Thursday, June 14, 2007

How To Print On Fabric

I thought I'd put together a little pictorial tutorial-- ;) to show how easy it is to print images onto fabric. So let's get started.

You will need, some muslin or other light colored fabric, freezer paper, scissors and your printer. Please note this for inkjet printers only. Laser printers can melt the freezer paper and then you'll have a big mess and need to buy a new printer---you'll want a new inkjet of course. ;)

NOTE: If the project you are making will ever be washed then 1st pre-wash your fabric (not necessary for non-washables like an ornament or decorative item that will never be washed) and 2nd use a product called Bubble Jet following the product instructions.

First off choose the image that you want to print and make sure to size it if needed thru whatever photo editor you use. You may not even need to do this step, depending on what it is you want.

Next decide if you want your muslin tea dyed or not--if so now is the time to do it, because if you wait till afterwards your image will run.

Using either scissors and a ruler or my favorite a rotary cutter and ruler. Lay your freezer paper out and cut it to 8 1/2 X 11 inches.

Next do the same thing with your fabric. Tip--you may want to pink the edges of your fabric to keep fraying at a minimum. I usually leave mine all straight edges, but either way works great.
Now that we have both the freezer paper and the fabric cut to the same size as a sheet of paper lay your freezer paper over the fabric with the shiny side facing down--facing the fabric.Now we're ready to iron our freezer paper to our fabric using a hot iron and no steam. A few swipes across it all and it should be adhered together.

This is what it will most likely look like--a bit curly, but that's ok. Make sure to trim off any stray threads at this point. We don't want them getting stuck in the printer.
Place your fabric/freezer paper sheet into the printer making sure that you know your printer and which side needs to go face down. On mine the fabric goes face down--which I think if fairly standard. If you're not sure take a piece of printer paper and mark a big X on one side and run it thru the printer and see which side comes out on top. When you get the X to come out on top you'll know which side to face down.

Now that you have your fabric loaded, either place your image onto the printer to be copied or choose an image that you have saved on your computer, click to print and when the print box pops up make sure you set the paper settings to something that is heavy. On mine I use the linen greeting card setting. Matte greeting card or cardstock settings work great too. Click print and wait.................
....for your image to come out all nice and pretty. Peel off the freezer paper---making sure to save it, because you can use the freezer paper over and over again.
Now that you have your image you can heat set it by pressing it with a hot, dry iron or you can lightly spray it with a spray acrylic clear coat. You can also use a product called Bubble Jet Set to preserve the picture you just printed in case you wash your project. Follow the product instructions.

Here is the image that I chose and I stitched it up into a little old fashioned looking feedsack. I used the one sheet of fabric for the whole bag. This image was purchased from Ewe and Me Printables--she has tons of great images.

The ideas of what you can do with images printed on fabric is endless. They make great ornies, pillows, additions to crazy quilts, postcards that you can actually mail, tags and so much more.

In the post above are some images you can use as you wish. Have fun with it and please save the images to your own hard drive.

Happy Printing!

NOTE! For Bloggers in the UK. Our freezer paper is different from Greaseproof. Greaseproof is wax paper and it won't work for this project. However I have found a couple of websites in the UK through a Google search that sell Reynolds Freezer Paper and I read that you may also be able to find the Reynolds Freezer Paper at Hobbycraft stores. Here in the states we buy the Reynolds Freezer Paper in the grocery stores and at quilt shops, so you might also check with your local quilt shop to see if they carry it. Reynolds Freezer Paper is originally used for wrapping and freezing meat, but it's also good for besides printing on fabric things like applique, making pennyrugs, pattern templates and so much more.

Here are two UK websites that I found that sell the Reynolds Freezer Paper......

Sew Essential


Please feel free to email me with any questions.


oliveoyl64 said...

That is an awesome tutorial. So no need to go out and buy the fancy schmancy printer paper that they sell for this project, just cheap freezer paper.

I have Christmas projects to work on and this will be a cheap solution to get them done.


supa said...

Ah ha! I can't wait to try this. This is exactly the kind of technique I was hoping was out there. Thank you!

barncatprimitives said...

Cathy - that is an awesome tutorial! I wouldn't have expected less from you. As always, I love your work.

Hi! said...

thanks for the great instructions..and inspiration!

Daffie Online said...

I just finished a collage using freezer paper to make fabric print and this technique rocks!
You are sooo right..the posibilities are endless :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh Yeh !! Thanks so much ! We need more tuts like this . You sure good at what you do .

Jonnie's Shabby Cottage Creations & More said...

Oh thank you so much for this.I was spending a fortune to make my eBay pillows buying the store printer fabric. The pictures were very helpful too. I am going to try this first thing in the morning. You rock!

Grandma Betty said...

I want to thank you for your tutorial for printing on fabric! I will be trying this for myself and am really excited at all the possibilities!

Will be following your blog!

Sharyn said...

I love your blog! I just printed out the tutorial on printing on fabric. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

Marsha said...

What a wonderful & user friendly tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Have any of you ladies tried to print on any other fabric other than muslin? Which other fabrics give a great output?

Claudia said...

Can the fabric be washed afterwards? If not, is there any way to make washable "printed fabric?" Claudia

Stephanie (A Ditchin' Time Quilts) said...

Oh, thank you very much for the great tutorial. I am going to try this and then post my results. Thanks! Stephanie

Kim said...


I can't get the paper to stick to the muslim. I live in the UK so have used greaseproof, but with no luck. Am I doing something wrong?!

Thanks so much for any help,


Cathy said...

Hi Kim, I tried to answer you back, but your email is not attached to the comment, so I will update my tutorial with some info I found out for those in the UK, or please feel free to email me by using the email button in my left sidebar. I hope I can answer your question so that you can get started with this fun project and thank you for visiting my blog.

Cathy ♥

Kim said...

Hi Cathy,

Thank you so much this is brilliant! I'm in the process of making my first quilt for my sister's first baby, so your tips are very very helpful! I'll have a look at the sites you suggested.

Thanks so much once again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy!

I really enjoyed this tutorial. I even posted it on my own blog with a link back to you. I think it's great and more people should know about it! My blog is at:

Thanks for the great post!!!

Rachel Callaghan said...

Hi Cathy
Great tutorial, thank you. For FREE vintage graphics from an Australian designer I think your followers might be interested in, go to The Graphics Fairy blog. Great images.

Duncan said...

Excellent techniques. cant wait to print my own fabric designs.
oh sew crafty

The Paupers Castle said...

Hello! Newest follower! I just happened across your blog. thanks for sharing your "how to print on fabric" tutorial. I can't wait to get I just need to get the grocery for FREEZER paper! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.


annie spence said...

I'm going to try that! I've had the tools all along - reminds me of Dorothy saying - "I've been home all along" Anyways, Thanks for sharing! I don't have a blog yet but I've been using Hazelruth for a long time. It's in honor of my red haired aunt and mom who are in Heaven. They were both treasures! I'm putting my email address here because they ask for your url and I don't know what or where that is. I'm old. Thanks!

The Courageous Cupcake said...

This looks great Cathy! I'm going to try it sometime this week.!

A Primitive Homestead said...

Thanks & Blessings!

Anshuman said...

Various types of printing on fabric have less amount of maintenance and are flexible to use.

photo on acrylic printing

James said...

Beautiful! I've been wanting to try that too.

Dental Marketing said...

Hello. I'm just wondering if I can apply this same procedure to printing on something not fabric, like a 45 record? Or will this only work if it's fabric?

and so they went said...

Can you please tell me if freezer paper is available in Australia??? And is the picture only as big as A4 paper??? I want to make a cushion cover out of a drawing my 5 year old grand daughter did just before she went to live in the Cotswalds, and woukd like t have it a little bigger than A4. Many Thanks...Jen (from Down Under)

alison turnock said...

Hi, if you can't get freezer paper, try using the shiny wrapper from a pack of printer paper as a sustitute. This worked for me and it's free!

Snugglebug Blessings said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I can't wait to get started doing this project. God bless you for sharing.


getchauffeured said...

That is an awesome tutorial. So no need to go out and buy the fancy schmancy printer paper that they sell for this project, just cheap freezer paper.
Poster Printing UK

Bead and Trim - USA Beading said...

Fantastic blog, Thanks for sharing. Keep posting like this.
Digital Printing on Fabric NYC
Bead and Trim

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Absolutely wonderful!! thank you for sharing this useful tutorial with us!!
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Anonymous said...

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Becky said...

Thank you so much for these instructions. Very easy to understand too! I am making a project for a sewer/quilter friend of mine and wanted to be able to print out vintage sewing labels.

Tasty Destination said...

Great tutorial, thanks! I will be making these printing on dressmaking fabric. Its just what I was looking for.

pmarti5 said...

Thanks for sharing your tutorial!! Can't wait to try it tomorrow! P.S. I'm Jennalee's friend.

Cathy Jackson said...

Patti--pmarti5, you are most welcome. Thank you and have fun printing on your fabric. :)

Sylvia Sanchez said...

Why do u Ned the freezer paper if u are printing on the fabric?
Can't u use just regular paper?
I'm confused, some other sts they tell u to flip the image and print out and then transfer to the fabric?

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