Tutorial of the Month – Tape Transfers

Good morning, everyone!  Can you believe yet another month has passed us by?!?!  You know what that means, right?  That’s right…another tutorial 😀  This month I decided to dust off an old tutorial I did several years ago that I think needs refreshing.  Plus…it’s a great technique that has lots of applications.  Today, I’m going to show you how to do tape transfers 🙂


The materials required for this technique include:

  • printed cardstock OR laser printed images (do not use ink jet images)
  • packing tape
  • bone folder
  • scissors
  • warm water
  • paper towel


Step #1

Lay a piece of packing tape on your work surface with the sticky side up. Ensure that you do not leave fingerprints on the tape where your image will be.  This prevents any creases from forming in the tape to produce a clear image.

Hint:  Fold a small corner over on the edge of your tape to create an “unsticky” spot so the tape won’t keep sticking to your fingers.

Step #2

Add image to the packing tape with printed side down.  Ensure that your image is either from scrapbook paper or is a laser printed image.  Do NOT use an image printed using an ink jet printer.

Step #3

Trim excess tape from around the image.

Step #4

Burnish tape onto the image using a bone folder.

Step #5

Lay your image in a bowl of warm water and allow the paper to become completely saturated.

Step #6

Start rubbing paper off of the back of the tape.

Step #7

After removing the first bit of paper, place the image in a bowl of warm water (or under a running tap) and continue rubbing the remaining paper from the back of the tape.

Note:  Ensure that you continue rubbing the paper off from the back of the tape while it is under water.  The water acts as a lubricant and prevents you from rubbing the ink image from the tape.

Step #8

Allow the image to air dry before using on your projects 🙂  If you notice a white haze on your image, you can add more water to the image and rub the remaining paper off the back of the tape.  Do NOT use a heat gun to dry the image…you will melt the tape.

Note:  Only make tape transfers of images you have an immediate use for.  After drying, they do remain tacky from the tape, especially the areas that are lighter in color because they have less ink.

What to do with your tape transfers…

Now that you have created some tape transfers, what do you do with them?  Here are a few ideas:

Because the images are translucent, they look really cool when added to an inked background.  In the picture below, I created a weathered looking tag background using Distress Inks, then added my tape transfers to create a cool tag background.

Another idea is to adhere your tape transfer to aluminum tape or foil to create a cool metallic image.  I’ve used this technique with small images and added them to small glass frames to create the charm on the tag below.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s tutorial.  If you’d prefer to watch a video of how to use this technique, you’re in luck 🙂  Here’s a look at the original tutorial video I made four years ago.

All of the images I used in this tutorial were obtained from Ephemers’a Garden over on Etsy and can be found right HERE.  Thanks for popping by, and have a great day 🙂

Reader Interactions


  1. Fran says

    Thank you for this. I always rub too much of the image off; now I know. However, which is the top side of the image; the shiny tape side or the sticky side. And, how do you stick it on the page?
    You do great tutorials. Love the information you give!!

    • Monique says

      Fran, The sticky side of the tape will remain a little bit tacky. That’s the side you glue down. I like to use my xyron because it provides full coverage without being able to see any adhesive.