MAGIC Decal Tutorial with Free Printables

Magic Decal Tutorial - with free printables | The Painted Hive

Some of you may remember, a little while back I posted a tutorial for DIY waterslide decals.

Among other things, I mentioned how awesome they are for creating custom embellishments without the need for any fancy-pants equipment. Yep, waterslide decal paper is a truly fab product, though as great as it is, there is one drawback – although it’s somewhat tough it’s not especially durable. So, whilst it’s perfect for ornamental purposes, it’s not ideal for more practical applications…until now that is!

Magic decal coating paper is a product designed to be used in conjunction with standard decal paper to make the finished transfers super durable – yes, even dishwasher resistant!

If you’re already familiar with magic decal coating paper then please excuse my tardy excitement, though for everyone else who is just getting to the party now too, feel free to start throwing the streamers!

My recently acquired assortment of SLOM jars from IKEA were awaiting some DIY craftiness and seemed the perfect candidates for my first magic decal experiment.

As there may be several brands of magic decal coating paper out there, each with slightly differing application requirements, for clarity in this tutorial I will specifically pertain to the particular product I used which I attained from here. The paper seems a little pricey though you can create several decals from one sheet so in reality the individual decals are actually quite inexpensive.

The paper I received came with three sheets of waterslide decal paper (distinguished by a blue watermark on the back) which you print your image onto, and three accompanying sheets of the magic coating paper (distinguished by attached translucent protective paper).


1 Image to transfer.

Use anything you like. I made up my canister labels in Photoshop though a standard publishing program would be fine too. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them – see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Printer.

You can use either a laser or an inkjet printer. The decal paper comes in two varieties, designed specifically for the type of printer you plan to use. Just make sure to purchase the right paper for you. I used an inkjet printer.

3 Decal paper (blue watermark on back).

Decal paper comes in clear or white. I’m using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.

4 Magic paper (attached translucent protective paper).

5 Laminator.

Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

6 Scissors.

7 Water.

8 Soft cloth.

9 Item to embellish.

As already mentioned, I’m using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.

10 Microwave, oven or hairdryer.


1 Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image). Allow to dry thoroughly. I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable (see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3 Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper (the translucent paper is designed to act as a protective barrier of sorts between the decal paper and laminator heat).
Note: As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.

4 Laminate your stack of three papers on low speed and at low temperature.
Note: Laminating pouches are not needed. Laminating is performed to fuse the decal paper and magic coating together. Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

5 Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image – you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.
Note: By nature, waterslide decals have a very fine, slightly translucent carrier film. On close inspection this will be visible on completed transfers. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).

6 Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.
Important: Ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7 Immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8 Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free.

9 Finally, set the decal by either:
Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius.
Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low.
Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Although I was hesitant, I did find the courage to run these babies through the dishwasher (twice, just to be certain) and they didn’t show any signs of distress. I was honestly AMAZED! Of course, given I have only had them for a few days I can hardly vouch for their longevity so advise hand washing for frequent use.

As I mentioned, there is a very faint translucent background (which is the case with waterslide decals) though once the canisters are filled it’s barely noticeable. You could choose to use basic clear stickers in place of decals. Just be mindful they will not be as durable and their border and background will be more visible.

I am super stoked with how these turned out – absolutely love! Don’t forget to download your complimentary printable sheets of labels below!



If you’d prefer the labels without the work you can now buy them in easy ready-to-apply format from my little on-line store here.
And excitingly, along with the PDF file, you can also now download the free editable PSD version of my labels below!
Finally, the SLOM range of jars has since been discontinued. KORKEN is IKEA’S new alternative though similar clip-top jars can be found in lots of discount/dollar stores.


  1. Juliette says:

    Mine wouldn’t print?

    • Hi again Juliette. Just wanted to make sure you received my email? Have you managed to get it to work for you?

  2. Anna says:

    Just thought I would shoot you an update for those who were interested in buying the paper from the link you provided. They seem to not sell the product right now. Unfortunately, I will have to look for an alternative or another supplier, any suggestions?

    • Hi Anna
      Thanks. There are two sources for the paper in my post…
      – Robin’s Eggcetera (USA) still does appear to sell it. If you know any differently, please let me know and I’ll make some updates.
      – Sounds Creative (Australia) did cease selling it a little while ago. I’ve actually been meaning to amend that as I have found an alternative.
      I have also seen a UK seller who offers a similar product though it is for laser printers only. I will add that to the post as well.
      If I come across any others, I will let you know.
      In the meantime, if you are still having trouble finding the magic coating, you can always use regular waterslide decal paper (which is easier to come by) and seal it with clear spray instead. It’s not quite as durable and can yellow a little over time though it’s an option.

    • Hi again Anna
      Just wanted to let you know I have updated the post with the new links. The UK company I mentioned has started selling the magic paper in inkjet form too so I also added their product.

  3. dj says:

    Great Idea! I’m not a DIY person..but I think I can do this…do you have a word version of the printable I don’t have photoshop?

    Or if you can share what size font you used…that could be helpful for me to recreate..


    • Hi DJ
      Sorry, I don’t have a Word version though it would be easy to create one for yourself. I have listed the fonts I used at the end of the post and you can adjust the sizes to whatever you feel is suitable for your canisters and is aesthetically pleasing :)

  4. Flor P. says:


    I would love to try this project…. So with this magic paper, it would protect or dishwasher safe?

    • Hi there
      These decals are dishwasher resistant. I ran mine through a few times and they were fine though I wasn’t game to use the dishwasher too many times. After numerous washes the glue could begin to weaken and/or the sealer might lift and the underlying ink could run. I would recommend hand washing.

  5. house says:

    Awesome post.

  6. Custom Signs says:

    Great article! Ԝe are linking to this great post օn ourr
    site. Ҝeep upp the good writing.

  7. Gabby says:

    Is the magic paper attached to the decal paper? Or it is something separate that needs to be purchased?

    • Hi Gabby
      The waterslide decal paper and magic coating paper are two separate products. Sometimes they are sold as a pair. Just double check what is being specifically offered when you make your purchase.

  8. Shanna Turner says:

    Thank You !!!

  9. Cheryl Armstrong says:

    Does the paint on the mason jars , get fumes into the food in the jars? And does the paint scrape or wash off? Thank you , I’m new to this so don’t know.

    • Hi Cheryl
      Well, the decals are attached to the outside of the jars so there is no issue with food contamination. The ink does not scrape or rub off (I’ve been using my jars for four years now and they look as good as new). That said, you need to treat them with some care (don’t scrub them with a scourer for example!) and avoid the dishwasher if at all possible. Gentle hand-washing in warm soapy waer is fine.

  10. Cheryl. Armstrong says:

    Wei thank you so much for answering my comment , I love the things I learn from pintrist and the kind people who share on there.

  11. Cheryl. Armstrong says:

    Think you so much for answering my question. I love Pinterest and the kind people who share on there.

  12. Traci says:

    I just came across your blog! I love it! I was wondering what if I need to take off the label after doing the labels the way you have done it for a permanent application? Just curious because I change out my spices sometimes . Hopefully I will hear back from you.

    • Hi Traci
      As mentioned in my post, although these are dishwasher resistant I do recommend hand-washing for longevity as eventually the glue is likely to weaken. You can remove the decals by soaking them in really hot water and rubbing gently with a mild abrasive cloth.

      • Traci says:

        Thank you for your quick reply! Sorry I missed that. I appreciate you going over it again :)

  13. This was so helpful! Thank you!!! I made the labels the first way and I had the same problem with the ink smearing when I washed the jars. I was thrilled to discover that you solved my problem. I would love to show you a photo of my jars. I displayed them in my kitchen on wine boxes that were attached to the wall from their bottoms. The boxes created the cutest shelves and the small, medium, and large jars look amazing! Thank you for all of the time you spent explaining the procedure so well! :)

    • Hi Palma
      I’d love to see your jars and shelves! Please feel free to email me a pic ( They sound so cute!

  14. Artsy Fartsy says:

    This is so cute! I absolutely love what you have done with the jars! And I am looking forward to trying it. Although, I have checked out the magic coating paper and unfortunately its not available in the UK. Is there any alternatives that I can use?

  15. Kayla says:

    Can you make these into svg files?

    • Hi Kayla
      Sorry, I created these in Photoshop CS4 which doesn’t have the capacity to save as .svg. I think only Illustrator has that function and unfortunately I don’t have that program.

  16. Adriyanna Andreus says:

    This is great! What font did you use in photoshop?

    • Thanks. I used three fonts: Mrs Eaves Bold, Courier New and Another Typewriter.

  17. Mila Duenas says:

    Hi, I would love to make these. Where do I start? Please email me.

    Thank You,

    • Hi Mila
      Well, the complete process is explained in the blog post. You simply need to download my free printables (or make your own), obtain the supplies I have listed then follow the steps outlined in the tutorial.
      If you’re confused about something in particular, please let me know and I’ll try and help.

  18. Sharyn says:

    Is it possible to accomplish this process using a Xyron 850 laminater, which doesn’t use heat to laminate?

    • Hi Sharyn

      From what I know of the Xyron, I don’t think so. This process doesn’t actually laminate (as in ‘wrap’) the papers. It uses heat to melt the papers together.


  19. Shirlei Dalcin says:

    Hi, first of all i would like to say that i loooooved these. Second: can you tell me please where did you get these definitions? See, I’m Brazilian, so I’m not familiarized with another languages dictionarys, and I would like to add some supplies.
    Thanks in advance, best regards

    • Hi Shirlei
      I simply used an online dictionary for the definitions then tweaked things a bit as needed. If you want yo make your own labels you can do so using a Brazilian online dictionary.

  20. Shirlei Dalcin says:

    Oh I see, thank you for your reply. But those numbers above de definition, has some meaning? Thanks again :)

Leave a Comment