How to Make a Fabric Postcard Party Invitationcomments (8) May 1st, 2009
Sure, Evites are easy, but if you're planning a special celebration, why not do it up right and mail out some really unique invitations? These postcards are a great small quilting project, and they travel beautifully through the post. (See the one at the top there? I mailed it to myself and it still looks great!)
What you'll need:
- Sheet of Friendly Felt (see note below)
- Scrap of print fabric
- Scrap of acrylic felt
- Fusible web
- Sewing machine
- Coordinating thread
- Fray Check
- Craft glue
- Cardstock (or postcard)
Begin by deciding on a size for your postcards. If you're mailing them, then it's wise to research standard postcard sizes as defined by your country's postal regulations. I'm using a 4-1/4-inch x 6-inch size here.
Cut one piece of Friendly Felt and one piece of woven fabric in postcard size. Then cut one piece of regular acrylic felt that's 1/4-inch smaller on all sides (so for my sample here, that's 3-3/4 inches x 5-1/2 inches). This acrylic felt will be completely hidden in the finished postcard—it will provide the padding for the quilting. So you can use up leftover colors in your stash.
Next, cut two pieces of fusible web in the same size as the acrylic felt. (If you're unfamiliar with this wonder material, it's a kind of glue mesh that you heat with an iron to bond fabrics together.)
Stack all those layers up in the order you see here: Friendly Felt on the bottom, then a piece of fusible web, then the acrylic felt, then the other piece of fusible web, and the woven fabric on top. (Be sure to remove the backing papers from the fusible web first.) Match all the edges and make sure that acrylic felt is centered between the other layers.
Follow the package directions to fuse all the layers together. Be sure to place a pressing cloth over the postcard when you iron it—the Friendly Felt shouldn't touch your hot iron.
Once the layers are fused together, use a sewing machine to zigzag-stitch around all four edges of the postcard. I like to make two rows of zigzag, but one is also sufficient. You can use matching thread or contrasting thread—whatever you like best.
If your woven fabric has a tendency to fray, apply some Fray Check to all four edges. Allow it to dry.
Now for the fun part—quilting! I find that the Friendly Felt slides beautifully over my sewing machine's feed dogs, so I can maneuver it easily to stitch intricate patterns. You can quilt to match the pattern on the fabric, as I'm doing here, or quilt an overall pattern. You could also do some machine embroidery. There are so many possibilities! Just cut the ends of all threads close to the postcard's surface.
(Incidentally, I'm using metallic thread to quilt this postcard because I like how it adds a little sparkle to the design. You can quilt with any color—or colors—of thread you like.)
When you're done quilting, turn the postcard over and apply a medium amount of craft glue to the back.
At this point, you'll need a cardstock postcard of some kind to glue to the back. I made one using the page layout software on my computer—and that way, I was able to include the invitation text. You could also cut a plain piece of cardstock and hand-write your invitation on it. Or, if you have some old postcards that you don't like the design of, use those—only the back will show.
Your cardstock should measure 1/4 inch less on all sides than your fabric postcard—so for my sample, it measures 3-3/4 inches x 5-1/2 inches. Press the layers together, centering the cardstock on the fabric. Place a heavy book over the postcard for about 20 minutes while the glue cures.
Use your sewing machine to zigzag-stitch around all four edges of the cardstock. Again, I like to do two rows of stitching.
What about other embellishments? As I was making my postcard, I really wanted to sew on some buttons. But if you plan to send these through the mail, it's probably best to avoid adding too many extras that might get caught in postal processing machines. Instead, think about embellishments like fabric paints, Stickles, collaging fabrics with Fabric Mod Podge, or sewing several fabrics together in a patchwork.
I'd recommend weighing your finished postcard on a postal scale, or asking someone at your local post office to do it. These might require more postage than a typical postcard—and it's best to find that out in advance!
Add an address and postage, and your postcard is ready to mail.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
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