How to Make Your Own Carbon Transfer Paper

Paint pigments 2 image by paolanogueras from

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Turpentine
  • Dropper
  • Pigment
  • Vellum drawing paper
  • Pencil or charcoal
  • Transfer paper
  • Paintbrush

Carbon transfer paper is a type of specialty paper that allows you to transfer images or drawings from one sheet of paper to another. It is also used in business forms to make duplicate copies of the same form, such as three-part forms where each sheet is a different color. You can buy this type of paper at almost any office supply store, or you can make your own at home. Most people associate the specialty paper with a black substance, but you can also create carbon transfer paper with white instead.

Mix together one part pigment and two parts turpentine. Adjust the amount of pigment so when you mix the two substances, you get a light liquid substance.

Draw or write on a vellum sheet of drawing paper with a pencil or charcoal. Vellum paper is a translucent paper you can buy at local craft or art stores.

Turn the vellum paper over so the side with the writing or drawing is face-down. Place it on top of the paper where you want to transfer the information.

Use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of the pigment and turpentine mixture on the back of the vellum drawing paper. Paint just the area where the writing or drawing is to transfer it from the vellum paper to the other sheet.


  • Turpentine is a harsh chemical that can irritate your skin, so you may want to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from exposure.

    Use the turpentine outside or in a well-ventilated area so the smell of the chemical does not irritate you or make you sick. If you are sensitive to chemicals, you may want to wear a face mask while mixing the turpentine with the pigment and using the mixture to make the transfer paper.


About the Author

Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.

Photo Credits

  • Paint pigments 2 image by paolanogueras from