Individual Word Rub Ons

Dana Hinders
K&Company Urban Rhapsody Rub-On Transfers, Images and Words

Individual word rub ons are a great tool for both novice and experienced scrapbookers. With so many different styles available, these versatile embellishments work well on almost any type of scrapbooking project.

About Rub Ons

Although they may look like stickers at first glance, rub ons are actually a separate type of scrapbooking embellishment. They have no self adhesive backing; you must carefully rub over the design to transfer it to the desired surface. When applied properly, however, rub ons appear to be painted directly onto the surface. They can be used on paper, as well as metal, chipboard, glass, plastic, or fabric.

Rub ons can be purchased at large craft stores, as well as stores that specialize in scrapbooking supplies. Online retailers with a large selection of rub ons include Two Peas in a Bucket and A Cherry on Top.

Ideas for Using Individual Word Rub Ons

Individual word rub ons can be used in many different ways. Here are a few scrapbook design ideas to consider:

  • Use rub ons to decorate the white space in a photo on your layout.
  • Apply rub ons to a chipboard tag and add a scrap of ribbon to create a customized embellishment.
  • Use several different rub ons to make your own patterned paper text background.
  • Make a photo frame using rub on words that describe your subject or the theme of your layout.
  • Accent key words in your journaling block by using rub ons in a decorative font to replace the appropriate handwritten text.
  • Combine rub ons with stamped letters, stickers, or metal charms to make a unique mixed media title treatment for your scrapbook layout.

Tips for Applying Rub Ons

If you're having trouble working with rub ons, it may be helpful to keep in mind a few simple tips for using these scrapbooking embellishments effectively. For example:

  • Don't remove the backing sheet until you're ready to use your rub ons. The sheet keeps the design from transferring to other supplies in your stash.
  • Carefully cut out the design you want to use before you begin. This is will help you avoid accidentally transferring more than one word to your page.
  • While most brands of rub ons come with a popsicle stick to use for applying the designs, some people find it easier to use a specialized rub on application tool that resembles a small rubber spatula with a detailed tip for working on intricate projects and a broad tip to use as a burnisher.
  • A fine tipped black marker can be used to fill in some of the missing areas if the rub on doesn't transfer completely.
  • If you need to remove a rub on, try using clear packing tape. Take a strip of tape and rub it on your hand to remove some of the stickiness. Then, gently rub the tape onto the paper to loosen the rub on.

Beyond Scrapbooking

While individual word rub ons are primarily thought of as embellishments for scrapbooking, don't forget that they have other applications as well. Here are some ideas for home décor projects that incorporate your favorite rub on words:

  • Save old glass jars, paint the lids, and use rub on labels to make your own pretty storage containers for all the small embellishments in your scrapbook room.
  • Spice up your home office by decorating a plain bulletin board with rub on words and designs.
  • Add a favorite quote to the mirror in your hallway.
  • Personalize a clear glass candle holder with a name or monogram to make a special gift for a friend.
  • Add words to the glass on an inexpensive picture frame to create a designer look for a fraction of the price.
  • Apply rub ons to clear glass Christmas tree balls, then fill the ornaments with rolled scraps of patterned paper.
Individual Word Rub Ons