Monday, August 30, 2010

How To: Print On Fabric


Printing on fabric is so much easier than I thought it would be! You start with some spray adhesive:


Spray it onto a piece of cardstock and place your fabric on top, being sure to get out as many bubbles as possible. (I recommend spraying the adhesive outside.)


Then cut down the fabric so that it is the exact same size as your cardstock.


Place it in your printer with the fabric facing whichever side gets the ink.


You now have printed fabric!


Just peel it off of the cardstock.


And you are ready to use your new printed fabric!


EDIT:  An updated tutorial with different printing and washing techniques can be found here:



This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

40 comments:

Sabrina said...

This is AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great directions! You can also iron your fabric to a piece of freezer paper that has been cut to 6.5x11". The freezer paper adheres to the fabric without having to use the spray glue.

Kristi said...

I worry about it bunching up, I guess you'd have to use a lot of spray adhesive.

Ani said...

So cool! Thanks for a great idea!

Sandi said...

Do you think this would work with a laser printer or just an inkjet?

LukaMish said...

that looks so easy!!

Anonymous said...

You can also iron Heat N Bond Lite or Heat N Bond Heavy Duty onto cotton fabric and run it through your printer, then you can iron it onto anything. WOrks great!

Anonymous said...

Just as long as you don't get it wet this works beautifully.

Jane Blogs said...

I'd like to know the same as Sandi - did you use a laser printer, and is it waterproof?

Jewls said...

can it go in the washer?

Manic Insomniac said...

That's what I was wondering, can it be washed?

Srlmcb said...

Awesome! I have to try this! the heatbonding thing is a good idea too! thanks for your creativity sharing!

Jenni said...

I want to know if this can be washed, too!!! Please let us know!
Email: jkrachow@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

can it be washed is there anything special I need to know to make it wash

Kat said...

"The most common ways to get washable prints on fabric is to use a product called Bubble Jetset 2000, or purchase fabric sheets that have already been pretreated and precut to size.
Bubble Jetset 2000"

Inkjet printer only

Lindsay Jett Owsley said...

Will it work on any fabric? I'm interested in burlap...what'cha think?

Megan @ PolishTheStars.com said...

Kat, I have heard good things about Bubble Jetset 2000 and will be trying it when I revisit this post soon. Thanks! :)

Lindsay, You can print on burlap as well. Check out this site to see their burlap laundry print: http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2010/09/burlap-laundry-signhow-to.html

MKB said...

Okay, I'm a noob. How would I transfer this to a shirt?

MKB said...

Ahh nevermind. I read through the comments and answered my own question. LOL

Bumble's Bounce said...

Can this be washed, and if so, does it last? Or is this only meant for a memory quilt that is never washed?

Mamma of the Papada's said...

This is fantastic!! I would have never guessed it would be this easy!! Thanks for sharing!

DSimms said...

I use freezer paper. I cut it to 8.5 X 11 inch size. I iron it onto the fabric, shiney side adheres to the back with a dry iron. Then I just run it through my printer. It does not need to be pretreated if you do not plan to launder the piece. It become permanent through heat activation though so ironing it first will set the colors, I've been told. I have not tried that because I usually us my pieces to make art quilts that are not washed.

sillysuz said...

Ok, this might be a dumb question, but what is freezer Paper??

Megan @ PolishTheStars.com said...

Freezer paper is normally used to wrap meat and other foods before freezing them. You can find it at Walmart and similar stores with the aluminum foil and waxed paper. To give you a better idea of what you are looking for, I have a picture of a box of it in this post: http://www.polishthestars.com/2010/10/freezer-paper-stencil.html

Pinnacle Pool Committee said...

this IS a dumb question....what would you do with this fabric that you just printed on?? as you can tell, I'm not a very creative person.

nadine johnson said...

Thanks you so much for that tip. You can use freezer paper also.I used it on burlap and it looks pretty good. Now I am going to use your technique. I love being retired but miss he $$check!

Paula said...

Laser is a heat process... the toner will rub off and you CANNOT Iron laser printed fabric! I encourage you to only use ink jet process for printing on fabric or transfers. You cannot iron or wash laser toner. If you do... you will regret it... it will get all over your iron, washing machine, and dryer!

Ink Jet is the best way to print on fabric! You heat set the ink by ironing between two pieces of muslin... wash it... then iron it again. Just to make sure your ink is well set. If you are just using it for a wall hanging or something you do not intend to wash then a simple heat would do fine.

Sally said...

This opens up so many possibilities! And since I am easily sidetracked - do you know the name of the font you used on your last pictured sample? Thanks :)

Cindy Shipley said...

Lots of people use these for quilt blocks. You could also print onto fabric that you intend to cut out in a pattern and sew clothing. I guess you could sew them into a table cloth or wall hanging. Anything you'd use a prepurchased, preprinted fabric for. But now you can choose/design the print yourself.

MikeEy said...

would definatly only work with an inkjet ...... laser print would likly burn your house down. inkjets use ink, laser printers use a ladeer to precisely super heat the paper and then dust it with a powder toner that melts to were the laser heated the paper..... with a fabric it is likly the heat won't disipate and the the fabric would catch fire

MikeEy said...

laser printer would catch fire in your printer - i replyed to Sandi above

Margo Anderson said...

How do you get the adhesive off the fabric afterward?

Megan @ PolishTheStars.com said...

When you pull the fabric away, the adhesive stays on the cardstock not the fabric. Or you can check out my updated tutorial ( http://www.polishthestars.com/2011/09/techniques-for-printing-on-fabric.html ) for other less sticky options if you prefer. :)

Sarah Willett said...

so I used my laser printer and it worked fine. I Haven't washed it but no fires here

quigs said...

I don't know how it survives through washing .
I used the solution 2000, ironed it then scotched guarded it. then i made a purse. i will let you know how it holds up.

karyn said...

Brilliant! Can't wait to try it :-)

Dorian said...

I've used many techniques to print on fabric, mainly for labels for my quilts. Washing is fine for black ink, but if in color, they will fade dramatically. Bubble Jet does help keep the colors from fading as much when washed. Even after being heat set with a household iron, the colors will bleed if wet unless you spray a fixative on it after printing. I hate that part so I usually stick to good old black on light colored fabric. It has so many possibilities. Thank you for this idea (spray adhesive). I've never tried it. If it does stay on the card stock and not the fabric itself, that would be great! It might even be reusable (the card stock w/ adhesive.) I know the 8.5 x 11" freezer paper sheets I iron onto white muslin the same size, I can reuse the freezer paper over and over, even when I make a mistake a print it on the wrong side!

Bella Kaplan said...

Whoa, Good to know!

kelly thompson said...

how interesting- thanks so much!

Diane Liviingston said...

Is the print stiff after or soft? Next there is something like Bubble Jet 2000 that sets the ink besides ironing so that you can wash it. Haven't tried any of it and there is so many different kinds of how to do from ink jet fabric sheets, modpoge, ect.