Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Laminate Fabric

What you will need:
Iron-on Vinyl (see my other post here for where I get mine)
A protector of some sort for your ironing board.  I happen to use a flat rate box from the post office.  It's all I had laying around. ;)  You can buy a Teflon sheet to lay down if you desire.  But you definitely want something to protect your ironing board.  Flat rate boxes work great. ;)

**I really apologize for the phone pictures-I had to make this for a customer last night and in the mess of moving, I cannot find my camera.  So please forgive. :) **

Iron your fabric and starch it.  Make sure there are no threads that have found their way to the front because they will be vinyled on for eternity if they are there! 

Cut your piece of vinyl to size to match your fabric. 

Carefully peel the vinyl off the backing and lay it down on your fabric.  It's really not that sticky so if you need to move it, it's easy to do so.  Smooth it down and remove any air pockets.
**Keep the backing from the vinyl!!!!**

Lay your fabric face up and place the backing that you saved on top, smooth side down so the little grids are face up.
I keep a bunch of big pieces and lay them side by side to make sure the piece I am working on is covered entirely.  You do NOT want this stuff on your precious iron.
You will need to press your iron down in each spot for 8 seconds.  Count to 8.
K-now move to the next spot over.  Make sure you iron each spot on your fabric.  Use the grid on the backing as a guide.

When you are done with the front, take the backing off, flip the fabric face down and put the backing back on.  Now, you need to repeat the ironing process, but this time, you only need to count to 4 for each spot.

Don't burn yourself. If you want to see my burn, it's on Instagram...and it's nasty. So you might not want to. I understand.

How did they come up with these times?  As I am counting, and repeating this process over and over, I've thought about this.  I think it's a safe number because I'm fairly certain there are many spots I have not counted a full 8.  So perhaps it's really 5...but 8 is safe for people who are inpatient like myself. ;)

Now you have your pretty vinyled fabric!
When it's warm it kind of feels like a fruit roll-up.  A hot fruit roll-up left in the car.  Once it cools down, it stiffens up and no longer feels fruit roll-up-y.

Now for the sewing part.

Vinyl is slippery, yes.  Some websites I ran into state you need a fancy schmancy Teflon foot.
Really?  No.  That's my opinion.  I honestly can't see why you'd need one.  Your project slides through the sewing machine very easily and  I've used my regular old foot and have had no problems.
However, you do NOT want to pin this down to your other fabric. It will leave holes in your nice vinyl, so use clips.  I happen to have just purchased myself some Clover clips from here and I LOVE them.
Best invention ever.  They really grip my slippery vinyl and keep things in place whilst I am sewing.

You will probably want to replace your  needle too after sewing a few projects with vinyl.
Also, take it slow - if you are finishing your piece and sewing the edges, just go slow.  Especially around thick pieces like pockets.

Okay, if you are doing a project that requires you to turn it inside out like my crayon wallets, never fear.
When you turn it inside out your vinyl will be a crinkly hot mess.  Don't panic!  I promise it will be ok.

Flip it inside out and turn your project over to the regular fabric side.
Iron away (No STEAM!).  It will smooth out all the crinkles in the vinyl and it will look like new again.
If you make the mistake of using steam, it sort of fuses your vinyl to any other vinyl it is near - like my pockets...fused pockets are no bueno.  (yes, this did happen to me) :(

 See?  Pretty vinyl with no crinkles.  This stuff is pretty cool.
It just takes some time and patience (which I am working on as I am pretty much the most impatient robot on the planet).

I found the tutorial for the crayon wallets here.  It is a great tutorial. I changed it a bit, obviously adding vinyl and I made them a little bigger.
I would LOVE to see what you create if you use my tutorial.
Please leave a comment with your link if you make something!!

Hopefully this helps.  If you have any questions, let me know!

Happy sewing!


  1. Does the vinyl wash well? I used some in a bib-in between layers--and it delamonated, so I don't know if that's the fault of my fusing or my washing technique. I still have the rest of the Walmart doesn't sell fabric by the bolt so I think k that's why they have it in rolls.

    1. I'm not sure! That's sad to hear tho! I just started doing these so I haven't had to wash them. I made them mainly because I was annoyed at the crayons marking up the fabric.
      I'll have to try it tho - that's a good question!

      How odd...and my Walmart does sell by the bolt, but they don't have any of the rolls!

  2. Thank you, great tutorial. No just have to find it in the UK (sadly no Walmarts here!)

  3. The tutorial you linked to is the same one I have saved (but have not tried yet). I will look for the laminate next time I am at Walmart (sadly only one of our local Walmarts has a fabric department, but it's a pretty good one). You laminated the inside, and the pockets, but not the outside fabric, is that correct? Did you laminate both sides of the pocket? Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to making a few gifts. We have several babies due in our friends' circles in the near future and I think these will be great big sister / big brother gifts!

  4. Thank you, this really makes sense now. Dreaming up possible uses... would be perfect inside a travel makeup pouch, I'm thinking.

  5. That is genius! Thanks so much for sharing. Definitely would be a great use for makeup, or even the inside of a bag for your shower items for traveling. It's such a pain to have to pack shower things when they aren't completely dry (and gosh darnit, i want my bag to be cute!)

    Thanks so much for linking to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    -Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  6. What a great tutorial - thank you so much! I love laminated fabrics for random projects and now I can make any fabric right for the task. Yay! :)

  7. What a great tip. Thanks so much. I have been wanting to laminate some fabric for some kids place mats... and now I know how.

  8. Hi, hope you don't mind, i've linked back to this page as part of my Lets Get Acq round up of favourites, i thought it was a fab tute, and wanted to encourage others to come and find you. :o)

  9. Thanks for this tute, it's really helpful. Now I just need to find where to buy it in the UK :-)

  10. wow, that is easy! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm totally going to try this.

  11. This is such a great tutorial. Now I just have to find the supplies in Australia!

  12. I so want to do this! Thanks for the tutorial:)

  13. Thanks for showing DIY vinyl fabric. I love it. I found some online in Australia that I am definitely going to buy at Calico Cottage Crafts. We don't have Walmart .

  14. I've used tear-away stabilizer (used for heirloom sewing). It works great for sewing with vinyl. No special foot needed.

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