Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Printing on fabric, the easy way!

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog post that showed you how to sew up some pretty darn cute baby TOM look a-likes. Since I know a ton of people who are having babies, I thought I would give it a try and hope they turn out alright! Well, I finished my first pair, and they were hideous. Seriously people, I am not that bad on a sewing machine and I botched them pretty good! We will see if I ever find the confidence to try that again, lol. (You can find the tutorial and free pattern here!)

During the process, I had desperately wanted to add the cute little tags with their names on them just like the tutorial! One problem. All of the tutorials for DIY tags either called to send the fabric away, or buy transfer paper, two options which are way out of my price range for my little projects! Yes, I am more frugal than being frugal... Then I found a YouTube video that showed how to simply print directly onto some cotton fabric using your basic, at home printer. Perfect. Except, she called for some pretty hefty glue/spray which also defeated my frugal attempts. So I just played around till I got it right! This is the conclusion I came to.

First attempt;
I cut my piece of fabric, slightly smaller than a regular 8x10 piece of paper that I grabbed from my printer. Then I used a regular glue stick, and glued the fabric to the paper, so that the edge of the paper was larger than the fabric and the printer had something to grab onto. I then Ironed both sides of the fabric and paper, and was almost convinced that I was amazing and was going to succeed! This was an epic fail, because the glue was obviously not strong enough to hold the fabric in place as it slid through the printer! It just got caught and the fabric wouldn't run through.

SO, I gave up. Then I came back a few days later cause I really wanted to makes these baby TOMS look amazing!

Second attempt;
I cut another piece of fabric, same as before, slightly smaller than my piece of paper. This time, I used duct tape on the edges so that it laid flat and to make sure that the fabric didn't move around or come off of the paper. WIN!

It was super simple, I had everything I needed right at home, and I got great results. For some of you, this would be an awesome, affordable way to create custom garment tags for the products you sell on ETSY! The photos are pretty much self explanatory.

A few things to keep in mind;

1. Make sure to iron the fabric before printing so when it feeds through the printer, it doesn't come out all wonky.

2. When creating your images or text, make sure to place it near the middle of the document, not near the edges! If it's too close to the edges, it will miss the fabric. (I used photoshop to create my images, settings were "U.S. paper" at 8.5 x 11 inches.)

3. For the best results, use a light coloured fabric!

So in the end, I did figure out how to get some great looking tags printed onto fabric for next to nothing! But I still have yet to create cute baby slippers...

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