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Old 07-20-2009, 03:11 AM   #1
Lynn in St. Louis
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default TLC230 Fabric Flowers {7/20/09}

Everywhere you look there are more and more projects that include fabric on cards and scrapbook pages. Let's face it, fabric on cards and scrapbook pages is HOT! So today I have a technique that I'd love for you to try...not only is it easy, but it's a wonderful way to use up those bits and pieces of fabric scraps that you may have laying around the house. I called this TLC Fabric Flowers, (I had to call it something), but don't limit yourself to just flowers with this technique.

I saw THIS POST about printing digital paper directly onto fabric and thought that many of the same step would work wonderfully for making fabric flowers (or any embellishments) to be used on cards or layouts.

For those of you who don't have any fabric scraps lying around, you can go to any fabric store and even Wal-Mart carries little bits of cotton fabric in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Another great resource for fabric pieces is Good Will, Salvation Army or any thrift store - just pick up a used shirt or skirt, take it home and start cutting. One of my favorite sources of fabric is the wallpaper store...yep, that's right. Wallpaper stores throw out old-outdated sample books and are happy to have you come and take one or two off their hands. Most of these sample books contain coordinating fabric samples in the back. These are great to use because they are already bound to a paper backing and are basically "ready to use" and best of all, they are FREE!

One problem with fabrics and embellishments is that they tend to fray and are often a little floppy or flimsy for use on a project. I have a couple of solutions for you, so let's get started.

What you will need for this project:
Freezer Paper
Light weight fabric (a fabric without a lot of texture works best for this project)
Die cut dies (or Scissors - see instructions at the bottom for this version)

One problem with die cutting fabric is that it has a tendency to fray and bend, rather than achieving a nice, crisp cut, but we can fix that with a little freezer paper. Applying a paper backing to fabric helps the die to cleanly cut.

1) Heat your iron with no steam. If you are using cotton fabric, you can use a higher heat setting than you can if you are using something like polyester (which can "melt" at higher temps), so use your judgement here.
2) Cut a piece of fabric size appropriate for your diecut.
3) Trim a piece of freezer paper just a tad smaller than your fabric.
4) Lay the waxy side of the freezer paper face up on your ironing surface.
5) Lay the wrong side of your fabric onto the freezer paper (you want your "pretty side" facing you as you iron) and press the fabric allowing the heat of the iron to melt the waxy coating from the freezer paper into the fibers of your fabric.
6) You're now ready to use your die to form your fabric piece.

I tried, but could not get any of my punches to punch through the fabric/freezer paper. My dies works FANTASTICALLY, however. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE A DIE for this technique either if you don't have them. As shown in my sample below, you can follow this same procedure and create a fabric embellishment or focal point from ANY stamped image that you have.

1) Choose a light, solid color fabric.
2) Follow steps 1-5 above
3) Using ink, stamp your image onto the fabric. Keep in mind that some fabrics will bleed (or wick out) the ink. I have learned that a good solid application of stay starch prior to applying to the freezer paper, cuts down the wicking a good deal.
4) Now just use your scissors to cut around the image and apply to your project.

One product that I'd also like to mention is called Designer Tac Double Tac Tape. It's made by a company called La D'ore and comes in a variety of sizes. The tape I used is 2" wide and I have used it on a variety of techniques, one being the white fabric stamped flowers in one of my samples. It's very similar to Tacky Tape, with the exception that it is 2" and my roll came with 15 yards.

Let your imagination run wild with a variety of patterns and colors. Add crystals, stickles, buttons, hand-stitching to your elements to really create a great look.

To view my sample card, CLICK HERE.

To view the gallery of creations using this technique, CLICK HERE.

Remember to use the keyword TLC230 when you upload your projects to the gallery.

AND ON ONE LAST NOTE: I will be away from the TLC challenges for the next two weeks. I have a familiar face filling in for me while I'm gone, so I'll see you all on August 10th.
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