typography transfers.

By now you all know that I have a love of typography.

I like putting words on things.

Sometimes that’s with a stencil.

Or sometimes with an I.O.D. paint inlay.

But most often it’s with a transfer.

My all-time favorite is the Label Ephemera transfer from I.O.D.

I do have one complaint about this one though, that the designs overlap each other.  It can be challenging to cut them apart, and some sections are simply unusable on their own.  In addition, this transfer has been retired, so it’s going to be harder and harder to get my hands on it.

I also really love I.O.D.’s Traditional Pots transfer.

However, all of the designs in this set are curved to fit on a cylindrical kind of object, ie. a pot.  So I think they look a little wonky on flat objects.

This button box is a good example of what I mean by that.  Here’s how it looks on a flat object.

And here’s how it looks on a curved object.

Yep, definitely better on a curved object.

I find that the Classic Vintage Labels from re.design with prima are a little more versatile in that regard.

Although many of them have some curve to them, they also have some straight lines so they tend to work well on flat or curved surfaces.

I just ordered two more sets of these, so I’m looking forward to updating more thrifted finds with them.

But they are rather small.  They are perfect for little stuff, but don’t really have enough impact for bigger projects.

Speaking of small, I also sometimes use Tim Holtz transfers which are even smaller, or the knob transfers from re.design with prima.

That’s one of the knob transfers on that miniature toolbox above and the dresser has a combination of Tim Holtz and I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfers.

Dixie Belle has recently come out with a typography transfer that works well for smaller items called Vintage Post.

I’ve used bits of it on various things like this tackle box.

But again, there is a lot of overlap of designs on this one that makes it challenging to cut out specific elements to use on their own.

Dixie Belle also has their On the Farm transfer that has some typography in it.

I particularly love that one.

And speaking of a ‘farm’ theme, re.design with prima has Everyday Farmhouse.

It’s fairly basic.

Nonetheless, I’ve used it on lots of items.

I keep hoping that someone will come out with more designs similar to the Label Ephemera from I.O.D., whether that’s I.O.D., re.design with prima, Dixie Belle, or some other manufacturer of transfers.

In the meantime, for a change of pace I recently ordered some of the new French Labels Middy transfers from re.design with prima.

I picked up a no-name crock at the Goodwill recently.  I call it ‘no-name’ because it doesn’t have any markings on it anywhere, it’s just plain and not a collectable antique.  So I tested out one of the French Labels on it.

It dressed it up perfectly, taking it from drab to fab!

If you’re just starting out using transfers and you want something easy to apply, these Middy transfers are a great option.  They come on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and for around $16 you get three sheets of them, so you aren’t making a big financial commitment and you have plenty to play around with.

As far as quality goes, I find that all of these brands I’ve mentioned work quite well.  I can’t honestly say that the quality of any one brand is better than the others.  The I.O.D. transfers come on a gridded sheet that makes it easier to keep them straight which is nice.  But basically I tend to choose based on the look of the graphics themselves.

You have some options for purchasing transfers.

You can try to find a brick and mortar shop near you that carries them.  Here are links to the ‘find a retailer’ page for I.O.D., Dixie Belle and re.design with prima.  I will warn you though, many of the brick and mortar retailers don’t have a full inventory of products so it can be very hit or miss.  Before driving very far, I would call to see if your nearest retailer has the item you want.

I almost exclusively order my transfers online.  There are lots and lots of options for purchasing from online sellers.  One resource is Etsy.  One caution there, make sure you are looking at transfers.  You’ll also find decals, and digital prints and other things that look like transfers, but aren’t.  Read the fine print before placing your order.

Initially ordering via Etsy has led me to retailers that I now order from directly.

For I.O.D. products, I like The Painted Heirloom.  She always ships items super fast, however, you will pay $6.95 for shipping if you spend less than $60.  She doesn’t offer free shipping until you’ve spent $150 or more.  She also doesn’t have any back inventory of retired designs, so I’m out of luck on getting any more Label Ephemera from her (check Etsy for retired designs, there are usually people out there with back stock).

For re.design with prima products, I ordered my Middy labels from Flipping Fabulous.  She also ships super fast, and offers free shipping for orders over $75.  The Classic Vintage Labels I ordered recently came from Sweet Pickins.  That can be a handy way to order if you also happen to need some of their In a Pickle milk paint!

I always order my Dixie Belle transfers directly from their website, but they do charge shipping.

As for small Tim Holtz transfers, you can find some of his stuff at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, although I don’t know what their current inventory looks like.

I hope I’ve answered a few questions about transfers today.  Now how about you?  Do you have a favorite brand of transfer?  And if so, why?  Leave a comment and let us know.

9 thoughts on “typography transfers.

  1. I find your skill and work outstanding. Wish I lived closer to your shop. Most transfers are outside of my budget but I do enjoy looking at your work


  2. This was very informative. I love the fab to drab description because it is spot on for a plain Jane thrift store find. I have several plain wooden boxes I’ve accumulated that I’m trying to work up the courage to try these on. If I mess it up, can it be sanded off? And do you measure or mark before placing? I know this is basic but not sure I could eyeball it.


    1. Yes, you can absolutely sand it off, or you can attempt to remove it with rubbing alcohol or baby oil. I tried Mineral Spirits once and that did not work (see that here). But you will have to re-paint afterwards, it won’t come off a painted surface cleanly. However, on a crock like this, or unpainted glass, you can scrape them off with a razor blade. I rarely measure, although I will on a large piece just to be sure. On small pieces like the crock though, I just eyeball it. The grid on the I.O.D. brand is helpful for keeping them straight without the need to measure too.


  3. I always love seeing the Meadowgrove Farms Inc picture since that item is currently sitting right on my kitchen island next to the stove with a utensil pot on one side and spices on the other!


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