Friday, November 28, 2008

Gift Tags using Wonder Under and Card Stock

Making Gift Tags, Fusing Fabric to Paper
Originally posted on in May 2002, when I was content manager for their site.

This How-To is an easy, no-sew project which we think you'll like. Utilizing your stash fabrics; some scraps of ribbon, cording, or other loop-making material; some Wonder-Under; and your imagination, we'll make beautiful, custom gift tags which your gift recipients will ooh and ahh over for years. You can expand on the concepts used here to make greeting cards as well.

This is what our tags will look like at the end of our project. The materials are few. Other than those pictured, you'll need scissors and a hole punch.

The primary materials used are Wonder-Under or another brand of fuse paper-to-fabric bonding, a sheet of card stock or decorative paper (we used decorative paper), and a piece of fabric about the same size as the paper.

Place the paper on the Wonder-Under and cut a piece of Wonder-Under the size of the paper.

Place the paper on the fabric scrap and cut the fabric to match the size of the paper.

Place the Wonder-Under shiny side down on the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse to the fabric following manufacturer's directions using a dry iron. (Steam feature should be off.)

After the Wonder-Under cools to about room temperature, begin peeling it from the corner. Make sure the "sticky part" stays on the fabric and does not come off wtih the backing paper.

Continue to peel slowly until all of the backing paper has been removed. Discard backing paper.

Place the fabric sticky side down/right side up on the card stock or decorative paper and iron the Wonder-Under per the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the fabric and paper together. Remember to have the steam feature of your iron off.

Turn the project over and mark the paper into 9 fairly equal parts. At this point, you can actually make the tags whatever size you like; we preferred the size created with dividing the paper into 9. (Lines enhanced for photo; pencil will do fine.) You can also freehand cut designs rather than rectangles. Use circles or other shapes that suit your tastes.

Cut along the lines with regular or pinking shears (or other decorative scissors).

Fold the tags in half either diagonally or horizontally. Again, you can use your imagination at this point and create shapes that please you if  you want something different. Use your decorative scissors, too, for creating interesting edges.

Position the hole puncher in a suitable position. We chose the corner at the top of the tags.

Punch a hole in each tag.

Measure about 7" of trim, cord, ribbon, or other suitable material. Cut enough lengths to have one for each tag.

Put one end of the string through the hole in the tag.

Pull the string through so that the ends meet.

Tie a knot in the string near the ends.

Pull the knot taut.

Write a greeting in your completed tag.

You can also use the tags as place markers for a dinner by standing them on end, and perhaps writing a guest's name on the inside.

When all else fails, spread out your project, take a picture, and smile!

Fusing fabric to paper can be used for a variety of no sew crafts. Using the same principles, you can fuse designs from fabric onto card stock and make custom greeting cards. There are fabric to paper adhesives besides Wonder-Under that can be used, but we liked the control of the iron on, as well as the ability to draw on the paper backing before cutting a shape out of the paper/fabric materials.
Other ideas might be to create signs by fusing fabric to wood, paintings and mosaics with fabric fused to paper or stock, and as with most ideas, the possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. Consider taking a bit of design out of your baby's curtain fabric to make a decoration for the wall or baby announcements to send to friends.
Feel free to comment and ask questions.

How to Make a Christmas Stocking

A Christmas stocking. What could be a nicer item to make for a family member, a friend, a pet, or to sell? This project will cover from start to finish how to make a strip pieced/string quilted stocking. Some people use strip piecing and string quilting interchangeably. We'll use the term strip primarily to explain the method. Get your holiday fabrics, a bit of batting (we used a recycled mattress pad), and trims together. You may want a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, or you can use scissors, a ruler, marker, or whatever tools you have at your disposal. The goal is to have fun and make something that looks a lot more intricate and difficult than it really is. This is a project I originally designed for in November 2002, while providing content for their site. As with all of the projects on, this is a jumping off place. Use your imagination and natural creativity, along with materials and fabrics you have on hand, and go nuts!

Cut a lining for your stocking using a stocking shape of your choice. You can use a traditional sock shape or use a fancy boot shape. It's up to you.

You also need to cut a back fabric. We're going to strip piece the front onto the lining you cut in the previous step.

Using your stocking pattern or the back piece cut previously (or both), cut a piece of lining. We used a recycle mattress pad. You can use batting, a light towel, a receiving blanket, or other material of your choice.

Choose three or four fabrics to cut into strips.

Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut 2" strips of each fabric. You can also use scissors. An alternative is to cut irregular width strips.

Choose a fabric for the top trim of your stocking. We chose the same fabric as the back of the stocking.

Cut a 2" strip long enough to go across the width of the stocking. Set aside.

Layer your fabric so that you have your lining on the bottom, the filler second, and place your first strip right side up on the batting for the top. The direction you want would like the strips to run (diagonally, horizontally, etc.) is determined by the direction of this first strip.

Add the next strip of fabric face down (right sides together) on the first strip.

Stitch through the two strips, the batting, and the lining in a 1/4" seam fron one side of the stocking to the other.

Turn the top strip (the one that was right side down) over, showing the two strips right side up, and finger press.

Place another strip of fabric face down (right sides together) on the strip prior sewn. Sew your seam and then turn the strip up, finger pressing once more.

Pin the top trim fabric right side up on your stocking. Do not sew it down.

Continue sewing strips until you reach the trim piece on the top of the stocking.

Turn the top strip (the one that was right side down) over, showing the two strips right side up, and finger press.

Place another strip of fabric face down (right sides together) on the strip prior sewn. Sew your seam and then turn the strip up, finger pressing once more.

Move the trim piece out of the way as you sew strips closer to the top.

You will sew this piece down later. Right now, it's serving mainly as a guide.

Return to the bottom half of the stocking and sew strips in the same order as you have been using until you reach the toe. Make sure your strips are long enough by trying them right side up in the position they will held after being sewn, then put them right sides together with the prior strip to which you are sewing it.

The strips will probably extend beyond the edges of the stocking. That's okay. We're going to trim them up in the next few steps.

Temporarily remove the top trim piece that you had pinned in place.

Trim the top strips which extend what will be under the top strip.

Turn the stocking over and using the lining fabric as your guide, stitch about a 1/8" seam around the strip pieced stocking top.

Trim the excess fabric from around the edges of the stocking top.

If you would like to add bits of lace or other trims to your stocking, this is the time to do it, before we put the stocking together.

We used lace, rick rack, and ribbon, stitching in the ditch of each seam.

Place the top trim piece right sides together on the stocking front.

the top trim piece with a 1/4" seam, turn it so it faces right side up, and finger press. If you would like to add trim to the top piece, you can do that now. We used silver rick rack to match trim on the stocking.

Place the stocking front and stocking back right sides together.

Stitch around the stocking (do notsew the top closed) in a 1/4" seam.

Serge the seam allowance if you can. If not, trim it with pinking shears or regular scissors.

You can use any bias tape that you like; we chose a store-bought piece. Place it around the top edge of the whole stocking.

Stitch the bias tape in place with complementary thread.

Cut a small piece of trim to make your hanger with. We used a bit of silver rick rack.

Stitch the hanger onto the stocking in an appropriate location.

Voila! A Christmas stocking.

Below are a few other stockings I've made over the years. They're shown as examples. You can let your imagination be your guide and use any fabric, any trim, any shape, any design. There are no rules. Have fun and make someone happy with their own one of a kind Christmas stocking!