If your childhood was anything like mine, you may have been subjected to more than one tacky t-shirt that had a printable design stuck to the front! The method of transferring designs to fabric using an iron is not new. However in this tutorial I’m using it to create a fabric wall art print that will hopefully redeem any bad experiences you might have had with this style!
Using heat transfer paper is a great crafting method once you get the hang of it. If it’s your first time using the paper, it can take a little while to get used to the process. However the illustrated style I’m using here is quite forgiving, and won’t be ruined even if some of the design doesn’t transfer smoothly.
Read on for the calico palm print wall art full tutorial!
You Will Need:
–Iron on Heat Transfer Paper
-Access to an inkjet printer
-Fabric (I used Calico)
-Craft Knife, Ruler & Scissors
To find an image that you’d like to use, search for free downloadable illustrations on a site like freepik.com. Your image can be in colour or black and white, depending on what you’d prefer and what printer you’re using.
Print out your palm (or other design) onto the heat transfer paper. Keep in mind that the design will be reversed when ironed on, so flip the design before your print it if needed!
Trim the design so that any excess paper is removed. This will make it easier to transfer to fabric.
Cut your fabric to the required size. I used a piece of calico around 40cm wide by 50cm long. It’s a good idea to iron your fabric before transfer to ensure a nice smooth surface.
Place your design face-down on the fabric, and use the directions on your heat transfer paper to iron the design on. Use a hard, flat surface to work on and cover the print with another piece of fabric so you’re ironing directly onto the paper.
Here’s a few quick tips I learnt for heat transferring your print:
- Put your iron on a high setting
- Work on one section of the print at a time. I started from the base & slowly worked up
- It will take a little while to transfer, so work slowly
- Allow the paper to cool for about 30 seconds before trying to peel the backing off. This will save your fingers as well as allow the design to set into the fabric (and not peel off with the paper!)
- If the design starts to peel off on the paper, stop peeling and keep ironing until it peels off smoothly.
Next, cut your balsa wood to size with a craft knife. You’ll need four pieces that are around an inch wide and slightly longer than the width of your fabric.
If you want to paint or stain the wood, now is the time! I used a slightly darker stain to give it more contrast with the calico. Balsa wood is naturally a very light timber.
Now it’s time to put your palm print wall hanging together!
Position the fabric between two pieces of the balsa, top and bottom. Fasten them together using the paper fasteners through the two layers of balsa, with the fabric in between.
Add some twine to the top back of the balsa, knotting it around the back of your fasteners. It’s time to hang your new calico palm printed wall hanging!