Vintage Button Monogram Part 2 with Image Transfer

So, I hope you liked my short version on how to easily create any shape out of buttons. We are back for round 2, with a new twist, how to make an image transfer onto your fabric. Sorry the photos aren’t very detailed, as I didn’t plan for this post properly. But I’m linking up to the tutorials that I learned from, so you should be able to work it out.

Of course I’m referring to the Citrasolv transfer. Not sure where I first read about it, but Lyric Art has a simple set of instructions. Which were helpful, but because we are down under in the great space called Australia, Citrasolv was not on the shopping list. Enter the marvellous Serendipity Quilt blog, who had done all the testing needed and announced that the Orange Power sticky spot and goo remover is the winner. At about $5 a bottle at the local Foodland, it lasts a long time AND it’s actually very good around the house for cleaning. I have gotten stubborn stains out of clothes, tablecloths, the works with this stuff. I’d keep it on hand even if I never did another transfer again!!

Of course, part of the test of success is the type of image that you transfer in the first place. Something like a photograph, which has lots of fine detail and dense areas, is very hard to transfer evenly, however line drawings/text, seem to be very simple. Just make sure that a) the lines are TOO fine, as breaks or shifts would be obvious, and b) the fabric that you are transferring to is firm and stable, with an even weave. I have done 2 very good transfers onto calico. However, the transfers I made onto cotton t-shirts were much harder work due to the stretchy nature of the knit under the burnishing step. I thought my hand was going to fall off before it was dark enough to call done. Anyway, on to the tutorial!

Step 1, Laser print out (or photocopy) your required image, remembering to REVERSE OR MIRROR IT!! (Ask me how I know that lol….) REMEMBER THIS TECHNIQUE ONLY WORKS WITH TONER, NOT INKJET INK. I have a laser Mono printer at home (HP) which works great with this technique. If in doubt, test before you commit to a big project 🙂

Step 2, Place your fabric onto a hard surface. Smooth glass chopping boards work great. If possible, tape or otherwise secure your fabric. The less movement at any stage, the less stress at all stages!

Step 3, Cut your transfer out, leaving a generous margin, the sticky tape it TONER SIDE DOWN onto your fabric where you want it. Because I was making a cushion, I positioned my transfer several inches in from the corner, so it wasn’t sitting too close to the bottom of the insert after the cushion was sewn up.

Step 4, Using a cotton ball, apply a generous amount of the Citrasolv/Orange power over the lines of your transfer. The paper will very quickly go transparent, so you will be able to easily see where you are working. Bonus!!

Step 5, Start burnishing with the back of a spoon or such. Nothing sharp as it will tear into the paper, or make the paper shift or ridge. I found a soup spoon the best, as it was rounded and smooth – great pressure with no edges.

Step 6, Keep rubbing. Add more Citrasolve/Orange Power to keep the transfer coming. The heat from the burnishing will quite literally evaporate the oils out of the paper. Or maybe I was just rubbing too hard! However if you DO over rub it, you will end up with a shiny/compacted part to your fabric. Which may be more obvious on some fabrics than others.

Step 7, Take a peek when you can’t help it anymore. Be very VERY careful not to allow it to shift while doing so, because you may want to stick it back down and cover an area that the transfer is still a little light.

After that, you are all done! I ironed the transfer, washed it on delicate cycle, then ironed it again before adding my monogram. Thankfully that also gets rid of the potent orange smell.

And there we have the finished 2 cushions! Hope that you get some use out of this idea, and let me know if you have success using it!Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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  1. A brief update » Cassandra Madge

    […] We got a new (to us) bed, with the bonus that it came with a barely used mattress. It’s a reproduction vintage wrought iron bed, which is just lovely in our room. Our old timber frame and the mattress that came with the bed have gone to DS1, who is taller than both of his parents and had been battling with just a single bed. A queen size for this growing boy is a dream! His single mattress, which wasn’t very old, has replaced the very old and noisy one that we originally bought when DS2 was just born! So both the boys have been sleeping better for the whole shift around! Here’s a couple of peeks at the new bed. I accidentally bought a new quilt cover too when I was buying us new sheets, as now we have to share sheets between 2 queensize beds. It just looks so fun and fresh. Really loving it, especially with my spring quilt and monogram cushions! […]

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