Sure, there are a heap of different embellishing methods out there though did you know you can make your own custom, professional-looking, easy to use decals at home with no expensive outlays, time-consuming crafting or specialty equipment?
All you need is some waterslide decal paper and a printer (plus a cute design of course!).
Waterslide decal paper comes with a white or clear carrier film and is compatible with either inkjet or laser printers so be sure to purchase the type of paper best suited to your particular project.
Let’s get started….
Yes, those are my ugly kitchen tiles you can see beneath the plates. I will get around to making over my kitchen one day!
I really love the professional finish, ease and graphic flexibility of this method. Anything you can design you can use as an embellishment, and waterslide decals can be applied to all kinds of substrates (glass, timber, metal etc.). The possibilities are vast and, for a DIY-aholic like me, embarrassingly exciting!
Waterslide Decal Paper (eBay)
Ceramic Plates (Provincial Home Living)
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So far I have been unable to find the magic coating paper elsewhere unfortunately.
When you purchase sheets of the magic coating paper from the company I used it comes complete with the decal paper too. So if you already have some decal paper then you probably don’t want to order the magic coating (to save having excess sheets of decal paper). You can make decals without the magic coating if need be.
Lazertran does not sell the magic coating though rather different varieties of decal paper.
Waterslide decals are still quite durable without the magic coating (just not as durable) so you can certainly forgo the magic coating. Just follow the directions included with your paper.
Hope this helps!
Good luck :-)
Hello, I saw your tutorial about how to make water slide decals. I am looking to make customized pilsner glasses for a friend and I was wondering if these water slide decals are like dishwasher and handwashing safe. I want him to be able to use them and wash them without the decal coming off. Is that basically what a waterslide decal is? or a just for decoration decal? you can email me privately if you’d like to answer my question thanks!
Waterslide decals are durable to some extent though I wouldn’t recommend them for frequent use. You can get a ‘Magic Coating’ which does make them somewhat tougher though you would need to specify gentle hand-washing.
Have you had a look online for companies which produce custom dishwasher safe labels? Perhaps something professionally made might suit your needs better.
Let me know if you have more questions.
Thanks, I’m gonna try it. I would like to personalize them myself for my friend, I know he wouldn’t be expecting it.
Can you use this on your walls?
You certainly could!
If ever you wanted to remove it, it might be a bit difficult, though certainly do-able.
Thanks so much for this great idea- HOWEVER, word to the wise for ladies planning a “Pinterest Night”, be sure to plan ahead because we are pretty sure this paper is by order only… hours at Michael’s and Office Depot left us disappointed and unable to find any (plus none of the sales people had any clue what we were talking about!), and had to change our whole planned project for the night : ( Guess we’ll need to order some!
Does it work better if printed with an inkjet printer or laser because I have access to both?
I would probably opt for the laser if you have access to one. Just make sure you buy the right paper (they come specifically suited for either inkjet or laser printers).
Hi, I really love this idea, but is there any particular reason why to go for inkjet? I have access to both, but I prefer inkjet for the high-end printing (use laser for office purposes only), nonetheless I am not sure with decals…
I do not plan to use dishwasher etc, I just love to use something like that for decorative purposes but I will get to contact with kinds on regular basis (it is a photostudio http://www.fotoprome.cz) is using of these materials safe? (I mean because of rubbing, scratching and later licking fingers…) Thank you very much, Petr, Fotoprome.cz
Laser prints are more water and fade resistant than inkjet though if you don’t plan to wash the decals or have them in direct sunlight then inkjet should be fine.
As far as I’m aware the decals are very contact safe though the manufacturers recommend avoiding food touch surfaces as a precaution.
I found a website that sells the paper! http://www.decalpaper.com.au/products/inkjet-decal/clear/
I love this idea, although I’m curious why you sprayed it with the sealer first?
It just helps protect the ink from running.
Did you know you can glue ceramic tiles on top of your old ones on the wall? Just saying…
Yeah, there are loads of ways to cover-up or re-do wall tiles DIY style. I’m sure I’ll try something cosmetic like that rather than replacing the tiles when we eventually get around to making over our kitchen :-)
Love this..would I need to set mirror image before I print?
It depends how you want to attach the decals. Generally, no, you don’t need to print in mirror as usually the decals are attached ink side up, though if you would prefer for the ink to be concealed between the object and decal film you can print in mirror (which is what I did in this instance as my plates are purely ornamental). I’m not certain how much of a difference it makes though my understanding is that perhaps the decal glue is more abundant on the back of the decal so it might stick better if attached ink side up. The decal paper you buy should come with clear instructions.
Hope this makes sense.
I was wondering about if you have ever printed these labels in white before and if so, did you need a special printer? Thank you!
Standard domestic and most commercial printers do not print in white. You would need to use a specialised professional service.
Otherwise, you could use white decal paper and cut around your graphic. Or you could use vinyl.
i love the plates but what does the numbers represent?
Like lots of décor accents, they don’t have a particular meaning though are simply nice and interesting to look at.
I was wondering if you could eat off these plates after? or is the paper not sealed after it is put on?
Waterslide decals are not certified as food safe so it’s not really recommended to use them on ‘food-touch’ surfaces. I think this is mainly due to the use of acrylic sealer.
hi there! does it matter if the acrylic spray is matte or glossy?
No, not really. Gloss may have more of a noticeable sheen (though sometimes this can be a good thing).
I am just loving your blog!! Where do you get this paper? I am based in Germany at the moment – I would have no idea what its called in German either. Do you have an online supplier?
Just do an eBay search for “waterslide decal paper”. There are lots of eBay sellers who will provide affordable international shipping.
Love your site. I’m trying to find for a clear acrylic sealer in Melbourne. Where did you get yours from?
You can buy clear acrylic spray sealer from pretty much any craft or hardware store. Try Riot, Spotlight, Masters or Bunnings.
sooo cute and fun!
I’m curious! do you use a laser printer? I have an ink jet printer and I’m assuming they would not do well immersed in water!
Can you print them at a print shop?
These are actually inkjet decals. The paper is designed specifically for inkjet printers and the act of sealing the decals with spray acrylic helps to further protect the image. I had no running of ink which does seem kinda amazing.
You can also buy laser waterslide decal paper if you’d prefer. I’m not certain if a print shop will print onto paper supplied by a customer though you could always ask :-)
There is also a product called magic coating paper (you can read my tutorial for that here: https://thepaintedhive.net/2012/02/magic-decal-transfer-tutorial-with-free-printables/) which can be used in place of the spray acrylic sealer for a more professional, durable finish.
In my town, we did something really similar to this. A bunch of kids scanned their hands and printed it out, then the city sketched out a shape on a wall and all the different colored handprints were put up using the waterslide paper. The entire thing was sprayed over with a clear, protective acrylic. This was done a couple years ago, and it’s still there. :) You could try something like that on you so-called ‘ugly’ kitchen tiles. (I actually like that taupe color; it goes well with sage green.)
Wow. That sounds cool.
The overall colour of the tiles is okay though you can’t really see in the picture that they actually have a grey and brown spatter effect, which is kinda dated.
Can you tell me about the compact looking printer you are using? Is it also for color? Laser or Ink Jet? Model information?
That’s actually my old printer. I think I bought it in about 2008! It has since been discontinued though there are lots of really affordable compact printers out there. Visit an office supplies store and I’m sure they’ll be able to help you out.
Beautiful!! Kristine do you mind telling me what typeface is this?
Hmmm, from memory it’s Elephant. I used a different font for the ‘1’ though and I can’t recall what that was sorry.
is it waterproof?
Water proof – no. Water resistant – yes (to an extent). The decals can be wiped with a damp cloth though the ink can run, or they can even become detached, if immersed in water. Have you seen my post about magic waterslide decals? You can find it here.
They are a bit more durable, plus there is no yellowing as a result of the spray sealer.
Are these dishwasher safe?
They are water resistant and whilst they might survive a few runs through the dishwasher I do not recommend it. I’ve found that sometimes the decals slide right off and sometimes they fair okay – not sure why. Gentle hand washing is best.
Beautiful! Have you considered doing the water slide decals to breathe new life and pizzaz into those tiles? Or will they not work on those? Would love to see the transformation process with doing a customized kitchen wall with them whether it spans all or just a few tiles.
Yes, I have thought about decal-ing all kinds of stuff! They would certainly work on tiles and I have used them on wood and plastic/acrylic before too.
Our whole kitchen is in need of a relatively major cosmetic makeover so for now I’m just living with it as is until we’re ready to really delve in.
I would certainly suggest decals to anyone wanting to simply update their ceramic tiles though. The possibilities are pretty awesome. Did you know you can also buy pre-made tile decals too? Have a look on Etsy. They’re not super cheap though some of the patterns are really cool.
Love your idea using the sealer. I tried this before using tape and inkjet printer. I later found out that the best printer is a laser printer. So what type of printer is best with your method?
The waterslide decal paper I used generally comes in two different varieties; one for inkjet printers, and one for laser printers. I used inkjet paper for this project and haven’t had any issues with my transfers as they are purely decorative (no one ever touches or uses them).
If I had a choice, I would probably opt for a laser printer as I believe the toner is more water and fade resistant than the inkjet ink. That said, most people have domestic inkjet printers and, like I already mentioned, they also work well.
Hi, I was just wondering why you use a sealer spray? Thanks
I guess I should have read all the posts. You answere my question already. 😊
Ha, ha. No worries, I would have answered anyway :)
I should actually update the post with a bit more info. It’s an older tutorial of mine and I’ve gotten much better at them since I posted this one!
What’s the printer model name
Canon MG7160. It’s quite a few years old now.
isnt there a certain way you have to set your printer to print backwards so the words come out the write way once transferred. Otherwise they’d be backwards. What are those settings or whats that called so i can look it up. Thanks.
It will depend on your particular printer. It will be called either “Mirror” or “Reverse”. Hope this helps :)