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“How To Easily Print On Fabric”

Printing on fabric is not a new thing, it’s been around for quite a while! Here are a few articles to help with your fabric printing journey.

Indestructibles offers step by step instructions here!

Here are a few more tutorials:

– Indestructibles offers tips for Inkjet Printing on Fabric
– Craftzine Fabric Printing How-To
– The actual HP website lists some tips and resources

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119 COMMENTS

  • Jasmine on September 12, 2011

    Wow!!!! I never knew it was that easy to do! Oh man… I’m going to be printing so much on fabric now! :)

    Reply
    • Tonya Steele on October 8, 2012

      Hi. I am printing my own fabric blocks and I find your website not only interesting, but very informative. There is always something else we can learn no matter how knowledgeable we are. Keep up the good work!

      Reply
  • Jess T. on September 12, 2011

    No freaking way! HOW COOL! I will totally try this one!

    Reply
  • Jackie Velasco on September 12, 2011

    Will it fade or disappear if it is washed?

    Reply
    • Emily on September 12, 2011

      It will fade, but not disappear. The darker the ink you use, the longer it will last. Make sure you heat seal it with the iron, and use a high heat. The shirt I have for Miles has been washed 15+ times and has only slightly faded.

      Reply
      • Christina Kalmbach on November 23, 2011

        Emily,
        How do you heat seal it like you said above? I want to make sure my ink doesn’t fade or run if water gets on it. Help Please!

        Reply
        • Emily on November 29, 2011

          You heat seal it by ironing over it with high heat.

          Reply
  • Caitlin on September 12, 2011

    I have a goal to do all homemade gifts this Christmas, and you guys are giving me the best ideas. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Emily on September 12, 2011

      Yay! So glad to help!

      Reply
  • Danielle on September 13, 2011

    This is awesome, never knew it was that easy!

    Reply
  • Alexandra on September 25, 2011

    How come I didn’t think of this before??? This is amazing.

    By the way, where did you get that awesome yellow fabric?

    Reply
    • Emily on September 28, 2011

      The fabric is actually a napkin I got at Target on clearance this summer.

      Reply
  • Billie Monster on September 25, 2011

    This is really great! I’ve heard of printing onto fabric with freezer paper before, but I’ve always wondered how to set the ink. Have you actually tried washing the fabric to see if the ink is set? I’m really curious! hehe Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Emily on September 28, 2011

      I have washed it, and the ink really is set. Obviously, it will fade after many washes, but it does last a while!

      Reply
  • Janka on September 28, 2011

    Hi! I don’t understand the tape phase. What kind of tape do you use? Is it double sided? I don’t get it how the printer paper and the freezer paper do adhere. Thanks for your answer. :)

    Reply
    • Emily on September 28, 2011

      I just make loops of tape with regular scotch tape, but double sided would be easy if you had it!
      I place 6 or more loops of tape onto the paper, then press the freezer paper (shiny side up) down onto the paper & tape. It holds just fine.
      I have also used scrapbook photo squares in the past. Those are the best!

      Reply
  • Jennifer Carroll on September 28, 2011

    Hi Emily! I love this post and just shared links to it and some of your great photos on my blog! Thank you so much for sharing this great tutorial!! http://jennifercarroll.net/blog/

    Reply
    • Emily on September 28, 2011

      Thanks Jennifer! One of the craft tips I use most!

      Reply
  • Janka on September 28, 2011

    Thanks :) Now, everything is clear! :)

    Reply
  • Lisa on September 28, 2011

    Double check with your ink before printing on fabric you want to wash – Epson has special inks that will heat set & be able to be laundered, but not all printers & inks will last through washing… they should work good for framed projects though :)

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      Thanks Lisa, Good point.

      I have used a few different brand printers with great results each time. Making sure to heat set with the hot iron makes the ink last longer, but doesn’t guarantee forever.

      Reply
  • Jen on September 29, 2011

    i LOVE this! i can’t wait until we get a new printer so i can try it! thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Leonie on September 30, 2011

    Fab idea….wish we could get freezer paper where I live….shall talk to store manager….

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      Most grocery stores carry it, and I know that Walmart carries it. Our local Winco had it as well.

      Reply
    • Michaela on November 1, 2011

      I couldn’t find freezer paper locally after checking out Target, Walmart, Alberstons, and Tom Thumb. I was able to buy it on Amazon.

      Reply
      • Megan on November 6, 2011

        In the future, you can probably ask your local deli. They are required to use it for meat they wrap up for customers.

        Reply
        • Jessica on January 29, 2012

          Found out its also called butcher paper!

          Reply
  • AJ on September 30, 2011

    Wonderful tutorial… thank you! I want to try this for a Halloween project but I have a Quick Question: When you iron the fabric onto the freezer paper do you put the fabric (printed side) face up or face down? Thanks again and BTW… you have a new subscriber! Really like your site! AJ @queenofmynest

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      Thanks AJ!
      You iron the fabric onto the freezer paper right side (printed side) up.

      Reply
  • ali on September 30, 2011

    Love this tutorial! Just have one question I didn’t see anyone else ask yet … how thick of fabric can a typical inkjet printer handle? I just don’t want to jam/break my printer trying to put too thick of a fabric through it, and knowing me I would do that on the first try! ;)

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      You knw, I haven’t done a thickness test. I do know that my printer can handle burlap and canvas, both of which are rather thick. I wouldn’t reccommend trying anything too much thicker than those though.

      Reply
  • dawn on October 1, 2011

    I think it would jam in my printer. :( GREAT idea tho.

    So COOL that you have a Mac. ;)

    ~AppleGurl

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      I totally thought it would jam in my printer the first time I tried this, but I’ve been doing it for years with no issues. Making sure your freezer paper is taped well onto the printer paper will help make sure no jams happen. Same with ironing the fabric on…make sure it’s no flapping around.

      Reply
  • Linda Thorn on October 1, 2011

    Thank you for this post!

    Reply
    • Emily on October 1, 2011

      Thanks for coming by Linda!!

      Reply
  • Susan on October 1, 2011

    I love this! Could you please tell me the font you used? I really like it, too.

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      The font is ck_Roxy Alternative

      Reply
  • Sarah Walther on October 1, 2011

    Does this work with all printers? What about laser printers?

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      As far as I know, this only works with inkjet printers.

      Reply
  • Laurie on October 2, 2011

    I did this using a photo of my husband when we went to Utah and made a pillow out of it. what I didn’t know was how to ‘set’ the ink so I could wash it!!! Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      Neat idea! Never tried printing a photo!

      Reply
  • Lisa on October 3, 2011

    Love Love this!! Thanks for sharing!!! I also LOVE your fingernails…… did you paint them??

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      Thanks, Lisa! I didn’t paint my nails, they are nail stickers.

      Reply
  • Staci on October 4, 2011

    Can you use a laser printer?

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      Pretty sure this only works with inkjet printers.

      Reply
  • Kim on October 4, 2011

    Have you tried photographs on the fabric? Would that bleed?

    Reply
    • Emily on October 4, 2011

      I have not tried photos with this, but I imagine it would work! I don’t think it would bleed. Comment #22, Laurie says she’s done that…maybe leave her a reply and ask how it turned out?

      Reply
  • Amanda on October 5, 2011

    Fabulous! I love printable fabric for various projects. But it’s so gosh darn expensive. So glad to find this.

    Reply
    • Emily on October 6, 2011

      So glad it helps! Just the extra cost (maybe $5) for the freezer paper!

      Reply
  • Nikki on October 5, 2011

    Will it work with a laser printer? I assume your epson is an inkjet…

    Reply
    • Emily on October 6, 2011

      Yep…as far as I know it doesn’t work with laser.

      Reply
  • Amnah on October 7, 2011

    I just saw this on Pinterest. Came over and saw how easy it was. Literally jumped up to try this. I just printed on a piece of fabric. I love you.

    Reply
    • Emily on October 13, 2011

      Thanks! What did you make with yours?

      Reply
  • Kristy Neeley on October 12, 2011

    GREAT idea I am doing a whole post on examples of printing on fabric and have your tutorial listed as well. My question is how do you get it on a t shirt in the printer? Am I to assume you used t shirt material then printed then sewed it into a shirt? Other wise I don’t see how to get the t shirt into the printer… Thanks so much for sharing!! Great ideas!

    Reply
    • Emily on October 13, 2011

      I printed onto a piece of fabric and sewed it onto the t-shirt.

      Reply
  • donna on October 20, 2011

    just tried this and i am amazed… and now thinking of endless possibilities – HOWEVER, i got some black ink smudges at the top part of my fabric – how could i get it out and what could i do to prevent it?

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      The black ink smudges probably can’t be removed, unfortunately. In the future, make sure that all of the edges of your fabric are secured to your paper to make sure it’s fed through your printer with no hiccups.

      Reply
  • Maddi on October 20, 2011

    That looks really cool!! I have been trying to find ‘freezer paper’ everywhere, but can’t, i was wondering if it would work with ‘baking paper’? (:

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      I believe Baking paper is more like parchment paper, and that wouldn’t work. Freezer paper is tricky to find, but I know that my local Winco has it, and from what I hear, Walmart carries it nationwide.

      Reply
    • Melissa on November 10, 2011

      I have always used regular wax paper and it works just fine. I’ve printed pictures for years.

      Reply
      • Jessica on January 29, 2012

        Thanks for the tip!

        Reply
  • Amanda on October 30, 2011

    Has anyone had problems with the tape melting when you iron it the first time causing the freezer paper to fall off from the regular paper? Any solutions? Re-tape after you iron?

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      I have never had that issue, but if you do then I suggest ironing the fabric onto the freezer paper first, then taping it to the printer paper.

      Reply
  • Karilyn on October 30, 2011

    I have been printing on fabric for a couple years. I have the best luck by spraying a piece of cardstock with temporary spray adhesive and stick my pressed fabric to it. It feeds thru the printer quite well. Sometimes with heavier fabric, I run a strip of tape on the leading edge. I also have an old Epson printer that uses durabright ink, which is waterproof. It is washable, but my other printer is not. Most inkjet ink is not waterproof, so you can print for decorative items, but not washable items.

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      Thanks for the tips!

      Reply
  • Mimi on October 30, 2011

    I do this without the printer paper. I just iron the fabric onto the freezer paper and cut it to 8.5×11. Works great!

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      Oh, great to know! Thanks!

      Reply
  • Su Jones on October 31, 2011

    I’ve been printing on fabric for years in my quilting projects. I have found that black ink is very stable and can be set and then washed. Colored ink is not as dependable that way.

    I have never taped my freezer paper to printer paper. I just iron the fabric onto the freezer paper and run it through the printer. My printers have always let me just feed the freezer paper into it as though it was regular paper!

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      I’m hearing that more and more…I will be trying it without the printer paper next time, thanks!

      Reply
    • Mimi on November 7, 2011

      I use a product called Bubble Jet Set 2000. You treat the fabric according to the directions,then apply it to the freezer paper and it makes even the colored inks more permanent. I have found that without the treatment, colors will bleed right out of the fabric if it gets wet.

      Reply
      • Mimi on November 7, 2011

        I have made photo quilts this way.

        Reply
  • Lisa on October 31, 2011

    Amazing! I love this…thanks so much for the inspiration AND instruction.

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      No prob, hope you have the chance to use it on something cute!

      Reply
  • Bridget on October 31, 2011

    Has anyone ever tried printing on felt before? I was thinking I could print pictures off on white felt and then use them on the felt boards with the daycare kids but I didn’t know if that would work or not.

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      I’m not sure about felt. I personally have never done it. My guess is that it would not work just because of the consistency of the fabric, but if you try it, please come back and let us know either way!

      Reply
  • Erika on November 3, 2011

    Great idea! What type of font did you use for the frame?

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      Thanks!
      The font is “ck_roxy alternative”

      Reply
  • Makayla on November 5, 2011

    Have you ever attempted to print pictures?

    Reply
    • Emily on November 6, 2011

      I have not attempted pictures. My guess is that it would work, but I’m not sure how well that would hold up to be washed. That’s a lot of ink! I would really only use it for pictures on non-washed projects.

      Reply
  • Jacqueline on November 13, 2011

    Thanks so much! people keep saying to do this and that they use this method but don’t give a tutorial! I want to do this!

    Reply
  • DebbieKat on November 20, 2011

    According to this person’s blog, you can do this with a laser printer too! http://cqmagonline.com/vol04iss02/articles/437/index.shtml

    Reply
    • Emily on November 29, 2011

      Oh cool! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • sarahdixie on November 20, 2011

    That is great for tags on gifts like quilts or oven mitts. I will definitely use that as a signature!!!

    Reply
  • Pillowsalamode on November 22, 2011

    LOVE!!!

    Reply
    • Emily on November 29, 2011

      Thanks!!

      Reply
  • Rita on November 23, 2011

    hi!
    excuse my terrible english….I’m italian!
    I don’t know “Ice paper”: there isn’t here…
    Can you explane me the uses so I can understand if here there is somthing similary

    Reply
    • Rita on November 23, 2011

      excuse me

      I don’t know “freezer paper” (not ice paper…)

      Reply
      • jann on November 30, 2011

        Wax, waxy paper.

        Reply
    • Emily on November 29, 2011

      Freezer paper is paper used to wrap meats before freezing. It has a wax film on one side of the paper to help keep the meat fresh. That wax is what helps the paper stick to the fabric.

      Reply
    • Elizabeth on January 26, 2012

      I know that freezer paper has also been called butcher paper back in the “day” it has a waterproof coating on one side, it’s also was use for finger painting. You might check with your local Butcher, hope this helps

      Reply
      • Jessica on January 29, 2012

        Thank you!

        Reply
  • Polly @ Helping Little Hands on December 1, 2011

    I just tried this out and it worked great! Thank you so much for the idea!! When I post about it on my blog, I’ll be sure to link back to you.

    Reply
    • Jessica on January 29, 2012

      Yay! Thx

      Reply
  • peg perego strollers on January 4, 2012

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by way of Google even as looking for a similar subject, your web site came up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Reply
  • Mary on January 6, 2012

    What about fusing the fabric to some fabric fusing sheets and cut to size for printer? then its stiff enough to go through printer? I think that could work, plus if adding to shirt all you have to do cut it from the rest of fabric and fuse to shirt!…. what do you guys think?

    Reply
    • Emily on January 7, 2012

      Absolutely! A few people have told me that the freezer paper isn’t necessary…that’s just the way I’ve always done it. It would definitely make it easier to sew onto the shirt, too!

      Reply
  • Laura on January 12, 2012

    I love this idea but I am wondering, how did you do the t-shirt? Was it on a separate piece of fabric that you then sewed onto the shirt? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Jessica on January 29, 2012

      Yes it was. She printed it on fabric, cut and then sewed the fabric onto the shirt.

      Reply
  • Shelby on January 20, 2012

    This is awesome but I was wondering if you could use a longer peice of fabric like a scarf through. I mean would adding more paper work?

    Reply
    • Emily on January 30, 2012

      I’m not sure…but I would guess that if you make sure and have paper across the entire legnth (so that when it feeds through the printer it goes smooth) and as long as the scarf isn’t wider than your printer can handle then I would try it! Never thought to put a scarf through…what a GREAT idea!!

      Reply
  • Glenda on January 24, 2012

    I have been wanting to print some black and white photos on fabric to make vintage look quilted wall hangings but the cost of printable fabric sheets was just too much. When I read a comment saying they used iron on fusible backing (I have a ton of it on hand already) I had to try it. So I laid down my Kindle so I could go and tried it out. Well, here I am back to say THANK YOU!!! It works so perfectly, and is much cheaper. I can’t wait to make my first wall hanging.

    Reply
    • Emily on January 25, 2012

      I love comments like this! It’s why I do my MIYM posts…So glad you are able to save money!

      Reply
  • Sandra on January 27, 2012

    Just found this on pinterest, and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply
    • Jessica on January 29, 2012

      Welcome!! If you do try, please share with us on Facebook, will you?

      Reply
  • Jody on January 31, 2012

    Got this pinned on a board from a friend. I am addng freezer paper to my grocery list today. I can not wait to try this. I make a few handmade items and I have been looking into labels for my projects which are sooooo expensive so I am going to try this. Bought special paper fabric sheet from joann’s last week that I was going to try printing labels on today. I am going to do a comparison on both methods and will let you know! Good thing it is my day off today!

    Reply
  • Robyn on January 31, 2012

    Found this on Pinterest and I’m definitely re-pinning! I have been using the iron-on transfer paper for these types of projects, but this will be so much cheaper. I’ll need to pick up some freezer paper on my next shopping trip, and see how it goes :)

    Reply
  • Chris Cruse on February 4, 2012

    Hi, Everybody,
    I’ve been printing on fabric for years. Sorry to say, inkjet ink does fade easily and disapear if the fabric is not pre-treated. There are great products on the market for pre-treating fabric. Some are liquid, you soak the fabric first, let dry, then follow the above printing instructions. Another product is already pre-treated fabric sheets which can be purchased in craft stores, even some Walmart stores. The pretreatment makes the inkjet ink last much longer and also gives much crisper/sharper edges to your graphic. Another tip, don’t allow your finished printed item to linger in sunlight, even streaming sumlight thru windows. This will result in a quick fade. When washing, it’s best to use a mild soap, even distilled water as mineral deposits can bloth. One more fun thing to do, you can scan just about anything and print. Even objects that are not flat as a photograph. Try scanning something from around the house, marbles, flower petals, crayons, matchsticks, colored toothpicks, let your imagination run wild.

    Reply
  • Ta'Shanah on February 4, 2012

    I saw this on Pinterest and had to come see? Now that I see how easy it is I want to try it! I have a question though, my Epson printer doesn’t load paper like yours does so will it still work?

    Reply
    • Emily on February 6, 2012

      Does yours have a tray for loading? I would test it out, but it may get stuck in the printer. I’ve never tried it with a tray load printer.

      Reply
  • Crystal on October 1, 2012

    Omg this is great now I can do all my family and friends for my dads 50th he will be so so happy
    Thank you so much for this idea
    Is it ok to spread the rumor some more and put it on google +

    I’m not going to do it unless its ok

    Btw thank you so much

    Reply
  • Sarah on October 18, 2012

    I can’t wait to try this! I just ordered a bunch of ink from Ink Technologies after I was inspired by this and three other crafts I found this afternoon. Thank you for the idea and happy printing! :)

    Reply
  • Emiley on July 8, 2013

    Do you just cut your fabric the size of the paper that goes in the printer, and can you use any type of printer

    Reply
    • Modern Day Moms on July 8, 2013

      You can try any type of printer… it’s more so trial and error with this project. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Margie on October 1, 2013

    I just read this after pinning it some time ago. want to tryit soon. I think I will print & then embroider by hand over the printing so it doesnt fade. any tried that yet?

    Reply
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