[My custom fabric labels, printed on an inkjet printer and ready to sew!]
Custom labels are expensive to buy, and iron on transfers aren't the most ecofriendly craft supply. Instead, try printing right onto your fabric using an inkjet printer!
I saw a fabric printing tutorial on CRAFT: a while back and couldn't find it again when I needed to print more fabric. Since I was having a tough time tracking down the tutorial, I thought I'd share the process here and show you guys how I used it to make custom labels for my Cup Gloves.
What makes this project green? Before I learned how to print on fabric with my inkjet printer, I was using iron on transfers to make my custom labels for coffee sleeves. I'm not sure about the materials those transfers are made from, but they definitely involve plastic, so I was happy to find a way to get around using them! Here's how you do it:
Before we get started, I need to say this: do this project at your own risk. I've done it a few times with no trouble, but any time you're sending something through the printer that isnt paper, you risk damaging the machine.
- 1 piece of 8.5" x 11" cardstock (I cut a piece out of an old file folder.)
- light colored, medium weight fabric (a thrifted pillowcase in white or light yellow is perfect!)
- Scotch tape
- inkjet printer
Cut your fabric so that it's slightly smaller than the cardstock, then use your tape to securely tape it down at the top and bottom of the page. You can see in the picture above that my fabric was much shorter than the cardstock, and that's fine since I only needed a few labels this time around.
Get your design ready. No iron on transfer means you don't have to flip it!
Remove any paper from the printer's paper tray and set the cardstock in there. If you're planning to print more than one piece of fabric, I'd do them one at a time to avoid jamming the printer.
Print, then let the fabric dry for at least 30 minutes. Before you sew, iron the back of the fabric using your iron's cotton setting.
That's it! You're going to want your design to be a coupe of inches smaller than the page at least, because the edges tend to get smudgy, and you can't use the top and bottom where it prints on the tape instead of the fabric. You can sort of see the smudginess in the photo above.
To make the labels, I just used pinking shears to cut, so the labels won't fray. You can also use regular scissors and zigzag stitch the edges, if you prefer.