I have always wanted to figure out how to print on fabric and over the last few weeks, I finally figured it out!!
This process can be done for any kind of small project and it’s PERFECT for covering small photo albums. If you need a last minute personalized Christmas gift, this is something that I think everyone would love and the possibilities are endless.
Let’s just jump right into the tutorial!
To print on fabric for this photo album project, you first need to find your small photo albums. In my opinion, the best one to get is from Walmart and it’s $3.00 and it looks like this:
I like the Walmart albums best because it’s really hard to find narrow small albums. The narrower the photo album, the easier this project.
The next thing to do is to design your image on the computer in Microsoft Word. Of course the possibilities are endless and you should start by going into “Page Layout” and choose “Orientation” and click on “Landscape”. You should also go back into “Page Layout” and then “Margins” and then choose “Narrow”. This will give you all the room you a little extra room on your fabric.
You can write out someone’s name or initial in a fun font or you can go to a website like the awesome Wedding Chicks and choose a free down-loadable custom monogram like I did for a friend with an upcoming wedding:
The Wedding Chicks has so many incredible and beautiful FREE decorative monograms that you simply fill in with your name or monogram and save as a picture. You then just “insert” the picture into your Word document. It is SOOOOO easy, fabulous and FREE!!
You can do three letter monograms, I draw text boxes for each letter but I think there is probably an easier way. For large monograms and designs, you will need to print on paper first and wrap around your album to figure out exactly where the image needs to go. It’s important to note that you will have some extra fabric length beyond a standard letter size piece a paper as I will show you as we get further along. For the large wedding monogram that I did, I figured out after practicing by printing out the image on paper that I had to place my image upside down like this for the fabric to wrap the right way:
Once you get your image just right and print out several sample pages on paper and wrapping around your album, you are ready to get your fabric ready. I used a piece of light natural cotton. The lighter the fabric the better this project will work. You will start by using an 8.5 x 11 adhesive label or contact paper cut to letter or legal size paper:
Remove the adhesive back and attach to the backside of your fabric and you will need to add extra fabric to the length/end of the adhesive to fully cover the album like this:
You cannot print on the extra fabric but it will give you the added length that you need to fully cover your album. Keep this in mind as you run your sample paper that you can add extra length when it comes time for your fabric.
Next, run your fabric through the printer and print on the fabric side and when you’re done it should look something like this:
Next, open your album and lay flat on batting or interfacing of some kind. It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s cushy. For thin fabric, I use two pieces of batting for thick I just use one. Trace your album onto your batting but you will only want the batting to cover the top part of the album, you do not want it to fold over the sides. Spray the layers of batting with spray adhesive and loosely attach to the album. Do not pull tight otherwise your album will not naturally close:
Next, open your album up and lay flat onto your printed fabric and cut around the edges leaving about a 1/2 inch extra to fold and hot glue to the inside of the album:
For the narrow part of the middle of the album where the pages are, you will need to trim to about 1/4th an inch just enough for it to lay flush but not to interfere with the pages:
Hot glue all of the edges down and around and I folded my corners and glued just like wrapping a present. When you are finished, it should look something like this:
Finish off the rough edges by hot gluing a narrow piece of decorative trim over your edges. Remember, the trim will need to be narrow enough to lay flush in the narrow middle at the pages:
If you don’t want to print on the fabric but still want to cover an album with a funky print or natural fabric, you can add a beautiful brooch to the cover or hot glue a flower like I did on this one:
I used this same technique to cover a larger album (also found at Walmart) in a gorgeous taupe velvet that I monogrammed using the adhesive stencil technique:
I couldn’t help myself and ultimately decided on adding some bling for this very special friend:
For stenciling with adhesives on fabric with screen print paint, you can find my tutorial here.
Like I have said, there are so many endless possibilities with this project and I want to do some really fun and modern patterns as well. Oh boy, a new obsession has been born!
Well friends, I hope your holiday preparations are going well and I hope to have a post or two up before Christmas day. I have finally caught up so I should have a little extra time to share one more project at least!
Enjoy the rest of the week!