Learn how to use waterslide decal paper to make these easy DIY trinket dishes. Trinket dishes are perfect for holding jewelry or keys. These dishes make great gifts because they’re so easy to customize.
You might also be interested in learning how to apply HTV to glass.
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Waterslide Decal Paper FAQ’s
What is waterslide decal paper?
Waterslide decal paper is a paper that is used to transfer images or text to surfaces. It can be used with a laser or an inkjet printer. When you soak it in water, the backing comes off and the decal can be placed on the surface.
How do you seal inkjet waterslide decal paper?
After printing the inkjet waterslide decal, it needs to be sprayed several times with clear spray paint.
Laser printed decal paper does not need to be sealed.
Do you have to seal waterslide decal paper?
It’s a good idea to seal waterslide decal paper because it’s fragile. You can use decoupage glue or clear spray paint.
Can you clear coat over waterslide decal paper?
Yes, you should add a protective coating to waterslide decals.
How long do waterslide decals take to dry?
Decals dry in minutes and can be sealed as soon as they are dry to the touch.
How to Use Waterslide Decal Paper
- Small bowls
- Rubbing alcohol
- Waterslide Decal paper
- Clear spray paint (if using an inkjet printer)
- Shallow dish
- Old gift card
- Decoupage glue or clear spray paint
I used images from The Graphics Fairy. She has a ton of vintage images that are free to use. Just right click on each photo and save to your computer.
Creative Market is another good place to find images if you’re looking for something specific (search graphics and make sure you’re buying png or jpg files).
Here’s some of my favorites:
You could also use phrases and just type them out in cool fonts.
- Create your image document. Put all of your images on a document sized at 8.5″x 11″. I used photoshop, embedded each image, and resized them to fit the flat part of each bowl (less than 2″ x 2″.) If you don’t have photoshop, you can use Canva as well. Canva is an easy to use free graphic design program. Just upload your images and resize them to fit your bowl. I tried to fit as many images on my paper as possible so that I could make a ton of trinket dishes.
- Insert the decal paper into your printer. Be sure that it prints on the decal side. (You might want to do a test print page to see how your paper loads. I typed out “test” and then drew a line on the top sheet of paper in my printer so I could see how it loads. Both of my printers load good sign down.)
- Print out your image.
- Prepare paper. If you used an inkjet printer, you will need to spray your image several times with clear spray paint. Err on the side of caution and go with 5 times, letting the paint dry between coats. This will make your paper waterproof which is very important. If you don’t spray it enough, your ink will run a bit. If this happens, don’t panic. Just don’t use a ton of water and have a napkin nearby to soak up the ink. Your image may look a little more “vintage” at that point. 😉 If you have a laser printer, your ink is already waterproof.
- Once your paper is ready, cut the designs out. Leave a small outline around each shape. The decal paper is clear, so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
- Get your bowls nice and clean. I soaked mine in water to remove the stickers on the bottom. Once they were dry, I rubbed them with rubbing alcohol to remove any oil from my skin.
- Fill a shallow dish with warm water.
- Place your decals in the water for a few seconds and remove them.
- Slide the decal off of the paper backing onto the bowl. You have time to move it around if needed so don’t worry if you mess it up.
- Use an old gift card to squeeze out all of the air bubbles.
- Let dry and they are done. If you want to protect your design, you can add a few coats of clear spray paint to the top or a coat of decoupage glue.
These dishes are perfect for placing your loose change and headphones or whatever you keep in your pockets.
PS. These trinket dishes are NOT safe for food. I added stickers to the bottom of mine that says “Not Food Safe.”
- Waterslide decal paper
- Dishes with flat bottoms
- Rubbing alcohol
- Shallow dish with water
- Old gift card
- Clear spray paint
- Decoupage glue
- Resize your images to fit on the surface of your bowl.
- Print your image.
- If you used an inkjet paper, seal the paper several times with clear spray paint. Let dry.
- Cut designs apart, leaving a small space around the edges.
- Clean the bowls with rubbing alcohol to remove skin oils.
- Fill a shallow bowl with water.
- Place the decal into the water for a few seconds.
- Remove the decal and slide it out from the paper backing onto the surface of the bowl.
- If you have bubbles, use an old gift card to gently remove them.
- Let the decals dry.
- Seal with decoupage glue or clear spray paint.
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