How to transfer a handwritten recipe to a towel for a thoughtful gift
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!
Whether you’re in search of a thoughtful Valentine’s Day, birthday, or Mother’s Day gift, this sentimental recipe towel is sure to bring happy tears. There is something so special about capturing the handwriting of someone you love, especially in this digital age. Preserve and display a loved one’s handwriting in your kitchen with this DIY handwritten recipe towel tutorial.
P.S. if you don’t want to DIY, you can always get this incredible gift online!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Inkjet printer (not a laser printer)
- Iron or Cricut Easy Press
- Scissors (I used my Cricut Portable Trimmer instead)
- A heat-resistant surface (not an ironing board–I love my mat)
How to make a DIY Handwritten Recipe Towel
Step 1: scan your recipe
Scan your recipe so that you have a file on your computer.
Note: you can either transfer the look of the whole recipe card (lines, oil stains and all) or you can edit it in Photoshop first to transfer just the text
Step 2: prep your recipe
Size your recipe for your towel. My recipe ended up being approximately 4×10″.
Mirror your recipe so that the text reads backwards.
Print a test of your image. Make sure the sizing is correct and that it printed the mirror image. Print this on normal paper so that you don’t waste your transfer sheets if something isn’t right.
STEP 3: print on transfer paper
Once you are satisfied with the test print, print out your recipe on the photo transfer paper. You should print the design on the non-glossy side of the paper.
Cut the excess white space from your recipe.
Step 4: iron your towel
Iron your towel where the design will go. It’s important to iron the towel first to get out any wrinkles. If possible, wash your towel before ironing and transferring the design.
Step 5: position the image
Position your recipe so that the words are now legible. Make sure it’s in the position you would like it to be in.
Step 6: iron your image
If you are using a Cricut Easy Press, I found the perfect settings for you! After trying 10 different heat/time combinations, this one worked the best: 385-degrees for 10 seconds, just holding in place. No need to move the Easy Press around.
If you are using an iron, slowly move over the pattern until it is heated. If you start to peel back the paper and most of the ink has not transferred, continue ironing just a little bit more.
IMMEDIATELY peel the design off using your tweezers. If you can only iron half of your recipe at once, peel off the part that you did and then keep it peeled while working on the next half.
A few things I learned along the way
- You want to get as much of the ink transferred to the towel as possible. I found that there was a sweet spot. Too little heat and the ink wouldn’t transfer. Too much heat and the ink wouldn’t transfer. If you aren’t using an Easy Press, I would highly recommend grabbing a spare towel to test out the heat transfer until you find the sweet spot.
- The transfer sheets give you ironing instructions, but I found that they were too long with the Easy Press and made my towel and transfer paper yellow. Lesson learned: too much heat for too long with make everything yellow! Great if you want an antique look, not great if you like bright white.
- Peel immediately! When it’s hot will be the easiest time to peel the transfer sheet. It cools quickly, so you want to move quickly! But don’t burn yourself–tweezers are helpful.
There you have it! A beautiful, thoughtful recipe towel that will be the star of your kitchen. Though you can wash the towels and ink according to the transfer sheet FAQ, I would recommend using these as decorative towels and washing on delicate only as needed.