Carbon Paper And Why you Should Use It For Crafting

Crafting with carbon paper. Transferring images with carbon paper

Oh hey grill hey!! So you want to know more about carbon paper? Well you’ve come to the right place.

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What Is Carbon Paper?

Carbon paper for crafting

It’s a very thin sheet of paper that has carbon on one side of it.

Why Should I Use It For Crafting?

Carbon paper is used to copy or transfer information or images from one page to another.

So in crafting this can mean that if you have a design or a pattern, a word or a shape that you’d like to transfer from a piece of paper onto a crafting surface then carbon paper is the way to go!

4 Reasons why you should use carbon paper in crafting

  1. It’s easy– this method of transferring an image literally consists of you placing the carbon paper between your design sheet and your choice of crafting surface. Then tracing the design. And voila your image has been transferred.
  2. It’s Inexpensive- you can find 8.5×11 inch sheet packs of 10 sheets here for around $5 (prices always varying). Or if you wanted to go bulk and buy 150 sheets you can get them for around $13 (prices always varying).
  3. It is reusable- That’s right you can get a lot of projects out of one sheet of paper.
  4. This method is fast- as fast as you can trace it is as fast as you can have your image transferred. Obviously the more detail your image has the more time it will take to transfer.

What to be aware of when using carbon paper

One thing that I have found and have to plan around when using this paper is this. The lines that it makes are like pencil lines. The harder you press the darker they will be.

So if i’m trying to cover the lines with white or a lighter color it takes a couple of layers of paint to cover it (depending on the thickness and opacity of your paint). If it gets pressed on and moved around at the same time, while it’s on the crafting surface it could leave smudges.

However, don’t let this deter you from trying such a versatile option of transferring your designs.

How To Use Carbon Paper

It is so simple to use. Let me give you a few tips on how to use it to make your transferring more accurate.

Placing your design

First, on the crafting surface place the design paper in the right spot, according to where you want your design to be transferred.

For example let’s say you have words that you are transferring and you would like for them to be in the very center of your crafting surface. You can either eyeball it or measure to make sure the words are where you want them. keep the paper there.

Tape down the design paper

Now, without moving your paper, tape one of the edges down to the crafting surface.

Insert carbon paper, dark side down

Next, (with the paper securely taped on one edge) with the darkest side of the carbon paper facing down (this is very important), lift the design paper and place the carbon paper between your design paper and your work surface.

Be sure the whole design is covered

Make sure the whole area you will be tracing has the carbon paper underneath it. If there are any parts of your design that don’t have the paper under it, your design won’t be transferred in that spot.

If your design is bigger than an 8×11 inch paper then you can use multiple sheets of carbon paper and line them all up before you begin tracing.

Or you can move the carbon paper as you go. Remember though, that the more you move your design paper around, the less likely you are to have the transferred lines match up.

Do a test spot

With a ballpoint pen trace a very small part of your design. Now lift the paper and make sure the design is transferring onto your work surface and not onto the back of your design paper.

If the marking is on the back of your design paper then you need to flip your carbon sheet over. So the dark side is facing down. Do another test and once you are transferring to the crafting surface feel free to trace the rest.

Keep your tracing accurate

Make sure that if you lift the pen off of the paper that you start right from where you left off. This is so that the transferred lines stay accurate and connected (if needs be).

If you will be cutting your transferred design with a saw then accurate lines make a big difference.

Design transferred to sign using carbon paper

Clean up your transferred design

You can use a good eraser and a pencil to touch up your transferred design once you are through tracing it.

Use light pressure

Last tip is use enough pressure to transfer the line but not so much that you are indenting your work surface.

Save the carbon paper

Then save the carbon paper and reuse it over and over!

I recently used this paper to transfer a curvy frame shape onto some MDF wood. Then i cut the shape out with my jig saw and turned it into a sign.

For more info on the jig saw and project ideas here are some fun options
Jig Saw Overview
15- 1 hour Jig Saw Projects for Beginners
Cascading Flower Box- Build Your Own
Tall Planter Box DIY
Shiplap Vase DIY
Flower Box For A Beginner
15 DIY Flower Boxes

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