Print Needlepoint Canvas on your Inkjet Printer

Originally posted 2008-07-15 08:24:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Over the weekend I learned about this great blog post from Judy Heim. It gives you step-by-step instructions for printing a needlepoint canvas on you inkjet printer. (scroll down past the copyright notice to get the instructions.

I tried doing this several years ago, with MUCH less than stellar results. The papers I used often blocked holed and left a plastic film on the canvas. I did finally have good results when I took my design to a printer who transferred images onto mugs and such and who was a stitcher herself. The store closed and so I’m left with thinking about doing this on my own.

The post goes into great detail about how to choose your image, scanning it, sizing it and preparing the canvas (including how to work with an image which is larger than 8.5 x 11.

Next there are instructions with lots of helpful tips on getting the image onto canvas, and finally great instructions on how to set the image.

I’m ready to try this myself.


  1. says

    Hmm, that looks really interesting, thanks for the link! Though I wonder if using a dye-sublimation process wouldn’t be easier. In dye-sub printing, the ink is deposited on a transfer sheet, then the sheet is placed on the thing and heat is used to vaporize the ink. It’s often used to make mugs, so I wonder if your printer friend was a dye-sub person.

    Does that term ring a bell? If so, dye-sub inkjet tools are available. The beauty of the link you provided here, though, is that it doesn’t require an investment in special tools.

  2. says

    John —

    I’ve tried this myself and have not had good results, although some brands say they work for needlepoint canvas.

    The main problem is that all these papers work by printing the image onto a film, which then gets transferred onto the fabric, mug, etc, intact. That means that the film covers the holes of the canvas.

    There are some films which do not do that, but the only time I have had good results was the one time I used a professional with stitching experience.

    So if you are considering using this type of method you need to see the results to make sure it won’t clog holes AND be sure it will work with your printer. Not al papers work in all printers.

    But I sure do wish it would work.

    Keep Stitching,

  3. anne says

    I have copied this idea out time and time again, but I always get a blank look when I ask at a craft store for Deka-Print Colorless Textile Screening Ink, #600. Clear ink? How do I find it?

  4. Dee Bright says

    I too went looking for this screening ink and could not find it. However, one art store recommended Golden Digital Ground Clear #3564-5 it prepares surfaces for Ink-jet printing. I’m tempted to try it but was wondering if anyone else has tried it?

  5. says

    we tried this technique for some items for the team and had the worst luck. we figured we could save a buck or two but we don’t have the talent I guess LOL

  6. says

    Janet, I hope you remember me, but I did this for along time and it works. However, I used a Long Bed inkjet printer, so I wasn’t feeding in multiple sheets. Due to health reasons I stopped. But since I’m now back to Needlepoint to do blindness in one eye (you can see my blog)I want to start stitching some of my own canvases. But I’m going to be using my regular inkjet printer, just as she described (with out the freezer paper)and stitch the canvases together for larger pieces.

    I used 18 mesh, and then you get clear acrylic spray at Michaels or any art supply store to seal your canvas from moisture if you block. I also used color pencils to get the colors blended, it helps bring the numbers of color down. (I hope that makes sense)

    This time around I want to try it on penelope canvas, but I think you can only get 14/18 is that right Janet?
    I can post pictures on my blog to show as well.


  7. Judi says

    I tried ironing the canvas to the wax paper, but as I was experimenting I found that process a bit cumbersome for me. Since I have a new extra-wide carriage printer that is supposed to print very large sizes of photo paper (tabloid and bigger) I tried printing directly onto the needlepont canvas using first draft and then normal mode, and downsizing the byte size of the image so the printer wouldn’t get hung up on a huge byte transmission.
    My printer printed directly onto the needlepoint canvas successfully. Now to experiment with products to fix the ink jet ink! This will be wonderful as up to this point I have been tracing the images with sharpie pens via a lightbox.

  8. emily m adams-webb says


    I would appreciate any info re: painting my own needlepoint designs. I also wold appreciate inf. re: blocking and makinmy own frames. Thank you

  9. says

    I’m not experienced in making my own frames, so I can’t help you there. I think some others have posts on blocking needlepoint, I’d search this blog to see if there are posts pointing to them or do a Google search.

    I’m terrible at painting but the American Needlepoint Guild ( has a good section on the subject in their FAQ, that has the combined wisdom of many needlepoint designers.

    Keep Stitching,

  10. says

    I need to know what the best large format(24″ is fine)printer to use to print DIRECTLY onto needlepoint canvas.

    Thanks, Susan

  11. says

    I don’t know. The companies who do this as a business use extremely high-end glicee printers that are also used to print high-end art prints. I knw that several years ago (at least 5-7) they started at over $10,000.

    From what I know there is a whole spectrum of printers that will do this.

    One thing that you need to be sure of for printing needlepoint canvases is that the ink is water-resistant, not al of them are and if not even a slight amount of water will cause the colors to run.


    Keep Stitching,


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