Printing on fabric is such a great way to create a handmade gift or custom home decor. In the past, items printed at home seemed to be viewed as not as nice as professional printing, but there are now so many easy ways to print on fabric at home to create beautiful and creative projects from everything from t-shirts, to pillows and other textiles. You can even create your own fabrics this way! There’s no reason that printing on fabric needs to be cumbersome or not “professional” looking. I have quite a few different methods for DIY fabric printing below I’ve gathered easy ways to print on fabric at home.
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One of the first ways I learned to print on fabric was to use freezer paper and your home inkjet printer to create custom fabric prints.
While that method works, it is actually better to use fabric transfer paper with printable fabric for a full transfer of color. Check out this post from The Graphics Fairy for the step by step tutorial of the printing process using your printer at home to print on fabric sheets.
Screen printing has been a gold standard for a long time, and not as easy for those wanting to print at home. Creating a silk screen was cumbersome and messy. Using a Cricut or similar tool; it’s easy to create a custom silk screen in multiple fonts and designs, and then reuse the silk screen later for another design. There are lots of kinds of inks you can use including fabric paint and screen printing ink. This post has the instructions for creating a silk screen stencil and printing like we did on a cotton tea towel or on a piece of fabric. This could even be used to create custom labels.
Using pre-made stamps is a great way to create custom printing on fabric and other fabric crafts! There are so many great designs and by combining stamps or creating your own, a custom image can be made. This post explains not how to only create your own stamp,but how to layer stamps for a custom design when printing on cotton fabric.
Other hand stamped fabric tutorials:
Make handmade hand-printed muslin fabric ribbon with a stamp
An old school way of printing is to do solvent transfer printing by using a product such as Citrisolv to transfer words or images.
This allows the use of a home printer ( a laser printer works better than an ink jet printer) and printer paper to transfer the ink onto the fabric. This isn’t as colorfast or durable as other methods, but does make for easy custom items, and can also be painted over with fabric paint or another type of ink. This can also be done as photo transfers as well. See this great tutorial here to see how to use this fabric printing method.
Block printing is a fun way to print on fabric and can be used to create fun patterns and can even be done by the kiddos. Block printing can be done with lots of different items such as potatoes, cardboard and even pool noodles. Check out this tutorial of how to block print pillows with pool noodles.
Using a stencil is another great way to create custom stencil on fabric. Stencils are able to not only be layered, but reused over and over again. This project uses antler stencils and a fun flower pattern to create a one of a kind design.
Check out this project for creating a stenciled holiday fabric runner
To create a custom stencil, you can use the freezer paper method and your cutting machine like a Cricut. This uses a piece of freezer paper and an iron to create a custom one time use stencil. This is great way to make t-shirts, towels, pillows and more. If you don’t have a Cricut, a stencil can be drawn on the paper and hand-cut with a craft knife.
I hope you have fun and try these different and easy ways to print on fabric at home and create custom decor and crafts!