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How to Print on Fabric Using Freezer Paper

Fabric coming out of inkjet printer

While looking through Pinterest, I came across a pin talking about printing on fabric with an inkjet printer and freezer paper. I scoured the internet trying to find everything I could about inkjet printing on fabric. I thought, this must be too good to be true, and in some ways it is. You can print with black ink, but it will fade as early as the first wash. There are fixatives you can purchase to set the ink, but there is no guarantee it won’t still fade. Color ink is a no no. It washes out the moment you put the fabric in water. And your project is limited to the size of a piece of printer paper.

With those things being said, I have read that if you let the ink dry on the fabric for a day or two before washing, it lasts longer. I also saw that ironing the ink sets it in the fabric. I don’t know if that is true or not but honestly, neither would hurt to try. But if you are still afraid of the fade, I would use this method for projects that do not require washing, or at least not a lot of washing.

Here is how to print on fabric using freezer paper.

Materials for printing on fabric

Materials:

  • Freezer paper cut to 8 1/2 inches wide by 11 inches long (or the size of a sheet of printer paper.
  • Cotton Fabric -(Like quilters fabric).
  • Inkjet Printer with black ink
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • A Computer or device to print from

Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of freezer paper the size of a sheet of printer paper.
  2. Lay your piece of fabric onto your ironing surface (mine is a towel on the kitchen island). Set your iron to the appropriate setting for your fabric. Once it is hot, iron out any wrinkles in your fabric.
  3. Place your freezer paper shiny side down onto the fabric.
  4. Iron your freezer paper down until it sticks to the fabric. I usually do this for a minutes or two depending on the heat of my iron.
  5. With sharp scissors, cut along the edge of the paper removing the excess fabric.
  6. Once cut out, check the fabric/paper for any stray threads along the edges and trim if needed.
  7. If needed, re-iron your paper and fabric to make sure it is well bonded.
  8. Open the paper tray of your printer. Place your fabric/paper so that the fabric side is in the correct position to be printed on. (To test this, I took normal printer paper and put an X on one side. Place it in the printer with the X facing up. Set it up to print something simple. If the X is on the same side as your print, you will need to face your fabric up in the tray. If the X is on the opposite side, you will need to face your fabric down.)
  9. Set up your print on your computer. Before finishing the print, set your printer settings so that it prints “Best Print”. This will allow for the best ink flow into the fabric.
  10. Print.
  11. Once the printer is finished, I dry the ink with my iron. I don’t know if this helps set the ink or not but it seems to help dry it. (It also didn’t hurt 🙂 )

When I came across printing on fabric, I made a mask with a mustache using this method and so far, it seems to be holding the ink well. It did most of it’s fading in the first wash. I hope you have as much fun with this as I did. Now go let your imagination run wild.

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