I was recently asked to be a guest designer for Paper and Pixels, a craft ezine that features lots of articles and ideas for traditional, digital, and hybrid crafting. I shared a tutorial for creating a fabric patch from a vintage image printed on fabric. You’ll find the tutorial below. You can find a downloadable version of the vintage image I used on my vintage image blog HERE.
I love collecting vintage images and papergoods and love using them in my crafty projects. Because I love both collecting and using the images, I scan all of my images and use reproductions in my projects. A high resolution scan often looks at good as the original image, sometimes even better depending on the editing done to the image. One of my favorite ways to use the images I scan is to print the image on fabric. One of my favorite fabrics to print on is Claudine Hellmuth’s Sticky Back Canvas. I have made my own fabric sheets to go through the printer, but they take a pretty fair amount of prep work. Sticky Back Canvas is nice and thick and ready to print right out of the package. It has a nice tight canvas weave that looks wonderful when printed on.
To create a quilted looking vintage image patch, begin by editing and cropping your image to the desired size. Once edited, simply print the image on your fabric as you would a photo. I usually print mine using the matte photo paper setting. Allow the ink to dry on the fabric and then trim the image as needed. On my example, my printed version is much fainter in color than my original image. I hadn’t realized my printer ink was low which resulted in a very faded print. I actually liked the light image and decided to use it, sometimes happy accidents make the best art!
A few quick spritzes of color from a spray colorant like Glimmer Mist adds a touch of sparkle and more color depth. In my example, I used Yellow Daisy for add some sunshine like effects to my image. When using a mist like Glimmer Mist, keep in mind that it is water based, which can affect inkjet printing and react with Distress Ink. Use a very light application and allow it to dry before adding more layers. If you over saturate the fabric with the mist you are more likely to get some fuzzing of your printed image.
In my example, I added a few quick spritzes of Glimmer Mist Blue Skies to accent the blue of the sky.
Cut a piece of cotton batting slightly larger than the image. I prefer a real cotton batting over synthetic batting for both the look and feel and the ability to absorb any color added to it.
If you would like to add color to the batting, simply mist it with a colorant. In my example, I wanted a vintage look so I misted my piece with Vanilla Breeze Glimmer Mist.
The batting is somewhat slow to absorb the color, so if you would like to lighten it, simply dab it with a dry cloth. If you do not blot the batting you will need to allow it to air dry or dry it using a heat gun.
If you are using Sticky Back Canvas, remove the adhesive backing and place the canvas on your batting. If you are using other fabric, place the fabric on the batting and pin in place.
Machine stitch the printed fabric to the batting.
Trim the edge of the batting just beyond the edge of the printed fabric. For a decorative edge, use pinking shears or a decorative cutting blade.
If you like a vintage look, you can brush the edges of the batting with Distress Ink to add a bit more color variation.
To apply the piece to your project, apply liquid adhesive to the back of the batting. I recommend Helmar 450 Quick Dry or Tombo Mono Aqua glue. Keep the glue inside your stitched lines so that when the piece is on your final project the outer edges will be free just as if it were stitched in place. It is hard to see in the photo, but I ran a line of adhesive along the stitching and then added lines of it through the center.
If you would like your patch to be a little puffier, add an extra layer of batting inside the stitched space. Adhere it in place and then add adhesive as described above.
Place the finished piece adhesive side down on your project. In my example I added the patch to a fabric covered album but it could also be used on a layout, card, or tote bag. Please note that this piece would not be suitable for something that would need to go through the wash or might be exposed to water.
You can treat the finished patch with a sealer like Creative Imaginations Super Sealer or Claudine Hellmuth’s Multi Medium. Both will protect the inkjet printing and added colorants. However, in my personal opinion, the piece would still not be suitable for a wearable item that would need washing. I have used this same process to make a large fabric patch for my rolling crop bag. I sealed my design with Multi Medium. The piece has been rained on and stood up well.
After your piece is adhered to your final project, you can add embellishments to enhance the design.
On my book, I added a cluster of paper flowers, velvet leaves, crystal sprays, glitter star sprays, and acrylic star stick pins.
In this close up, you can see the added spritzed of Yellow Daisy Glimmer Mist. I sprayed mine so that I got droplets of color in addition to a fine mist. Many of my old papergood have spots in the printing so getting a few spots on the image feels kind of right to me when going for a vintage feel.
Along the lower edge you can see where I added more blue with Blue Skies Glimmer Mist. You can’t see it in the photos, but the finished piece has a subtle glimmer to it thanks to the Glimmer Mist. To me, the glimmer is less visible on fabric as compared to paper.
The book I applied my patch too is a quilted fabric covered book that I made. The book is made of book board that is padded and covered with fabric. It has grommets and binder rings and plain cardstock pages.