Creating Custom Rub-ons

Last Updated 10/14/09

by Andrea Steed

Rub-on alphabets and embellishments have become more and more popular on scrapbook pages. They’re a great product to use when you want to add text or an embellishment across several layers of paper. They’re also handy when you can’t run the sheet of paper you want to print on through a printer (such as a 12” x 12” sheet that won’t fit in a standard printer).

Unlike fonts or stamps that can be re-used over and over again, once you’ve used the rub-ons, they’re gone. If you’re like me, you think hard before you decide to use them, so you won’t be left without an “E” when you need it most.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make your own and have any font or design of rub-on at your disposal anytime you needed it? I heard it could be done, so I gave it a shot. Sure enough, you CAN make your own custom rub-on designs! Here’s how:


Glossy Page
Protector or Transparency Sheet
Popsicle Stick


1. Design an image. Design a title or embellishment on your computer in a word processing program.

2. Print on the shiny side. Insert the transparency or page protector (cut to 8 ½” x 11”) into your printer so that the ink will be deposited on the shiny side of the transparency. (If you’re using a glossy page protector, either side will work).

3. Change to a mirror image. Change the print properties so that your document prints as a mirror image of itself.

4. Print the document on “best” quality. This will deposit a thicker amount of ink onto the slick surface so that you can transfer it to a piece of paper.

5. Let the ink dry onto the transparency for at least ten minutes. Do not touch the ink -- it will smear.

6. Once the ink has dried; place the title or embellishment over the piece of paper with the printed side touching the paper.

7. Transfer the ink. Press firmly onto the transparency and use the end of a Popsicle stick to rub over all of the text. This transfers the ink to the piece of paper.

8. Admire your work. Gently remove the transparency from the paper, and admire your custom-made rub-on design!

9. Once you’ve transferred the image, the transparency or page protector you used can be wiped clean and re-used.

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