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Picture of Inkjet Printing on Fabric
Forget about printing on some transfer paper and then ironing it onto some fabric. With some freezer paper you can print right on the fabric itself. No need to reverse the image and it's faster, cheaper, and more effective.


 
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Step 1: Materials List

Picture of Materials List
Cloth? Check.
Freezer paper? Check.

Step 2: Cut to Size

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Cut a piece of fabric a little bit bigger than the 8.5"x11" that your printer can handle. Or, if you have a bigger printer, go bigger.

Cut the freezer paper to an even larger size to give you a nice margin of error here.

Step 3: Iron Together

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Place the working side of the fabric onto the ugly old ironing board you have lying around. Now place the plastic side of the freezer paper down on that.

In other words, the working surface is safely facing the bottom and the paper side of the freezer paper is facing you. Now iron it together. The two pieces will become one.

Step 4: Cut to Size - Part 2

Picture of Cut to Size - Part 2
Trim the combined fabric paper to something your printer can accept. For me, that's letter-size. For my friend, who bought a massive Epson printer while flush with cash, that could be two-feet by whatever.

Step 5: Stick it In

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You now have a piece of fabric that is supported by the attached piece of freezer paper. This makes the resulting combination solid enough to be grabbed by the printer without flopping about. Treat the finished piece like a regular piece of paper and stick it into an inkjet printer. My printer flips the paper over and then prints on it so I placed the piece in the tray with the fabric side down.

Step 6: Print!

Picture of Print!
Find some image you want on a piece of fabric and print away. You'll be surprised at the level of detail. This Instructables logo in the picture is just over two inches wide.

You can print anything you want. I found this technique because a friend wanted to create some treasure maps for a pirate party. If you want the image to be on something that will get a lot of use you might want to treat it with this stuff.
Cilenia3 years ago
Make sure you wash your fabric first to remove any sizing from manufacturer, this will help your printer's ink absorb better and stay longer. Heat set after with hot cotton setting on your iron also.
Cilenia Cilenia3 years ago
OH make sure you heat set AFTER you take off the freezer paper backing!
mweiss23 years ago
Thank you I can't wait to get started!!
robspe944 years ago
My lazer printer worked brilliantly, giving a crystal clear image.  However, tests involving hot water and scrubbing revealed that it fades fairly quickly.  Still, great if it is not going through the wash.  I found that placing a blank piece of paper over the image and ironing it afterwards helped seal it in a bit.  (Great Instructable!)
fungus amungus (author)  robspe944 years ago
You can treat the fabric to keep the image in a little better. Can't remember the stuff right now, but either way this is best for non-clothing use. Stuff that won't be in hot soapy water. For that I'd recommend silkscreen or going with one of the custom clothing places like spreadshirt or zazzle.
zim_2564 years ago
I doubt that this will work on any laser printer, at least mine doesn't handle very well thick media, already tried to print a mousepad and it jammed the entire mechanism.
hahahaha not too smart. . . mousepads are waaayyy too thick. Also, when it gets that hot you risk melting something and permanently damaging the printer. . . not to mention voiding your warranty ;P
Didn't care, the printer wasn't mine. The pad shrinked when passing the fuser.
Haha nice. . . awesome! Gotta try that on my friend's laser printer sometime. . . :P
digsretro5 years ago
Actually, laser printer ink is much more permanent and probably would give better definition when printed. You can even hit laser printed ink with bleach and it will not fade it.
I don't have that printer, WAAAH! jk. We have a cheaper HP and also a laser printer. It probably won't work on the laser one, right? Too hot?
I don't think the laser prints would go through the wash well in the very least. I wouldn't recommend it anyway.
Cheesy....6 years ago
I have that printer!!!! :P
me too!
Maxaxle7 years ago
$10 from the lottery XD