Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Picture Perfect Flour Sacks

If you don't know me or haven't realized yet I'm a BIG proponent for kid projects that are actually useful and astehetically pleasing. In other words, I consider it a victory when a project I'm overseeing has been sent home and not trashed within a week. So, I know it's easy to go online and click on the Oriental Trading holiday foam frame selection and order a kit - but if you are looking for a different type of gift this year check this out....picture perfect flour sacks!

Flour Sacks are a GREAT project for students to make as a gift for their parents. It's a pretty easy, inexpensive and versatile project, plus it's cute and useful!! Most people use them as dish towels but I've had several parents fall so in love with theirs they use them as a decorative towels in the kitchen or bathroom.

To Complete this project you will need:

  1. Flour Sacks

  2. Iron On Transfer Paper

  3. Fabric (only if you want the fabric backing/border as pictured above)

  4. Heat & Bond(only if you want the fabric backing/border as pictured above)

Flour sacks can be purchased at Target and Walmart. They are in the section with dish towels, napkins and placemats. They come in packs of 4 or 5 and usually end up being about $1.00 -$1.50 a piece.

Now to complete this project you will need to push your cart on over to the craft section if you are at Walmart (if you're at Target and as out of shape as me then I would recommend paying for the flour sacks, parking your cart and driving on over to Walmart or Hobby Lobby;) and buy a package of Print Iron-On Transfer Papers. Mine look like this: These suckers come in a million different options and each store offers a different selection so you will need to read the packages and determine which type works best for you. The 2 main tips I would give you are if you are transfering an image onto dark fabric then you will need to purchase the transfer paper pictured above (this way the dark fabric won't show through). And if you are printing or drawing words or a logo then you need to pay attention to how the iron on transfer paper adheres to the fabric, because it will affect the way you print your image onto the paper. Some transfer papers print on the "back side" of the transfer paper which allows your image to show through the paper (thus requiring you to print or draw a reverse or mirror image) and some transfer papers allow you to print on the "front side" of the transfer paper so you do not have to do anything but print or draw on the paper and you are ready to go. I usually always buy the dark iron on transfer paper that doesn't make me do anything but print, cut and iron. This way I can use the pack of papers for any project, but it does cost a little more. This product does go on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off pretty often, so you can start stalking it now if you know you want to do this project.

Using the Iron-On Transfer Paper You Can:
  1. Print a picture/image from your computer.

  2. Print an image or template from your computer that the children can color with colored pencils.

  3. OR if you have older children that are more capable of drawing something you could actually recognize then you can cut the transfer paper into a square or rectangle and let the children be the artist!

If you want to "frame" your iron-on transferred picture like I did in 1st flour sack pictured above then you will need to get some fabric and Heat & Bond from Walmart, Hobby Lobby or whatever craft store you like to shop at and skip this paragraph. But you don't have to use fabric backing/border, no one can make you;) In all honesty, it's easier to skip the fabric backing/border and just iron the image onto the flour sack. Below is the 1st flour sack I ever made. I just created the image I wanted in the program, PAINT, printed the clip art image and words onto the transfer paper, cut it out and ironed it on. This flour sack is 5 years old - it's a little worn around the edges but it can attest to how durable the iron on transfer paper really is and the fact that I haven't trashed it yet!!

This one says "Hospitality: Dear friend when you extend hospitality...even when they are strangers, you make faith visible. 3 John 1:5".

If you don't want to take the time to do the fabric backing/border you could still create a frame on this type flour sack by:

  1. Adding a frame on the image itself (in whatever program you are using).

  2. Draw a frame onto the Iron On Transfer Paper around the image once you've printed it from the computer.

  3. Draw a frame with fabric marker onto the actual flour sack once you iron on the image.

To make the 1st pictured flour sack I took a picture of my child, opened it in the program PAINT, added a text box so I could add a message onto the picture, printed a 4x6 picture onto the transfer paper and cut the picture out. Again, if you want to add the fabric backing/border then keep reading this step. If not, then just iron your picture onto the flour sack and bam you are DONE!! If you want the fabric backing/border then here is what you do:
(Below we are just layering - the flour sack is on the bottom, then the decorative fabric, then iron-on picture/image.)

  1. Read the directions on the Heat & Bond package. If you need step by step directions with pictures on how to use Heat & Bond then click here.

  2. Iron the Heat & Bond onto the wrong side or backside of your decorative fabric, let the fabric cool and make sure the Heat & Bond adhered to your fabric.

  3. Cut the fabric to your desired shape to frame or back your iron-on transfer picture/image.

  4. Peel the lining of the Heat & Bond off the fabric, stick it onto the flour sack and then iron this onto the flour sack.

  5. Then using the directions on the Iron-On Transfer Paper package, iron the picture onto the decorative fabric that is already adhered to the flour sack.

  6. I would recommend sewing or stitching around the decorative fabric to make sure it stays - but again you don't have to you can just use Fray Check to make sure the decorative fabric doesn't fray.
Aren't they cute?

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