Iron Fabric

11 years ago

Iron Fabric
Iron Fabric

I have two weaknesses that get me into trouble. One is that I eat too much chocolate, and the other is that I overindulge when fabric shopping. When I first walk into a fabric store, I am drawn to color, flash, texture, fringe, and embellishments! I might enter the store needing only some elastic or thread, but I leave with another dozen fabric swatches and fancy trims that I did not expect to buy. How do I justify these seemingly unnecessary purchases? Well, I create furniture for my Barbie and Ken dolls! Typically, I make a cozy furniture ensemble that includes a sofa, a chair, an ottoman, and coordinating pillows. You can design furniture for your own dolls, too. Here are some fun ideas to try:

1. Start with what you have. Even though I enjoy shopping for new materials, I first go through my inventory of fabric remnants to see what I already have that might be useful. In one instance, I had a geometric pattern of yellow, blue, and purple for the chair. Then, I used a solid purple color for the sofa. I made an ottoman and pillows using both of these fabrics along with additional materials.

2. Find additional fabric pieces that coordinate with the two main fabrics used for the sofa and chair. Go for something with sparkle or fur to add texture and variety. These fabrics will be used to enhance the ottoman and pillows, adding interest to the overall style of the furniture ensemble.

3. Shop for fabric! Sometimes you will not have anything in your supplies that suits your furniture design idea. As an example, I wanted to create a jungle theme with faux snakeskin, but I did not have any faux snakeskin. I now had an excuse to go shopping and buy some.

4. Use iron-on transfers to personalize your ottoman and pillows. Locate an image and print it on special transfer paper made to iron onto fabric. Craft stores often have several different transfer papers to choose from. I find cotton fabrics work best for a project like this. For my faux snakeskin furniture, I decided to add a large tiger to the top surface of the ottoman. I was able to do this using these transfer sheets. Also, I was able to iron a little design onto the front of a pillow. This detail gave the furniture a unique quality.

5. Add trims and other embellishments. When you are in a fabric store, you will finally have an excuse to purchase some of those gorgeous decorative trims. You know the ones I’m talking about. You walk down the trim isle and see all sorts of lace, fur, beads, ribbons, and fringe, but you never have a reason to justify the splurge. Now you have a reason, so don’t hesitate to pick up a yard or two. In one case, I designed a denim furniture set. It was fun to splurge on leather and cowhide accents.

6. If you are planning to display or sell your furniture, try designing a dress for your Barbie doll using the same or coordinating fabrics. Then, seat her on either the sofa or the chair so that potential buyers can see what the actual scale or size of the furniture is. Having your doll in a matching dress enhances the presentation, and people will be very impressed.

7. Realize that this is an opportunity to be creative, and let imagination be your guide. Match fabrics that you would not ordinarily put together. Sew some fringe in unexpected places. Enjoy yourself and laugh along the way. For instance, I stumbled on some bright green and pink zebra fabric in the sale section of a fabric store. It was a bit wild for my own personal taste, but it made for a sharp looking doll sofa. I matched it up with a bright pink vinyl chair, and it looked great.

Now you know how I justify my weakness for fabric shopping sprees. So, how do I justify my weakness for eating too much chocolate? Well, do I really need a good reason?

Fran Matthews is a mom who enjoys crafts and cooking. For photos of this project, see

i used a steam iron to iron some fabric on my wood table. now it has white stains on it. ive tried the peanut?

now there white stains on the table. i’ve tried the peanut butter trick & it didn’t work. Any tips on how to remove the stains?

Get some ring remover from your local DIY store make sure you follow the instructions properly. This stuff realy works

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