Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Printing on Fabric & a Monogrammed Journal

I've been digging through and organizing my fabric stash. After I finish that project, I have to cut strips for my tabletop rug.

So, in the meantime, here's the guest post I did for Hani at Craftionary last week.

One lesson I've gleaned so far in this craft book journey is that what you learn from one book can be applied to other projects. A few weeks ago, I made starched fabric flowers using a Japanese craft book from the 1970's. The starched fabric is like paper... and paper can be run through an inkjet printer. Hmmm. Thus was born:

I did not draw that fabulous A onto the journal. I printed it on fabric using an inkjet printer and colored it with colored pencils.

This is what I used.

1. Supplies: corn starch, matte finish spray or other fixative, gesso, Mod Podge, white or blue gel glue, tacky glue, composition journal.
2. Design source (I used Treasury of Floral Designs and Initials as my craft challenge book.)
3. White cotton fabric.
4. Embellishments (adhesive pearls, wide lace).
5. Tools: ruler, scissors, flat paint brush, pencil, colored pencils.

I stiffened my fabric with a glue/starch mixture. Here's the recipe: Add 2 tsp cornstarch to 2 tsp water and stir. Boil 1/2 cup water in the microwave. Add the starch mix to the hot water. It should thicken immediately. Then mix in 2 tsp white or gel glue. Easy!

I cut two 10x12 chunks of white fabric and saturated them in the starch mixture. When the sheets were partially dry, I pressed the slightly damp fabric between two paper towels with a hot, dry iron. The starched fabric acts and feels like paper. I trimmed the fabric sheets to 8.5x11 inches to fit my printer tray.

I scanned the floral A from Treasury of Floral Designs and Initials and printed it on the fabric using my inkjet printer. The fabric fits into the printer as if it were paper. I printed both a front design and a back design on the sheets of stiffened fabric.

After painting several coats of gesso onto a plain composition book to hide the design, I Mod Podged my printed fabric sheets to both the front and back of the journal. I did not seal the top with Mod Podge as I wanted the fabric texture to remain. The result is a faux linen journal.

Now for the color!

I used Prismacolor colored pencils to color in the front and back monograms once the Mod Podge was dry. The starched paper accepts the colored pencil with no drag. A layer of  Krylon Matte Finish should help protect the fabric from dirt. The final step was to glue a strip of wide lace down the spine, place a few adhesive pearls on the circles in the original design, and glue in a strip of matching ribbon as a bookmark.

Here's the back design.

And if you're thinking you can print full–color designs that are ready to frame, yes, you can.

Egg print from The Graphics Fairy; band poster by my daughter.


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  1. Ooooh, I love this project! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial!

  2. That is just beautiful Aimee! Thank you so very much for sharing this at the "Cowgirl Up!" linky party. I appreciate your participation.

    1. I have true cowgirls and cowboys in my extended family, so I couldn't resist. Thanks.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Rona. I like the card you made your mother. My sister-in-law would love it.

  4. Gorgeous-love this-can't wait to try this- Following you from Elizabeth & co-stop by for a visit!!

    1. Claire, thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you try this. I'd love to see it.

  5. I have been wanting to do something like this! Thanks for the great tutorial so I can try it now! Betsy from 2nd Story Sewing

    1. Betsy,I'd love to see your version. Thanks.

  6. That's lovely! Something I'd like to try!


    1. Thanks, Linda. I'd love to see what you do.

  7. Love it. Does using the glue in the cornstarch mix make the stiffening more permanent?

    1. It does. I've wetted and ironed already starched fabric and it crisps right back up. Thanks for your comment!


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