When the World Wearies
And Society ceases to Please
There is always
The Garden.
Printing on fabric using your home printer 18:25

I have had a request from new blogger friend CraftyHelen on how I have made my printed words on my cushions etc.
The way I do it is to use BubbleJetSet and my home printer which is just an ordinary Canon ip3300, nothing special. There are easier ways to do it using printer fabrics which can be bought from ebay or any good craft shops. That is the easier way to do it, but it is limiting as the fabrics available are very limited.  I wanted to print on my own fabrics so decided to have a go. Bubble Jet Set is not available in many places, and I have only been able to buy it online. I found ebay quite expensive but then found it at George Weir, a craft shop online for about £9 per bottle. I think with the fabrics you buy already treated you get about 10 pieces for £10. With my Bubble Jet Set I got around 25 pieces of fabric printed, so it does work out cheaper, but you can get mixed results and it is a lengthy process which I feel would put a lot of people off. If you want to have an easy life I recommend the ready treated papers!
With Bubble Jet Set method you have to first cut out pieces of material in the size of paper your printer would take(mine is an A4 so obviously I cut out pieces of linen and cotton A4 size. I do have an A3 printer which I bought for Kate when she was doing Art A level, so I am thinking of trying printing with that printer). You then have to soak the pieces of fabric in the Bubble jet set solution. I used a new cat litter tray which was just right for the purpose. I then hung the pieces of fabric over the bath and let the excess drip back into the tray (therefore you dont waste any, and the bubble jet set is reusuable) You can then place the materials onto towels to speed up the drying process or use a hairdryer. Once dry you then go onto the next step.For this you  need something called Freezer paper, which again is available on ebay or craft stores and it is widely used in the crafting world for many purposes. You have to iron the freezer paper to your A4 size piece of fabric before putting the material into the printer. Depending on your fabric this can be a bit hit and miss. I tried various linens, and the best one was Laura Ashely natural linen which is quite smooth. I wanted to use my favourite white linen, but it was too thick for the printer, and I had some tricky times trying to get fabric out of my printer! I would recommend if you use this method, to try material with freezer paper before you use the Bubble Jet Set, therefore not wasting any of the solution on material which just wont go through your printer! Through trial and error I found that putting masking tape on the leading edge made the fabric feed through better, although again it was a bit hit and miss and sometimes I got some ink where I didnt want it!
I used different fonts and pictures onto a word or publisher program and just had fun experimenting.

After the ink has dried (best to leave for 24 hours) you then have to rinse the fabric in a solution of synthrapol, adelicate detergent,  (cost about £5 again from George Weir) which takes all the excess inks off. You only have to use a tiny few drops of this, and will probably last me a lifetime! You have to let this dry naturally, and when dry iron on the wrong side to set. It is a lengthy process and you may waste some fabric but I thought it was worth it to use my own fabrics. The Laura Ashley Linen in natural is my favourite, it takes pictures, photos and the written word lovely. I have printed some photos of my mum onto fabric, and will use these soon to decorate boxes where I will keep some memories of her.
Well Helen, I hope this hasnt put you off. Feel free to email me if you have any trouble finding the products or need help with anything.


Heres hoping we all have a much happier and healthier 2010. Ive been looking back over the last decade, there were some good things and some very bad and sad things (losing mum, Kates accident in 2003 which changed her life forever, have got to be the two absolute worse things that have happened in my entire life).

Remembering Millenium Night, here are my two babies a decade ago at their nan and grandads aged 27 and 10,

and how they both look now, 10 years older at 37 and 20 years old. They have been through some tough times the last six years and I hope the future will be brighter and happier for them both and all the sad and unhappy times (not of our making) will be in the past. I love you both very much. xx