CitraSolv Transfer Method, Napkins and Chairbacks

As my faithful readers might recall, recently I redid some dining room chairs I bought on craigslist.  The "recently" part was, ohhhh, a year in the making.  Obviously I didn't rush into that redo!
Citra solv fabric transfer method

Working with anything fabric is out of my comfort zone.  I can't sew and even fabric projects that don't require sewing intimidate me.

Unlike my chairs, this project is quick, simple, and took me less than a year.  Originally this project was a guest post for Fox Hollow Cottage.

I was trying to look all crafty and impress Shannon's readers.  Hopefully no one passes out because I actually did a tutorial.

20 years ago I bought some heavy golden brass twig handled flatware when my dining room was rustic with pine cones everywhere.

Brass Twig Flatware

The flatware came wrapped in some muslin napkins that look pretty much just like the drop cloth I used for the chair redo so I decided the napkins needed a redo to match my chairs.

how to transfer to muslin citra solv

Lately I've been experimenting with transfer methods that I find tutorials for.  Some have not worked so well, like a photo transfer I tried last month on a gift dresser for my daughter, and some, like the dining room chairs have worked excellent.

I should probably stick to what works for me huh?

So for the napkin transfer I'm going to use the Citra Solv method - because, well....for me it works!  You can find the original instructions at the Graphics Fairy.

Here is a shot of the dining room chair backs.....

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer

First you need to select a design and print it out on a photocopier - the kind that has a toner cartridge not ink jet - ink jet printers will not work for this method.

I used my husband's fax machine, which has a toner cartridge, for the napkins, and for the chair backs a friend used a toner based printer and it took more than one paper per design since the chair backs are larger.  The napkins took one piece of 8x11 paper.

I already had the design from my chairs, so I just re-sized it smaller.  If your design has lettering on it, remember to do a mirror reverse image so it transfers with the letters facing the right way.

Iron your fabric to get the wrinkles out before you start.  Drop cloth is sort of naturally bunchy, a bit like a seersucker fabric, it won't iron out like linen - wrinkle free.

Seersucker is a funny word to type.

Bunchy is a real word, which surprised me.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer
You can't see my design but it's there on the other side of that paper
Gather your supplies;
*Citrasolv and a small cup to put a small amount in - a little goes a long way.
Tape measure to make sure design is centered where you want it.
A clean brush to apply the citrasolv.

Remember to put something under your fabric, the surface needs to be firm.  I have a thin piece of wood under mine.

And you need a soup spoon for burnishing the design after you brush the solvent on.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer
This is how that blank looking piece of paper transforms when the citrasolv hits it.  The ink, which is released on the other side onto the fabric, reacts with the citrasolv.

Press hard with the spoon, rubbing it around and around over the design.  Do it harder than you think you need too and hold or tape the paper in place.

This is a test picture of the transfer onto a chair back piece of dropcloth....

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer

For my design it was ok to not look perfect - I wanted a worn sort of flour sack look.

Iron it to set the image.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer
Albert is the old farmer we purchased our land from.  I use his name a lot in my decorating.  Albert, who never married or had children, lived on this land from birth to death when he was in his 90's, and his memory lives on a little bit here and there in our home.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer www.Bliss-Ranch.comEach napkin and chair-back in the dining room has a ROOM# with a blank next to it.  I have six kids, and coincidentally six craigslist chairs and muslin napkins, so I stamped the room number on each chair and napkin with one of my kids birthdays.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer

But because I wasn't paying attention, I got this one wrong.  Yes really - bad mom moment.  I do have a New Years Day baby, but she wasn't born in '82.  Oh well huh?  Only her, me and all of you will ever know.

DIY Grain Flour Sack look Transfer www.Bliss-Ranch.comI really like how the napkins turned out, and this craft cost me a big fat Z-E-R-O because I already had everything.  I'm trying to use up what I have around the house this year.

And now that I know my husbands fax machine works for stuff like this, well, I guess I better check the toner level!

*Citra Solv is a natural cleaner but it is still a solvent.  Read all package directions.  I do not want to be responsible if you wreck something or go unconscious from breathing the fumes.

Folding the napkins up at:

Be Bold Challenge Link Party @Primitive&Proper
Rock What Ya Got @Vintage Revivals
Time to Sparkle @TheGunnySack 
Thursday Favorite Things @KatherinesCorner 
Share it Sunday @DeniseDesigned

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  1. Glad to have this tutorial. Do you iron directly on top of the transfer or use a pressing cloth? Does the cloth get wet from the CitraSolv and if so does it need to dry before you iron? You already know I think this is a rockin project. Hope you are enjoying the chairs!

  2. wow! those are gorgeous!!! i have got to try that!

  3. That's such a cool method for image transfer!!! Seersucker is funny to say too!

  4. Those look so pretty! I love how they match your chairs now.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. I like fun words such as bunchy and seersucker. I often enjoy making up my own. But, like bunchy, maybe they are indeed real, too. Who knows...

    Your napkins are beautiful. Even with the mistake. lol I haven't yet but would love to try this method!

  6. Your napkins are so pretty Bliss.

  7. I found out before that I can get citrasolv on Amazon, as I've always wanted to try this, so thanks for the great tutorial.

  8. That is so neat! And it looks awesome! I need to try this out!

  9. That is super cool. I'm still going to hold you accountable if I pass out.

  10. Perfectly lovely! I have yet to try Citrasolve...or any other transfer method. It's on the list.

  11. oh my goodness, love!!!! I hope you will share this at my hop today Hugs!

    1. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop. Big Hugs ♥

  12. Great job Bliss. Love the napkins and the tutorial. I must try CitraSolv again ... first time was a failure.
    You are so creative in that you added the birth dates on the chairs and napkins.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  13. I love that you have "your"stamp on this! That's what makes it special!

  14. beautiful! I probably told you that I've only gotten this to work one time... with an image a reader snail mailed to me. I am unable to find a toner machine to print on. :(

    great job! love the napkins!

  15. Love, Pinned it, I am going to do this!

  16. These chairs are fantastic. I love the graphic image. Can you share it with us, or tell whare you got it from.

    1. I found a shape I liked on line and had my graphic design daughter remove all the words and put in the ones I wanted. I thought about designing the shape too, but didn't want her to roll her eyes at me anymore than she already does.

  17. Bliss these are fantastic - I am so going to try this. I think even I can do it! I just need to find some muslin dish towels pronto. Pinned!

  18. Bliss these are so pretty, I LOVE them. Since you finished them so quickly I will take a set for the new House anytime, LOL!!


  19. Those are the prettiest set of twig silverware no wonder they were wrapped up so nicely when you first got them (kind of like your lamp in the box). I'm pinning this tutorial, because I know for a fact I will want to try this!

  20. I really like look of your napkins and I love that your are keep his name alive in your home.

  21. I've always had great luck with that method. Love the images and all the personal touches you have put into your design!

  22. Do you ever wonder who thinks up these ideas? What happened to make them have an 'aha' moment and realize Citra Solv will do such a wonderful job transferring graphics? I think about stuff like that all the who was it that cracked open a coconut to drink the milk & eat the flesh? Yeah, I'm strange like that.
    But your chairs and napkins look fabulous! I finally got fed up and searched online where to find Citro Solv and it's at a place up the street from my daughter...awesome! Can't wait to try it!
    Debbie :)

  23. Very pretty Bliss! And you made it look so easy. Great job! Except for the part about getting your daughter's birthday wrong... I can relate! Everytime I call the Dr's office, I have to write down my kids birth date ahead of time. So many times I've stood there going duhhhhhhh.... uhm... feeling so stupid when they ask me their birth date. I have 4 kids and when put on the spot, I cannot remember what year they each were born in...menopausal brain maybe?

  24. Citrasolv is my favorite transfer method, it comes out perfect every time. I am glad it took you less than year to complete this project too.

  25. Oooh Awww, I love your napkins. Every time I have seen the citrasolv method I have not liked it until now. Great project. I think I will try this. Have you used it on wood? I wonder if it transfers that well on hard surfaces.

  26. These are awesome and I love how they match the chair backs! Putting room #s on them is so personal for your family and perfect! Love them!!~~Ang

  27. What a great project!! I am already thinking of how I can do something like that myself. And I love your social buttons above as well! :)

  28. Someday I hope to use this idea! Your napkins (and chairs) turned out fantastic!

  29. I'm experiencing deja vu. I KNOW I've already read this post, but I must have had to jump away before commenting. (I jump a lot you know.) I'm glad you got the birthday wrong. Makes me feel not so bad about spelling my sister's middle name wrong on a cross-stitch family tree.

    But children welcome? Wow. Good on you...


  30. I stopped by earlier this week as denise designed to say how fabulous I thought these were. I shared them as well. But I am stopping by today from Share it Sunday to thank you, as well, for linking up with us this week. We appreciate the support. Look forward to seeing you again. And Love both the stamp itself and what you did with the napkins and chairbacks.

  31. Not sure if my comment went through, but I was wondering how the images hold up in the laundry?

  32. Ohhhh fun!!! I have not tried that method of transfer yet! Will have to!! Looks fab!!



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