Tutorial-Embroidery Tools – The Hot Iron Transfer Pen and Pencil – Creating Iron On Transfers-

After several questions regarding the hot iron transfer pen and pencil, maybe it best to separate the tool usage and showcase it here in it’s own post.

Here is a tutorial about creating Iron On Transfers. This is how I have created hot iron transfers.

1. Have a pattern image.

These pattern images have been PRINTED IN REVERSE. There is an option when you go to “print” to ‘flip’ the image. Explore your printing options. This step helps a lot. You can simply use the pen or pencil and draw right on your printed image.

1 Image printed in reverse

These pattern images have NOT been printed in reverse, so you must use a light source to copy the image to the reverse side with the hot iron transfer pen or pencil.

1 flower images

2. Get a hot iron transfer pencil or pen.

This is a red, hot iron transfer pencil. The one I found here in my Mom’s sewing kit is a Tri-chem Liquid Embroidery hot iron transfer pencil.

tri chem liquid embroidery hot iron transfer pencil

This is a brown Sulky hot iron transfer pen. I bought this from http://www.Joggles.com. (See Pen-Click Here) (Great shipping, great products, great service. Two thumbs up for them!)

sulky brown hot iron transfer pen

3. Trace your design with your hot iron transfer pencil or pen.

Here the flowers were traced on the REVERSE SIDE of the pattern image with the red hot iron transfer pencil.

flowers traced with red iron on transfer pencil

Here the snails were traced with the brown Sulky hot iron transfer pen on the printed side, because the image was PRINTED IN REVERSE.

image traced with brown sulky transfer pen

4. Place the pattern image, hot iron pencil or pen SIDE DOWN onto your fabric.

iris image pencil side downsnail image pen side down

5. Press with hot iron. (Set to cotton usally)

press with hot iron

6. Leave iron placed on the transfer. Peek under a corner to see if the transfer is done.

sneak a peek 1sneak a peek 2

7. The transfer is done. You’ve created a Hot Iron Transfer for embroidery…or for just about anything!

iris iron on transferbrown sulky transfer final

After seeing the wonderful transfer made by the Sulky hot iron on pen, I may never use a hot iron transfer pencil again. I am sure they each have their pros and cons all dependent on what type of project you are wanting to create.

I hope this helps.

Your life needs fun. Go ahead, have some fun!


23 responses to “Tutorial-Embroidery Tools – The Hot Iron Transfer Pen and Pencil – Creating Iron On Transfers-

  1. Pingback: Embroidery Project -Crewel Embroidery-Tree of Life-Part 1 « Curiosities 808

  2. Judith

    Got one question. Will the sulky pen wash out? I want to transfer old patterns to dish towels and once I embroider them it’s important that the marks are washed out for good.

    I’ve tried the pencil. It leaves a very blurry line and would be impossible to follow.

    Please, let me know — thanks !

  3. Pingback: transfer pen

  4. Michelle

    Thanks for the reviews! I have recently discovered embroidery as a great way to pass the time while we’re outside this summer, and I was wondering about the Sulky transfer pen, too. I appreciate you taking the time to explain everything!

  5. do u have any ideas for getting iron on embroidery patterns off fabric i got done with my emboroidery and then the pattern wont come off please help me!

  6. Dear Alicia,

    congratulations for your fantastic blog.
    Just a question, those pencil work with any kind of paper or it must be a special paper like tracing paper.??
    Thanks from Spain!!!

    • hamletta

      KInda late to the party, but I was just at the Sulky Web site, and they had a video of a lady demonstrating the pen, and she was just using regular (cheap) notebook paper. She said paper with a higher linen content makes transfers that can be re-used, but a vellum (coated, translucent paper) will only give you one good transfer.

      The advantage of a vellum or tracing paper is that it’s translucent, so you don’t need a light source underneath to see what you’re doing.

    • hamletta

      Just to add: cheap notebook paper probably has no linen fiber (that’s for fancy stationery). But it’s more porous, so I think that’s the difference.

  7. melissa

    Thanks for the post, I think I’m going to buy one now! But how well do they wash out?

  8. Just a thought: Pellon makes a product called “Stick and Wash Away” that you can draw on, or print right from your printer, and it DOES wash out. It is AMAZING stuff, because it requires NO ironing, just peel and stick. I love it. And you can iron the embroidery transfers to it, as well!

  9. Thank you for tha nice post…

  10. Heather

    What kind of paper did you use to iron on the transfers?

  11. Thanks for this very-easy-to-follow tutorial. I just bought the supplies I need to sequin a sweatshirt, using a template. Not embroidery but I still needed some way to be able to form the lettering I wanted to spell out, and this has helped immensely! Thank you!

  12. Ann speirs

    Can you use the transfer more than once

  13. Patricia Cugle

    Hi I have the red transfer pencils and
    want to trace a picture of the state of Maryland. I also want to then iron it onto a T-shirt. Your directions are so helpful. Especially reminding me that I must reverse the picture of the design that I trace. What I will do is just trace it onto tracing paper as it is originally. Then I will turn over my tracing paper and trace it over again on the reverse side with the red transfer pencil. That way any writing I may have will be reversed/backwards and I can see it very easily through the tracing paper. Tracing over the letters also with the red transfer pencil. NOW, my question is will this red transfer pencil design that I iron on, wash away once I wash my T-shirt?’ I hope not because that will defeat my entire idea for making my own decal iron on of the state of Maryland. Or any other design. Now if this red transfer pencil does remain after washing that will be fantastic! Now, what about other colors? Besides painting the design ironed onto the fabric with fabric paint, do the transfer pencils or the pen come in many different colors? I thank you for your time in addressing my question.

    • Tina

      Aunt Martha’s Red Hot Iron Transfer Pencils will not wash out of white t-shirts or sweatshirts. Try not to trace to dark because the pencil tends to bleed/smudge outside of the tracing lines. I design t-shirts using the transfer pencil and paint pens. I’m going to try using a transfer pen to see if it blends in better. I hope this is helpful.

  14. Donna M Davis

    The question I have is this, what type/kind of paper do I use to trace the reverse image onto? Is there a special or particular kind of paper that must be used?

  15. Carolyn Smith

    Used the heat transfer pencil. Followed firections, and all I got was a light pink smudge across my intended fabric piece!!

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