Turn Photos and Words into Fabric.

comments (2) August 1st, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Personal photos create the perfect motifs for one-of-a-kind projects.
The back of the bag continues the thought.
Print as many sheets as you’ll need to cover a rectangle about 10 in. by 20 in.
Personal photos create the perfect motifs for one-of-a-kind projects.

Personal photos create the perfect motifs for one-of-a-kind projects.

Photo: Mary Ray

How fun is it to print your own fabric? In short runs, of course. All you need is an inkjet printer and specially designed fabric sheets and you’re ready to go. Just get your image ready, load the paper tray, and press print or copy.

There are a few different products available and you can find them online or at craft shops. Check out Electric Quilt, Jacquard, and Color Plus Fabrics from Color Textiles. I chose the Color Plus 100% cotton twill. I haven’t tried any of the others – so this it not a review – but, I was pleased with the results I got and the instructions were very clear.

I used my printed sheets to make this small bucket purse. I call it the “garden bucket” because it showcases some of the pink flowers surrounding my house. It’s fun to add some words, too, so use you're imagination.

The back of the bag continues the thought.

I’m sure you all can be even more creative with your photos or scanned images. Be careful with trademarked images, however, especially if you plan to sell your items. They’re protected so use your own photos or designs to be safe.

To make this bag:

1. Print out some pictures. Most photo sheets are 8 1/2 by 11 to fit standard printers, so you’ll need enough to fill your project. Or you can piece them together with solid fabrics, which adds some interest as well.

Print as many sheets as you’ll need to cover a rectangle about 10 in. by 20 in.

2. Cut the fabrics into random shapes; sew them back together to form a rectangle (mine is approximately 10 in. by 20. in.); place the pieced rectangle on a piece of batting and machine quilt the two layers together. (For more about machine quilting, see my post on the Quilted Lingerie Bag).

Cut and piece together with some additional solid fabrics.

3. Cut a piece of lining the same size as the quilted rectangle and them right sides together at the long edges with a 1/4-in. seam. Press the seams open and turn this “tube” to the right side.


Quilt the rectangle to a piece of stable batting to add body and some texture. Sew the lining to the long edges only.

4. Fold in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew the side seams with a 1/4-in. seam allowance.


Fold in half and sew together along the side edges.

5. Fold the corners, with the seam at the center, and stitch across to create a base at the bottom of the bag.


Stitch across the corners to form a base.

6. Turn to the right side. Edge stitch along the edge of the bag’s base. Bind the top edge. And – add a cute purse handle or make some fabric straps.


Finish the bag with some edgestitching along the base, a binding or hem at the top, and some handles or straps.

posted in: purse

Comments (2)

MoniqueGilbert writes: when I use the specially designed fabric sheets - my printed picture is always in a mist - even after more "saturation". Can you help me?
Posted: 11:25 am on August 16th
ArtsiBitsi writes: Beautiful work.

Initially, I had some trouble getting the photo sheets to feed through my ink-jet printer. The sheets kept jamming. But I put a strip of (low-tack) painter's tape along the edge and that helped a lot. For some reason, it worked even better if I put the tape on messily, with some creases and wrinkles.

But once I got the sheets printed, and followed the instructions to make them color-fast, I was really impressed with the color, detail, and saturation.

Posted: 9:15 am on August 2nd
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