I’ve been looking for unique gift ideas for Mother’s Day, and I came across iron-on photo transfers. I never realized I could actually make them myself at home. Whenever I wanted to make a customized shirt or something, I usually went to one of those companies online that will do the actual printing for you. I’m so glad I found this – it is seriously the easiest last-minute present idea ever. All you need is an ink jet printer, some iron-on transfer paper, fabric to decorate, and an iron.

(I am not showing my Mother’s Day gift for my mom here until after Mother’s Day! This was my “test” project.)

I had a smock that I’d bought for Annie a few weeks ago. I figured she could wear it when she “helped” me “cook.” It was perfect for this. I knew exactly what I wanted it to say, and wrote it out in Photoshop.

Once I liked how it looked, I flipped the image. You need to flip it because when you iron on the design or picture, it’s facing the right way. It’s some sort of math problem, and we all know it’s not my strong suit.

I suggest printing out a test run on regular paper before you print on your transfer paper. I printed out a fast draft and placed it on the smock, and it was a good thing I did this because the design was too big. I adjusted and tested again, and finally I was ready to print on the fancy transfer paper.

Once it was printed, I cut it out close to the writing, leaving a small border.


I ironed the smock, and then placed the transfer where I thought it would look best.

placing the transfer

Once I was certain I liked it, I put the iron over it. I put it on the cotton no steam setting, and pushed the iron over it for about a minute or so, until the ends of the paper were sticking to the shirt.

ironing it on

I let the shirt cool for about five minutes – I did NOT want to peel off the design with the backing.

carefully peeling the back off

It looks perfect! Annie loves it.

finished product

I am excited to give my mom her present – she’s going to love it. All I’m going to say is that it involves a very hilarious photo of her granddaughter.

This was seriously so easy and it looks so great in person. I think all my friends and family should get pretty excited about getting personalized presents from me this summer. Believe it.