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December 08, 2011

Transfer your (or your kids') art onto ceramic tiles

I've discovered a cool new technique. I've been tranferring photos onto wood for a few years now to make coasters and all kinds of fun projects.  But the other day I tried it on a glazed ceramic tile and it worked!


I had a young friend draw directly onto t-shirt transfer paper using a Pilot rolling ball pen.  Then we cut out the drawing, turned it upside down and placed it on a 4-inch ceramic tile, then applied a hot iron to the back of the transfer.  

After we peeled off the backing paper, we had a perfect image on the tile surface. We put some parchment paper (the silicon-coated paper used for cooking) over the image and reheated it for a few seconds with the hot iron just to smooth a few bumps in the plastic transfer film.  Looks pretty cool right?  Which of your relatives wouldn't love a set of coasters from a budding cartoonist?  

You can also use crayons and markers to create images but be careful not to tear the delicate surface of the transfer paper. Also, Sharpies don't work very well - they blur and run under the heat of the iron.

TIP: Apply felt dots to the back of the tile to prevent sharp corners and edges from scratching delicate surfaces. 

This technique also works reasonably well with photographic images printed on t-shirt transfer paper using an inkjet printer.  Make sure the tiles are grease-free by wiping them with a little rubbing alcohol before applying the transfer.



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This is a wonderful idea. I made a similar growth chart and experienced amazing moments with my child. He is inpatient to grow up and that is why he wanted us to make such a chart.

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