How to Print Photos on Tablecloths

Memory quilts have been the rage in the crafting world for years. Why not do the same thing by creating a memory photo tablecloth? Imagine how wonderful it would be to sit around the family dinner table and look down to see photos of all of your loved ones, including historic family photos of those who have passed on? A personalized memory photo tablecloth is a unique way to celebrate family history--and making one yourself ensures that it will be done the right way.

How to Make a Memory Photo Tablecloth

Sketch the layout for your tablecloth, making notations where the photos go. Think about how certain pictures relate to specific family members (such as photos of Dad and Grandpa together) and place them accordingly. Vary photo size to enhance the design.

Organize the photos in a file on your computer's hard drive, labeling where they will go based on your design sketch.

Reverse the photos that will be used on the tablecloth with a photo editing program on your computer. The photos need to be printed in reverse so when they are transferred, they will be viewed correctly.

Print the photos on the transfer paper in your ink-jet printer, with print quality set on "Best."

Cut out the finished printed transfer paper photos. Placing the images face down on the tablecloth, tape or pin them according to your sketch.

Preheat the iron setting to the highest setting below steam (but not the steam setting). Iron each photograph onto the tablecloth to complete the process. Follow the directions on the transfer paper package.


If you want to create an "antiqued" historic look, use just black-and-white photos on a light brown or beige tablecloth. Since the transfer paper is clear, the light brown areas of the cloth will replace the white areas of the photograph, giving the tablecloth an old-fashioned sepia-toned look.

If you need to print on a darker tablecloth, purchase transfer paper made for dark cloth. It has a white opaque background on back.


Wash your tablecloth by hand according to the instructions on the transfer paper package to prevent your photos from being damaged by fading or undue wear. Follow all directions and warnings of the manufacturer regarding use and preservation of the transfer material. Each product varies.

About the Author

Robert Gray has been writing full time since 1995. His first photography book took seven years to research and publish. He specializes in writing on photography and the arts. He's written for Photography Magazine, Large Format Camera Magazine and many online art and photography websites and blogs.