Monday 23 September 2013

Photo Fabric

I have a few projects on my mental 'to do' list that include transferring photos and pictures on to fabric,
so I thought I'd post a quick tutorial and recommendation to show how easily this can be done.  
[*whispers* it's magic].

I have used the same method since I was an early teen and made my own t-shirts
[mainly Take That ones]: The Dyon Image Maker:
I didn't understand how it worked then and I still don't really understand how it works now, but I can tell you that it has never let me down, the image stays in the wash [and gets better with age, if anything, as it looses its sheen and looks vintage] and this little tube of magic only costs £2.69.

Find an image of your choosing and either photocopy or print on to plain paper
- I found this amazing vintage photo online:
Cut to size and using a brush, cover with the image maker:
I used an acetate sheet to protect my surface and allow me to easily remove the image after coating:

Take your fabric surface that you want to transfer on to [I bought a £1 tote canvas bag from HobbyCraft that I will unpick and use as two large fat quarters] and protect the underside with something that will protect the rest of the fabric, your surface and to prevent the image maker from soaking through and place your image, image and image maker side down [I think that makes sense?]:
smooth the image down and remove any air bubble or creases.  If it helps, cover with a little kitchen towel and use a rolling pin to make sure the image is flattened and can adhere to the fabric:
Leave the image to dry for at least 5 hours - I left mine overnight.  For three days.  So organised.
Now, the scary part, removing the paper image.  Begin by taking a sponge [or flannel if you
don't have one, like me] and cold water, blotting the paper until soaked and then begin removing
with circular motions what will easily rub away:
Keep going, blot further with your sponge and water and remove the final layers - take your time,
but eventually the rest of the paper will remove:
I found as the transfer dried from the blotting, rubbing with my fingers helped remove the last
traces of paper easily.
Leave to dry and then seal the image in place by brushing a thin layer of the image maker
over the top and leave to dry [overnight again if you have time]:

It is recommended that you do not wash the item until at least 72 hours have passed, but as my fabric is not going to be used for clothing, it's ready to be used.  Hopefully I can show you what for soon.
See you next time x

  • A quick tip if you want to transfer anything with text, numbers or letters - the image maker reflects the image, so these will appear backwards - photocopy or print as a reversed copy to make sure that they transfer correctly.
  • The colour of fabric that you choose will show through the image, so pick lighter colours if you want to keep the vibrancy of the image.  Darker colours will help if you are after a more faded, vintage look.
  • I hand wash the fabric for piece of mind, but then it gets added in with all the other washing....and there you have it - your own image fabric, made with a photocopy or print out of whatever you like.   Perfect for personalisation of clothing, home accessories or to use to create your own fabric for something special.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Felt Feathers

 With the Autumn definitely arriving sooner rather than later, I've been thinking about creating
some more seasonal decorations, so my first stop are these simple, quick and easy fabric feathers.

What I Used:
1 A4 sheets of grey/white craft felt
Embroidery floss / needle / scissors
PVA glue

I sketched my own templates, based on some feathers I looked upon Pinterest, but you
 could create your own templates or use real feathers as a guide if you have any to hand:

To make the templates more 'substantial', I traced over them with a Sharpie and cut out:

Pinning them to my felt, I cut out my feather shapes with fabric scissors:
...and to give a little detail, I created spines with tapestry thread and a simple running
stitch down the middle of each feather:
Turning the feathers upside down, I applied a generous amount of glue [just my usual PVA]
down the spine and then spread across the back.  Shaping the feather at the sides for effect,
I left to dry overnight:

The glue dries clear and as the felt is thick, so not to be soaked, the glue does not spread
through to the inside, shaping the felt, without showing:

...and it is as simple and easy as that.
You could leave the feathers like this, but for me the detail was missing, so I snipped around
the edges, varying the length of each cut to create a more feather-y effect:
much better.
You can have these as table top decorations, in a bowl, or thread from the stems to create a
garland or group together at different lengths to create a simple hanging decoration - and if you have more colourful sheets of felt available to you than me, these will brighten any area and you can mix
and match the colours to your taste/decor.

A simple project that you can make curled up, wrapped up and inside - stay warm, see you next time x

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Glitter Transfers

Strictly is coming back on TV, which means the return of GLITTER!
I think glitter glue is my most favourite and most versatile crafty item I own.  Today, I am posting about using this 'childrens craft' to create your own glitter transfers for decorating and embellishing.

All you need is some glitter glue, an acetate sheet or flexible plastic sheet and, if you want them, templates to trace over.  Here are the ones I created for myself, if you would find them useful:


[right-click on the images above and save to your computer to print]

...otherwise, you can create your own - free-hand on to paper, or create and print out from the computer, cut from magazines or be crazy and use no template, depending on what kind of transfer you are after.
Place your template underneath the acetate and begin to trace the outlines of the shapes and fill in with the glitter glue, move the template underneath the acetate for each transfer of the same shape:
Don't be too scared of building the glue up, this will help create a more solid and concentrated 'colour' and all of this will dry flat, despite the 3D effect it has in the first instance:

You can create different effects, stretching the glitter glue to create thinner lines, or lighter lines, thick lines for an intense colour and bold lines, or mix both to create ombre effects with the glue.
Once dry, you may find some small areas you have missed, so touch these areas up if needed and then when completely dry [I left mine overnight, but depending on what you are creating, lines take a couple of hours to dry, the circles and thicker concentrates of glitter glue much longer], the transfers are ready to be peeled off the acetate sheet:
The flexibility of the acetate sheet will allow you to bend the plastic and peel away the glitter transfer easily.  However; if you have left your sheets to dry in the Sun, you may find that they begin to bend and peel away at the sides all by themselves for you [this is nothing that cannot be solved with 30 minutes under a heavy book]:
...and it is as simple as that.  If any areas didn't quite work out as you planned, you can trim your transfers to neaten any edges or lines.  These can now be used as embellishments, not only for flat surfaces, but as the glue has made the transfer flexible, it can be wrapped around objects as well.
If you want to create a stash to store away and use later on, keep on the acetate and store in a plastic wallet and you have endless transfers to use whenever you need. 
Hopefully [weather & natural light permitting!], I'll be able to post what I have planned for these soon.
See you next time x
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