Monday, November 14, 2011

Stamped Iron-Ons for Gifts

Christmas is coming. I'm planning to do lots of homemade gifts this year. My homemade projects must meet certain criteria. They must be: a) cost effective, b) easy, c) cute.
War Eagle and Go Tigers! I realize the one on the left looks more like a chicken (or maybe a chickenhawk) than an eagle, but still.
I've done stamped onesies at several baby showers in the past. I have done stamping directly onto onesies before but I prefer the cleaner look and the control you can get by adding just a couple of extra steps to the process.

These cute gifts aren't just for baby showers. You can do them for birthdays, Christmas or other special events as well. You can even use larger t-shirts and do some for older kids. You don't just have to make t-shirts either. You could use this iron-on method on tote bags, handkerchiefs, cloth napkins or pillow cases. The sky's the limit.

These are pretty simple to make and I'm going to show you how to make them using onesies in my example.

1. First gather your materials. You will need something to iron on to (t-shirt, pillowcase, etc.), stamps, ink, permanent markers (optional) and iron-on transfer paper for ink jet printers. I've gotten mine at Hobby Lobby and Walmart in the past. Any store with a good craft section will probably carry these.

 2. Ink up your stamp. When using clear stamps it is helpful to rub a nail file or an eraser lightly over the stamp before inking so that the ink doesn't bead up on the stamp quite as much. There are also inks available that are specially formulated for clear stamps if you want to go that route.

3. Stamp your image onto the iron on paper. Make sure you are stamping on the side WITHOUT the line on it. Try not to smudge.


4. I found from experimenting that large colored areas don't look as good as just adding small bits of color. Something about the nature of the iron on paper makes large areas look streaky and uneven when colored.  So, using your permanent markers, color in small portions of the image, if desired.

5. Trim the image from the iron on paper.

6. Now, using a dry iron preheated to the "cotton" setting, iron the image onto the onesie (tote, t-shirt, pillow case). Do this by placing the the image face down (colored side against the fabric) and pressing for 20 to 30 seconds using a circular motion and keeping the iron moving to avoid scorching. DO NOT USE STEAM. (This step may vary according to the brand of iron-on transfer paper you buy. Follow package directions for best results.)

7. Wait about a minute for the iron-on to cool before gently peeling the paper backing away from the fabric. Be patient. If you try to take the paper off too early you could pull the iron-on transfer off with it, as I have demonstrated with the poor chicken's foot at left.
No really, wait. Go brush your teeth or boil and egg or something. I have seen people really ruin onesies before because they were impatient. Good things come to those who wait.

8. Admire your handiwork.

A few more things to consider:
--You can dress these up a little more by stitching on some buttons or adding a little ribbon bow or some trim to the neckline.
--If you want to add words you need to either stamp directly onto the shirt or use your computer to reverse your text before printing it onto the transfer paper. If you just stamp onto the paper then try to iron it on your words will be backwards.
--Solid images work great. Just remember if you do the coloring-in method shown here to just add small accents of color instead of large areas
 --Packaging can really make a gift. Consider stamping a card or wrapping paper with coordinating images for a custom put-together look.

I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head right now so I may have to try some other things.

I hope you enjoy this fun and simple project. Any questions? Let me know in the comments or feel free to shoot me an email.

No comments: