crafts vintage

How to use vintage iron on transfers

How to use vintage iron on transfers

My 5 year old loves Sylvanian Families and when I was looking for vintage SF things on eBay I came across a set of transfers from an old issue of Prima magazine from June 1990. I’d been looking for some Sylvanian Families t-shirts for a while but couldn’t find any so this seemed like the next best thing – the perfect way to make my own!

The listing for the vintage transfers had ended but I managed to find another set on eBay. They were part of a bundle of vintage magazines and embroidery patterns. They arrived this week and I was excited to open them. Unfortunately the transfers were separated from the magazine so there were no instructions, just the transfer sheet.

How to use vintage iron on transfers

I managed to find an old listing for the Prima magazine and see some of the instructions. It seems you have to simply iron on the transfers and colour them in with fabric pens. This is a great way to update clothing, bags or bedding for fans of Sylvanian Families.

There are three separate transfers – the Bunny, Badger and Chipmunk (?) families. You can either use the whole transfer or just individual figures.

How to use vintage iron on transfers

To use the transfers you need to iron them on to your fabric (if you do this lightly then you should be able to use the transfers more than once). I’ve bought some plain t-shirts as well as a black permanent marker to go over the transfer. I’m still on the hunt for some fabric pens to colour in the designs.

I love a little vintage craft project and can’t wait to show you the results!


  • Reply
    Jess | The Indigo Hours
    July 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Ah these are super cute! I can’t wait to see how they turn out for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela Milnes
    July 13, 2017 at 3:33 am

    This is so cool. I can’t wait to see the results and see how it goes. I think making designs and improving clothing yourself is a great thing. I want to learn to sew and make clothes for my daughter one day. Maybe I can make items and add transfers onto them.

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    July 13, 2017 at 9:38 am

    This is such a good idea, I love customizing clothes and I’ve got so many patches that I need to iron onto my clothing x

  • Reply
    How to use stick on embroidery transfers -
    September 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

    […] hats. How do you transfer an embroidery design on to all these different surfaces? I’ve used vintage tranfers, tried transferring designs using natural light from a window and it’s hard. I also recently […]

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