I can’t sew for toffee, at least not with a machine…. but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with some of the gorgeous fabrics available.. right? Here are a few ideas for fun things you can try with fabric block panels, velvet and recycled fabrics.
Fabric Block Panels – cards, memory box frames ….and more.
Fabric Heat Bond
Pens for embellishments * optional
Acrylic Sealer * optional
The first panel I did as a tester, which you got a sneak peek at in a previous post is this cute panel from Loralei Designs ( << AFF. LINK ) . This idea will work with any fabric you can iron heat bond on with, so you recyclers…. have a dig around in your closet for old fabrics before you throw out clothing. Specially you ladies with kids; before you throw out that piece of clothing, or fabric that got stained beyond redemption. It’s perfect to use on that favorite photo of your kid covered in peas,or spaghetti sauce. the stains will actually enhance the project LOL
Later on in this post you will see a few ideas you can try to spice up plain fabrics too 🙂
Ok, this is a super simple project… these panels can be used on cards, in picture boxes on the front of photo albums… all sorts of cool places you can use these.
Cut your fabric panel out.. this image is part of a panel from Loralei Designs ( << Aff.Link ) originally had the border frame on it and was trimmed away at the end. It just made it easier to trim the shape. So lets get to the technicals…. this is a very technical process…so play close attention.
- Cut the panel to size
- Cut a piece of Heat bond to size
- Iron fabric to heat bond
- Remove Heat Bond Backing Paper
- Iron Fabric on to a sheet of foam
- Seal, trim and embellish as desired.
- Mount on project
I like to spray mine with an acrylic sealer so that I can decorate it with Wink of Stella Glitter pens and glitter gel pens, without the worry of bleeding. Plus it protects the fabric somewhat and also gives it a slightly stiffer texture and sheen.
This one is mounted to a 65 lb card stock in a complimentary shade of purple. The Wink of Stella Clear glitter pen was just enough bling without being OTT. The edges were done in Wink of Stella Black glitter, but if you want the contrast between foam and the card base.. you can leave it showing. These multi packs of foam come in so many shades, you may not want to hide it.
Very simple idea…. you can add a sentiment, or embellishment if you want to. I would have added a ribbon or flower to the hat, over the image for a 3D feel if I had one that matched… but I didn’t have one. Don’t be afraid to experiment with texture and layers and 3D .. it can be a lot of fun.
Ok, here is the what NOT to do…. the first panel came out so nice, I cut out a second one. It didn’t even occur to me that the acrylic spray was going to soak through into the card behind and lift the panel….DO NOT mount directly onto card stock if you plan to use the Acrylic sealer. Of course at the time I was more concerned with…. ‘iron it on to the card after spraying it’….lol
Well following the method used on the other panel, except for the foam backing….resulted in a lifted fabric panel,so I removed it from the cardboard backing and attached it to a foam sheet with glue instead. I really like the spongy feel the foam sheets gives to these projects, so I don’t even know why I decided to try direct on card anyway lol.
…so here she is salvaged and foam mounted.
This one I kept the fabric frame on, unlike the one above which was trimmed to the inner frame and cut around the pieces that overlapped the edge.
Now there is a story behind this one and it will also explain why I chose to put this one in a box frame, instead of on a card.
The minute I saw this image on my fabric panel, It hit me how much she reminded me of my friends mom, who sadly passed away suddenly a few years ago. I think it was the attitude and the short spikey hair do. Mrs B had some feisty LOL. Well when I saw it, I decide to go ahead and frame this one and I am going to give it to her daughter. It’s a very simple project…. it’s just a background paper with text about memories and such….which seemed appropriate. I just added a few small simple red flowers and it’s mounted in an 8×8 box frame. The word imagine was a die cut that was glitzed with a WOS clear glitter pen.
Super simple project …. the possibilities to personalize are endless. I have seen projects that used fabric from a relatives outfit, to frame or create a background for a photo of them wearing said outfit. This would work great for a photo of a deceased loved one… or even just a memories frame of your kid in a favorite outfit.
The fabric panel doesn’t have to be the main focal point of the project.. but it can be. There are soooo many fabric block panels out there, covering so many themes, in so many sizes… you can probably find one for any occasion, lifestyle etc. Be sure to check the panel sizes….not the overall panel, but the block sizes for each individual block if you have a particular project in mind.
I have a huge bucket of recycle material waiting for the right project… so expect to see more of this idea in the coming months.
Now while we are on the subject of fabric and recycling etc.. it may surprise some of you to know.. you can heat emboss on fabric too. I tried it out on a piece of denim when I first started heat embossing….it’s kinda cool. Obviously you have to bear in mind the fabric you are going to be doing this on, so don’t try it on flammable materials that will melt under the heat. You can heat emboss on all sorts of materials.. I have tried it on wood too.. that was pretty cool.
Now I haven’t tried this ….YET…. but I am under the impression that the Cricut Explore will cut material quite nicely, specially if it is pre-bonded. Think of the possibilities if you used the writing feature, even if you didn’t cut it out on the Cricut….. you can create your own fabric design ….and then color it. That is definitely something to try for a future project methinks. I have Amy Chomas adapters on my Explore, so my range of pen options is huge …and my home-made, super fine embossing pen would be great to test this out with. Maybe you will see that in an upcoming project Post… we shall see.
Anywho… next…. Velvet embossing
I don’t have any velvet handy to recycle.. that’s on my list for the next Joann shopping spree. I’ll hit the bargain bins for end of roll or scraps…. because I have been dying to try Velvet embossing. All I have here right now is a sample pack of adhesive backed velvet sheets I just got in the mail last week from Elizabeth Craft Designs ( << Aff.Link) .. yeah you bet I tried it lol. I have to say it has mixed results depending on the stamp you use for the design….some work better than others. But I think the biggest problem for me,was the ironing. It seemed to move the velvet around a bit in places and that created a few bald spots which you can see in the photos. If you have an iron press, as opposed to a hand iron…. this probably wouldn’t be an issue. Practice however would take card of that issue, I’m sure 🙂
It may have been the heat was too much in places…. or movement…. not too sure at this point. I liked the overall idea and effect, it just needs more practice. One thing I had to try, because I found some of the stamps were just too busy to be embossed as is….and didn’t have enough impact…. I inked it first LOL.
Yup I know…. it’s a crazy idea since you would expect it to get all over the fabric/velvet… but it was surprisingly clean. With patience and practice, I bet you could get a pristine stamp with no residual. And there you have it, I was left with a velvet embossed image with a contrast outline. Again a few bald spots.. but the idea is definitely worth further exploration. I think if it was done on regular velvet fabric that the problem would be resolved.
It’s hard to photograph this to show how cool it really is.. but I hope you can at least get an idea from the pictures.
Stay tuned for lots more fun fabric projects in the future … If you have any cool fabric projects you want to share…. leave a comment below, or hop on over to the message board and share your projects. We love to see other people’s project pics. 🙂
If you are looking for Fabric Panels…. try Ebay or Amazon …. and your local fabric stores like Joann and Hancock Fabrics all carry great fabrics