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Avery Fabric Transfers: A Better Iron-on Transfer?

Reported by Lexi Daly

Earlier this summer, I reviewed Wilton T-shirt Transfers, sharing a variety of ideas for creating fun personalized t-shirts. Although I had success with the Wilton product, I encountered a few frustrations that made me want to test another brand. The Avery Fabric Transfers caught my eye since I use a variety of their other printable products on an almost daily basis. Like Wilton, Avery offers printable transfers for a variety of fabric styles–light, dark, and stretchable. Both brands are created specifically for use in ink jet printers, and can be stamped and colored on as well. They also both include online templates and ideas. Avery Fabric Transfers can be found in office supply stores with other specialty printables, while the Wilton brand is typically found in craft stores. The last few times I was creating personalized T’s, I found myself in the craft store and ended up with the Wilton brand. So, for today’s review, I decided to reprint and transfer a couple of those same designs using the Avery Light Fabric Transfers and see if I noticed a difference.

This picture shows the printed and cut transfers (remember that when you are printing a design with words on this style transfer, you have to reverse the image so the words will transfer properly!) Right off the bat, I noticed how bright the colors were on the printed pages. I also created one stamped design–the little cupcake from A Muse–for a small doll t-shirt. It is important to note that when coloring stamped images on iron-on transfer paper (Avery or otherwise), you should use water based markers, not Copics, which will eat away at the transfer.

Next, it was on to the ironing. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, including “Tips for Great, Long-Lasting Results” on the reverse side. The process isn’t much different from the Wilton transfers. I highly recommend following the directions closely, creating a tester transfer in order to get to know your own iron specifically. Regardless of brand, I almost always overheat my first attempt if I follow the exact time frames in the directions. My first Avery test was no different, however the end result wasn’t ruined like my initial attempts with Wilton when creating the original party T’s last spring.

There is a slight yellow color within the design, but the paper still peeled off nicely, leaving no gaps behind. Actually, you can hardly tell from the picture that it’s not perfect! After this one, I held the iron in place for slightly less than 20 seconds each pass, with excellent results…



I was especially impressed with how the stamped and colored design turned out. Although it was a little awkward trying to press the tiny little t-shirt, the cupcake transferred very nicely and brightly. I need to go out a buy another regular sized t-shirt, so I can try a larger design! (Again, I want to point out that you won’t be able to stamp words on this style transfer–unless you want them to be in reverse!!)

So, to sum things up…

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Not just for printing
  • True color representation–nice & bright!
  • Perfect for personalization

Cons:

  • Can over-iron–be sure to test your iron for the best results!

Overall, I was really happy with the Avery Fabric Transfers on the finished t-shirts. They seemed to work more smoothly and look much brighter than the ones I created earlier this year. I definitely ended this t-shirt creating day a lot less frustrated than the last. I would love to hear if you’ve had similar experiences or if you think it’s all a simple case of user error. Have you tried both? Do you have a favorite brand? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Vendor Spotlight – Kitschy Digitals

Reported by Lexi Daly

When I heard that we would be doing a spotlight on Kitschy Digitals by Danielle Thompson, I was so excited. I fell in love her cheery images and bright colors and couldn’t wait to play with them–they definitely spoke to the “kitsch-lover” in me! I don’t really scrap much (read: ever), but I have dabbled in digital scrapping a bit, making a few gifts for friends that I could easily print more than one copy of. For that reason, and because I’m familiar with things I can do in Photoshop, I chose to get a few digi kits. Whenever I want to focus on creating with something new, I like to get organized. So right off the bat, I printed the preview sheets (above) and contact sheets (below) included with each kit.

While this might take up a lot of ink, I found that it was nice to have a quick reference of the various images that are included, and it saved me time while creating. The preview page is presented collage style and helps to see relative sizes and the overall look of a collection. The contact page has individual thumbnails of the images included. The kits downloaded into organized folders, split up into image types, like embellishments and papers, inside of each main kit folder. You can look at the thumbnails on the computer, but for me, it was a bit more cumbersome.

Since my specialty lies in stamping and card making, the next thing I did was to print several of the papers and images I wanted to use for cards. The great thing about having the digi kits is that it’s easy to change the sizes of what you’re printing and to be able to print as needed. Much like stamps, I can use a favorite image as many times as I want. And I’ll never run out of those adorable papers, like the yummy yellow polka dot and cute green word bubbles! And I can print on paper, card stock, water color paper, etc. The possibilities are endless! Aren’t the images and patterns so cute? I just love the dolls–Skyler, Matilda, and Olivia–each with their own color coordinated kit. My daughter had to have copies of those to play with right away. She’s requested that I make something with the blue Kawaii Cute Soft Serve soon, too. And how about that lollipop tag? There are two bonus pages of them in the Kawaii Cute Fruits Mini-Kit. So much sweet stuff!

Clean, simple, and super quick are what I do best, and these bright and colorful images and papers are perfect for that, so I got busy. I mostly stuck to Kitschy supplies, but it was easy to add a few favorite sentiments from A Muse, too…


Of course, I couldn’t review a digi kit without a little digi scrapping! It’s been a while and these pages are also super simple (not so quick since I don’t do it much!), but the .png and .jpg files were great to work with. Like I did for the cards above, I re-sized the papers and images for the digi pages with ease. I even remembered how to change the color of an image, like I did on the Thrift Store Chic Picture Frames, and cut shapes out of the papers, like the scenery for the lemonade stand.


I even printed one layout and added the “hybrid” touch of butterflies punched from one of the printed paper scraps left over from the cards. Twinkle stickers on their bodies add the perfect bling!


So here’s the run-down…

Pros:

  • Cute, cute, cute!
  • Great prices
  • High quality digital files
  • Can alter size and color
  • Unlimited printing on any paper type

Cons:

  • Best used with knowledge of Photoshop or similar program
  • Need a good printer
  • Uses a lot of ink if printing
  • Lots of cutting for paper projects

Overall, I had a blast with the Kitschy Digitals products. Both for card making and for the digi scrapping. And getting the digi kits gives me flexibility to do both. While it’s best to have a knowledge of Photoshop and a good printer to work with the digi kits, it’s important to note that Kitschy Digitals has alternatives that work for those who don’t have either. Also, there’s so much inspiration, including a few tutorials, on the Kitschy Digitals blog–I hope to be able to pull off some of those fabulous projects very soon! So, if you have an inner “kitsch-lover” like me, I say run out and get some of these cuties and have some kitschy fun!! But don’t forget to leave a comment here first and let us know what you think for your chance at free kitschy fun…

Giveaway Time!!! Danielle has generously donated prizes for 2 winners. One winner will get digital kits and one will win print kits/embroidery patterns. All you have to do is leave your comments letting us know what you love about Kitschy Digitals on any of the Kitschy Digitals posts. You have until Friday at Midnight to enter and the winners will be announced on Saturday!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Iron On Fun- Wilton T-Shirt Transfers

I love to create t-shirts for a variety of special occasions, so I thought it would be fun to review Wilton Easy Image T-Shirt Transfers. Found at Michael’s, Wilton T-Shirt Transfers are “great for personalizing t-shirts, tote bags, home decor and more!” For this review, I used the ones specified for light fabrics, but there is also a version for dark fabrics available. Both can be found on the t-shirt and fabric decorating aisle. The transfers for light fabrics are just under $20.00, and you get 10-8.5″ x 11″ iron on pages for inkjet printers. The package also states that there are hundreds of free design images at wiltoneasyimage.com, to help in creating your personalized items.

Basically what you need in addition to the transfers are something to transfer your design to (like a t-shirt), a computer, an inkjet printer, a pillowcase, and an iron. First you create your design on the computer. While you can use the free designs mentioned above at wiltoneasyimage.com, I prefer to create my own designs. My programs of choice are Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, but you can use a simple word processor or any program that allows you to draw, import a picture, or create words. If you’re using words, you have to remember to flip them horizontally, so that they print in reverse! Once you print, you cut out the design, and following the directions on the package, iron in place. Here’s a visual…


I found out that it is important do the ironing on a hard surface on top of a pillowcase, holding the iron with steady pressure for about 20 seconds over sections of the transfer in order to get the best results–just as the directions state! Once the ironing is complete, you simply peel off the paper to reveal your design. In most cases, you’ll have a nice crisp design waiting to be admired. I do recommend taking a practice run if it’s your first time or if you haven’t done it in a while. I’m not sure if it’s the Wilton brand, but I do have problems from time to time either over or under heating and getting spotty results–either missing pieces of the design or a burned/overcooked type coloring. I wish there were a perfect way to tell when it’s heated enough!

There are so many fun reasons to make a personalized shirt. The one above was to celebrate the school year and moving on–a unique gift for the trio of friends. Here are a few more…

T-shirts for a car wash birthday party were a fun favor that let the girls feel like car wash employees and gave them something to wear between cars and after.
I created a candy bar invitation for my daughter’s candy themed birthday party based on her favorite candy store, and then I modified the invitation file to create a special shirt to wear to the party and for many days to come!
For an Amazing Race scavenger hunt party, t-shirts were created for each team–the girls found out their team when they pulled them from the bag. They were also a great place for autographs to remember the night of fun and meeting Drew Brees!
My nephew had to dress in something representative of Louisiana for state day, so we found an image he liked and ironed it on–a unique shirt on limited time!
And for my fellow stampers, you don’t have to print your design on the computer–try stamping it right on the transfer paper! I stamped the alligator and pirate bird from the recent Summer Fun release from A Muse to create a unique alligator shirt. My daughter can’t wait to wear it!
When it comes to stamping and coloring with Copics, I found that the brush tip worked better than the fine bullet point. It seemed to eat up the transfer a bit, but ironed on fine in the end. For the gator, I actually used a Stampin’ Up! marker and it worked fine, too. It’s also important to note that you can’t stamp words unless you try to mirror image them!

So, to sum things up…

Pros:

  • Perfect for personalization
  • Easy to use
  • Not just for printing

Cons:

  • Sometimes spotty results
  • Easy to over-iron
  • Hard to find online

Overall, I like the Wilton brand, but I would also like to review another brand and compare results. Have you created any t-shirts or other other project using Wilton transfers? Or have you used another brand that you love? Leave a comment and let me know!