Make You Own Heat Transfer
with our easy method
Use the following method to produce initials, names, words, and/or pictures using Heat-Fix rhinestones.
What you will need for this project:
- Heat-fix rhinestones (Swarovski, Czech, RG2X) click here for prices and selections: Swarovski , Czech or RG2X
- Tacky Tape (special 'paper' used for heat transfers, order at $ 5.00 per yard)
- Tweezers than can handle whatever size rhinestones you plan to use
- An understanding of the following instructions...if you have questions, do not proceed until you have answers from us. Better to make a call than to make a mess.
Follow the instructions (see note above):
- Choose your word, picture, etc. The minimum letter height should be 3/4", Best letters are produced when the letters are at least 1" in height. If you are planning on placing this on a Tee-shirt or tank top, keep in mind the maximum width you can use ...usually in the range of 9" or so. Phrases may have to be in more than one line. This should present no problem with most applications.
- Go to your computer, choose a simple font, especially if the letters are to be small. The more fancy the font, the harder it will be to read the transfer unless you plan on placing your stones against each other. Even then, some scripts become very hard to decipher. To get a big enough font, it may be necessary to use a graphics program, such as Corel or Adobe ...whatever you are used to. But, in general, MS Word has a maximum font size of 72, and that will not be big enough in most cases.
- Either print out your word, picture, or phrase on CHEAP, 20 lb paper OR if in a graphics program, flip the transfer image to get a MIRROR image (easier than printing the word as it should appear) if you have the ability to do so.
- IF your image is right side up (reads as you want the final to read), turn the paper over and place on a glass-top table. If you have reversed the image in the computer, you will not need to do this. (you will be making the transfer 'up-side-down', therefore, it MUST BE REVERSED by one method or another.
- Dump your Heat Fix Rhinestones into a saucer. IF you are using more than one size, color, or combinations, use separate saucers for each.
- Cut a piece of transfer paper (Tacky Tape ...designed for production of rhinestone and nail head heat transfers, sold by the yard, 12 1/2" wide, $5.00 per yard) about 1" bigger in all 4 directions than the image will be. (if the word, image, etc. is 4" X 6", then cut transfer paper 6" X 8") Do not remove the backing paper before cutting...you will have a mess. You need tacky tape for this project ...don't even think about using cellophane tape!!)
- Tape the image to a working surface (Cellophane or masking tape...just to hold image in place.). IF you used the 'right side up-cheap printing paper' method, tape to a glass top table and place a light under the table so that you clearly can see the image. IF you used the reversed method in a graphics program, tape to any working surface right side up.
- Remove the backing from the Transfer Paper (Tacky Tape) and set aside in a safe place...do not discard this backing. (Backing is usually white paper with a shiny side, or may be a translucent waffle backing). Place the clear transfer tape STICKY SIDE UP, centered over image and affix with a small amount of tape (cellophane or masking tape) over each corner...do not affix too well, for you will have trouble removing the transfer...just barely catch the corners is good enough.
- Using tweezers, place the Heat Fix Rhinestones FACE DOWN onto the tape exactly where you want them to be. IF you miss the place, you can remove and redo as often as it takes to get what you want. REMEMBER, the GOOD side of the rhinestone (shiny side with facets) goes DOWN into the tape.
- Before you go any further, I should warn you....USE ONLY HEAT FIX RHINESTONES FOR THIS PROCESS. The backings on Heat Fix rhinestones appears somewhat rough, may have small grid marks in it, is either gray or green, and it is matte. IF you have any doubt, place one of the rhinestones on a scrape of fabric and place an iron heated to 'Wool' on it. PRESS hard without moving the iron, hold for 25 seconds and lift iron straight up. Allow to cool some. Stone should be well affixed to fabric. If it is not, you have the wrong rhinestones to work with. Unless you are absolutely sure, always test the rhinestones. It is not a waste of time to do this test. ( When you order rhinestones, make sure you state, HEAT FIX, IRON-ON, or HEAT SET. Test anyway, for errors can occur in shipping from any company.
- Play to your heart's content, arrange, re-arrange, do whatever you want. When you are finished, carefully remove the tape at the corners of the transfer tape (TACKY TAPE) and replace the paper backing (shiny side) back onto the transfer tape. Be careful not to de-arrange your rhinestones. Now, when you turn your new transfer over, right side up, you will see the final product. If it is what you want, you are finished with this transfer. IF not, you can make changes at this point.
- Use this method when you want a unique pattern with exact placement of rhinestones. Use this method when you want many identical images in rhinestones. When your needs exceed 25 or more transfers of the same image, it is probably better to consider having a custom transfer made for you, for this method is very time consuming.
- See below for diagrams of what I have said ....a picture is worth a 1000 words.
- Once you have the transfer made, you can apply it to any fabric with an iron or heat press. Peal the backing off the transfer, place the transfer onto the garment exactly where you want it. (you will not get a second chance once heat is applied, so take your time and place correctly...you can remove and re-place at this stage of the game. USE a NON-STEAM iron (no holes), heated to 'WOOL' setting. If you are setting to tank tops or Tee-shirts and have two layers of fabric on the ironing board, I suggest placing a scrap of sheeting or muslin between the two layers before applying heat, as the hot-melt glue could go through the 1st layer and stain the back layer. Bring the iron Straight down onto the transfer and press as hard as you can for 25 seconds or so. DO NOT apply heat longer, for the glue can diffuse into the fabric too much and not hold the stones well. Larger stones may take longer time...trial and error. DO NOT wiggle the iron or move it in any way while setting the stones, as you run the chance of moving the stones with the iron. Once the time is up, remove the iron by lifting straight up. Allow the tape to cool for about 5-10 seconds and remove tape by Slowly peeling. The tape must be still warm, if not hot. Otherwise, the tape will bond to the fabric too well and will raise the nap of the fabric too much. If, when peeling the tape, stones come with it, you have not applied enough heat for enough time. Immediately stop peeling and replace, re-do the heat step, then try removing again. Usually, this will not happen. But it can with larger stones. So trial and error is the method to use. IF you have a Heat Press, set it to either 305 degrees (Czech Stones) or 350 degrees (Swarovski Stones) at 15 pounds pressure for 25 seconds. Click here for more information about applying heat transfers.
This method has advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages: you can place rhinestones closer together with this method than can be done with prepared custom transfers; you can have exact one-of-a-kind images, art, words, whatever; You can entertain your kids for hours by having them make these things for their own clothing...really cheap method of keeping them out of trouble during vacation times.
Disadvantages: this is very time consuming and requires a steady hand. When you need multiple transfers of the same image, and your needs exceed 50 or so, this method is not a viable option. BUT! If you want a custom transfer produce exactly as you desire it to be, this method is great for the test transfer. Be aware that for custom transfer production, you will need to space your stones about 1/16" apart, for the transfer process will not allow stones to abut each other EXCEPT by hand setting. For a custom transfer, once the test is made, it can be scanned and faxed to us for a quote and production.