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How to Make Craft Transfer Rub ons

Use this technique to use transfer rub-ons for all of your craft projects. You can even learn how to make them from your own images.

Rub Ons


  • Rub-on or transfer
  • Surface
  • Burnisher or smooth tool to use to rub or transfer the rub-on to the surface.

Step by Step

  1. Make sure you start with a clean surface, clean burnishing tool and clean hands. Work on a hard surface.
  2. If necessary trim excess from around the design you want to transfer.
  3. Place your design face down (backing will be facing up) on the surface you wish to apply it.
  4. Begin to rub the transfer. Start by rubbing down the edges of the design. Rub gently and firmly. When you think you have rubbed the entire surface of the design, slowly lift from one corner to make sure you got the entire design. Don’t worry if you miss transferring a piece of the design, lay the transfer back down and rub again.
  5. Most rub ons and transfers come with a paper backing. Remove the transfer backing and place the paper backing over the design. Rub gently with your fingers to seal the bond of the rub on.
  6. In most cases you can seal the rub on or transfer with a spray sealer or protective coat of finish. Read rub on or transfer packaging for instructions.


Make your own rub on!

  1. Copy an image onto a sheet of transparency “paper” found at most office or computer stores. You need an ink jet printer for this technique since most laser printer ink dries too quickly.
  2. Immediately lay down the image onto the surface you want to transfer it to and rub!
  3. The image should rub on or transfer easily.


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