I was surprised to find iron-on transfers in the craft aisle of Dollar Tree recently. Pre-made iron-on designs are a super easy way to decorate clothes, towels, blankets, and other fabric pieces. I picked up two dollar store iron-on transfers to see how well they work and if they are worth the price.
DO DOLLAR STORE IRON-ON TRANSFERS WORK?
DOLLAR STORE IRON-ON TRANSFERS
I almost missed these iron-on transfers in the craft section of my Dollar Tree. They were hanging on a peg with all of their scrapbook stickers. There were 4 or 5 different designs all hanging on the same peg. I did a bit of digging to find these two designs that I wanted to try out.
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- Crafter’s Square Iron-on Transfers
- Shirt (cotton/poly blend)
- Tea towel (100% cotton)
- EasyPress or iron
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USING THE IRON-ON TRANSFERS ON A T-SHIRT
The packaging for the dollar store iron-on transfers has pretty decent directions, which I followed as best I could. I chose a cotton/poly blend shirt as my test blank and ironed it with my EasyPress (because my household iron suuuuuuuucks).
Since the directions called for the fabric to be preheated on the iron’s cotton setting, I did a quick Google search to see that most irons heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit when set to the cotton setting. I warmed up my EasyPress to 400 and preheated the fabric. I figured this would serve as the heat tolerance test for my shirt as well. I was wrong… more about that later.
I took my iron-on transfer out of the packaging and placed it shiny side up so that the design was directly on the shirt.
The package includes a piece of pre-cut parchment paper which you are supposed to place on top of the plastic transfer sheet before ironing.
I pressed the design with my EasyPress for 45 seconds at 400 degrees. Since my EasyPress is larger than the design, I didn’t bother moving the press around while pressing.
There was nothing in the instructions about ironing the underside of the design, so, even though I would normally do that with HTV, I skipped that step for this test.
The directions say to leave the design to cool for 3 minutes before removing the plastic transfer sheet, so that is what I did. At this point, I noticed that 400 degrees was too hot for my fabric. I don’t think I can blame the iron-on transfer for that EasyPress-shaped dark spot around the transfer though.
Despite the heat issue, the iron-on transfer is solidly on my t-shirt. I was happy to see that the transfer itself has a bit of stretch. Since it has a bit of a plastic feel to it, I was worried about it cracking, but it seems fairly durable.
USING DOLLAR STORE IRON-ON TRANSFERS ON A COTTON TEA TOWEL
The Dollar Tree site claims that:
The colorful iron-on transfers are cute and easily transferred with a household iron. You can transfer them onto t-shirts, sweatshirts, towels, and more.
I tried my second iron-on transfer out on a 100% cotton tea towel using the same process I did for the t-shirt. There was some yellowing of the cotton fabric, but again, that was probably a temperature issue, not something wrong with the instructions.
DO THE TRANSFERS HOLD UP TO WASHING?
The packaging gives a few instructions for laundering items that have been decorated with these dollar store iron-on transfers:
- Wait 48 hours after ironing the transfers onto the fabric before washing.
- Do not dry clean.
- Tumble dry low with the garment turned inside out.
- Do not iron directly on the transfer after it has been applied.
I washed the shirt and the towel in with a load of laundry a few days after I applied the transfers. I turned the t-shirt inside out, but obviously, I couldn’t do that with the towel. I also put them in my dryer on the lowest heat setting.
Both transfers held up well to laundering. The design on the towel did take on the wrinkled texture of the fabric, but I kind of expected that. The transfer on the shirt looks great, and the EasyPress square even lightened a bit after washing and drying.
SO, ARE THE IRON-ON TRANSFERS WORTH BUYING?
I originally thought I would try to compare these iron-on transfers to Cricut’s Iron-on Designs, but they are fairly different products. The Dollar Tree iron-on transfers are more plastic feeling, while Cricut’s have a softer, paper texture to them. If you are interested in the Cricut transfers, I wrote this post about my experience using them a few years back.
The dollar store iron-on transfers are fairly simple to use. Right now they only have a handful of designs, but if you really like one of them, they will help you make a quick and easy craft project. I wouldn’t expect them to hold up over a long period of time, but for the price, they aren’t a bad deal.