even though it says it’s Pearl, it has some metallic brilliance to it also. This color is called Pearl Aquarium  which is included in this set.                 

I’ll list all of the supplies and links below so you can get what you want. Don’t forget—you can also buy anything else that you need on Amazon while you’re shopping through my site. No need to buy what you want here then have to sign out and sign into Amazon all over again. The chalk paint dried within minutes so while the pearl paint was drying I started to work on the transfer. I used an artists bristle brush to apply Matte Gel Medium over the area where I was going to apply my transfer. I tried to center the transfer then I added the medium. I will always use this product to do transfers. I made sure to apply a very heavy coat of the medium. Since you’re working with absorbent fibers you will want to make sure that the gel sinks in-you will also want your image to transfer properly.   I have used every other medium under the sun for transfers and maybe because I work on so many different types of surfaces, I prefer the Matte Gel Medium. It’s all I will use when it comes to transfers.   While the gel medium was still wet I applied my transfer with the image face down.   (You can see barely see the image through the paper)  Right away to make it easier later on in the project, I dipped my fingers in a cup of water  & placed some of it around back of the paper. You can now see how the image is  beginning to show through.  While it’s wet I am going to very carefully wipe away some of the wet paper. The paper will clump up into little lumps as you wipe it away-but be careful…the idea is not to remove all of the paper yet, you are only beginning the process to weaken the paper. In essence you are going to remove the paper and leave only the image behind-on an invisible gel medium. Once I’m done I’m going to put this outside to dry since it is a sunny 90 degree day in July here on the East Coast. By the time I was done applying this transfer my Pearl Paint had dried so I followed these same steps and applied a Rooster Image transfer to that side. I’ll follow all of the same steps here. Once everything dried I dipped my fingers in water and began to remove the rest of the paper. You can also use a rough wet rag to remove the paper but you will have to be careful since if you’re overzealous you can pull away some of your transfer as well as the paper.      You can see the difference once I’ve removed all of the paper. There is a large wet spot around the image so we’ll let it dry.  Back out into the hot sun I go.  I am using the wet rag over the rooster to remove the paper because the gel medium dried a lot harder over the paint. I believe it’s the paint and not the gel medium. The acrylic paint dries to almost a thin layer of plastic-and is not porous-unlike the chalk paint that dries to a very flat (no shine whatsoever) finish and is quite porous making it perfect for transfers. 

Once I wiped away all of the paper and let the both sides dry I brought the towel back in to take pictures of it in my kitchen.   Here is how the side turned out with the chalk paint on it. I folded the sides inward like I would with any other kitchen towel and placed it between two of the other towels that came in the set. You can see that I used an off white chalk paint for this side. Here’s how the other side of the towel looks.   I wanted to take a better picture of it so you could see that some of the image got wiped away.    It still looks pretty and a bit more vintage. I like that I can turn this towel around depending on my mood. If I have someone over on 2 consecutive nights I can hear them asking me if I put out a new towel since the night before. Some of my friends are very artsy too and they do notice these things. I had to much fun doing this project, I hope you give it a try. Sometimes it’s nice to do a transfer along with decoupage and a lot of times it’s just nice to simply do a transfer. Have fun with this! And I’ll be back on youtube next week with a new video. 




Matte Gel Medium                                          

watercolor oil or acrylic Paint brush set (best seller)          

chalk paint                                                      

Kitchen Towels                                               

This is a set of 7    28 x 28 inch all white 130 thread count kitchen towels.   $16.49 ! That’s a good price! Think of the gift ideas! 


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