Creative Crafts From Your Computer

Use your computer, printer, and creative side to create fun home accessories

Click, Print, Transfer

You're just a mouse click away from enhancing your home with creative custom touches. Put your computer to work by printing clip art, graphics, and typography onto transfer paper, and then start embellishing.

Finding clips will be your first step. Here are a few places to look for freebie art:
-- Internet - Type "free clip art" in a Web search engine. Add keywords such as "animal" or "flower" to narrow your search.
-- Books - Clip art books are sold at bookstores. But before you dole out any cash, check you local library for the book.
-- Photographs - Scan images into your computer and play around with different effects such as black-and-white and sepia tones.
P.S.- Be aware of copyright rules.

Artsy Pillows

Create pillows with panache by applying iron-on transfers to a pillowcase or stuffed accent pillow. Applying iron-on transfers to pillowcases yields a crisp, clean design. Ironing transfers directly onto a stuffed pillow produces a more relaxed look.

Get a Word In

Fabric embellished with iron-on phrases or words can be used to make funky washable napkins and playful coverings for cushions. For phrases, look through books of quotations or consider a line from a favorite movie. Like Chinese food? Iron fortune cookie philosophy on to napkins.

Let Words do the Talking

Use words to set the mood. Here, a party table cloth is embellished with words fit for the festivities. Create tablecloths for occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and for seasonal decor.

Transfers by the Roomful

Dress a whole room with iron-on dècor. A series of bird drawings embellish both the shower curtain and storage bucket. Ribbon with iron-on quotes becomes a whimsical trim for towels. White metal storage bins get a facelift with water slide decals protected by water-based sealer.

Gain a View

Create your own spectacular landscape by turning photos into a scenic wall hanging. All you need is a stack of iron-on paper (also called transfer paper, approximately $10 for 6 sheets), a computer, a scanner, printer or copier and a curtain.

How to Make It:
1. Find landscape images or personal or published photographs (copyright-free only) that you like. The images should look good in repeating patterns, like the cherry blossoms shown here.
2. Scan the photos into the computer and print them out on iron-on paper. You can also copy them directly onto transfer paper at a copy shop.
3. Plan your image layout on the curtains. Space images symmetrically in tidy groupings. Or try a more informal placement if your images lend themselves to it.
4. Follow our Basic Iron-on Instructions to transfer the images.

See the next slide for basic iron-on instructions.

Basic Iron-on Instructions

Creating iron-on transfers is a simple project. Computer software is available to print onto transfer paper, or you can simply photocopy your design onto the paper. Keep in mind that letters and words need to be printed in reverse to transfer correctly.

What You'll Need:
-- Transfer images
-- Iron
-- Fabric to be embellished (cotton works best)
-- Bedsheet
-- Scissors

How to Make It:
1. Cut out the pictures, words, or phrases. Turn the iron onto its highest heat setting with the steam off.
2. Fold the bedsheet and lay it on the ironing board. Set the fabric on the sheet and position the transfer on the fabric.
3. Run the iron over the transfer for several seconds (follow the manufacturer's instructions).
4. Peel off the backing.

Customize a Canvas

Nothing adds personality to a room faster than displaying your favorite photos. Creating a display like this one is a surprisingly simple two-step process.

1. Print out scanned versions of your photos onto water-slide decal transfer paper.
2. Attach them to black stretched canvases, which can be purchased at art supply or craft stores. Many sizes are available and come already mounted on easy-to-hang wood frames.

Larger than Life

For artwork beyond standard letter-size, use the tiling option on your printer.

How to Make It:
-- Produce 8 1/2 X 11-inch pieces that fit together like a puzzle. Don't worry about overlapping edges; the translucent quality of the paper allows for layering.
-- Mix equal amounts of clear craft glue and water to adhere the picture to the canvas.
-- After you have the pieces in place, brush the entire surface with the glue mixture.

Dish It Up

Give glasses and plates a sunny disposition with fresh blossoms.

How to Make It:
1. For each glass or plate, print small flower images onto water-slide decal transfer paper. Trim closely around each image with a crafts knife or scissors.
2. Soak the cutouts in a shallow pan according to the instructions provided with the transfer paper.
3. After a few minutes, the paper backing peels away from the image, leaving a gummy layer that will adhere to the glasses.
4. Press the decals into place.

See the next slide for instructions to finishing your dishware.

Top It Off

Continue from last slide...
3. Bake the plates for a glazed finish.
4. To protect the images, coat glasses and plates with water-based clear varnish. The items should be washed by hand

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