Before everything went pear-shaped, I had ordered a product I wanted to try out. It’s made for stiffening fabric, and I had read good things about it.
The spray is called Terial Magic. While it didn’t stiffen the fabric to the level I expected, I think it’s perfect for some applications.
If you want to feed fabric through your home printer, this is the stuff. I have spent a lot of time and energy with the whole iron-fabric-to-freezer-paper thing, and when it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, it’s a nightmare. This made the fabric alone feed through just like paper.
It doesn’t do anything to prevent fading in the wash, but that’s not always an issue, and can be remedied in other ways. I’ll definitely be using this next time I make a quilt label!
For my first try, I wanted to make a little gift box. My daughter and I learned to make these on a cruise ship, of all places, back in about 2008, but those were paper. My goal was to see if I could make one out of fabric.
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To make this folded fabric box and bow you’ll need:
cotton fabric (white if you’d like to put it through the printer, otherwise a cute design)
needle and thread
If you’d like to have the same print on your box and bow that I used, you can find that PDF here.
To prepare your fabric, cut two pieces about 9 x 12”. Soak each piece by spraying with Terial Magic.I turned the sprayer to “stream” rather than “spray”, so it was a little too concentrated and I think I used a lot more than I needed to. It spreads a lot more evenly on the spray setting.
Make sure there are no dry spots on the fabric. Let it air dry until the fabric is just damp. The bottle says about 15 minutes, but mine took at least half an hour.
Press the fabric until it’s dry. It doesn’t mention whether or not to use steam, so I turned it off. The spray left no residue on my iron or ironing board.
Trim the two fabric pieces to 8 1/2 x 11”.
If you’re printing, feed it through as you would cardstock. Mine printed beautifully, there was absolutely no jamming, and the colors look great. This is the printed fabric on the bottom, and paper on the top.
This gorgeous watercolor floral design is from Katerina Osa on Creative Market.
Cut the floral square with the black background to 8 1/2 x 8 1/2” and the white background to 8 x 8”. The print won’t go all the way to the edge unless you used borderless printing, but those white strips will only show up inside the box.
Cut the 1/2” strips:
one 2 1/2”
three 6 1/2”
three 7 1/2”
To make the box bottom, lay the 8 1/2” square wrong side up. Fold it in half.
Gathering Beauty has an excellent tutorial showing how to make these from paper, so if you find my instructions lacking, check hers out. I wouldn’t blame you.
Unfold, then fold it in half the other direction. Unfold again. Fold in half diagonally.
Unfold, then fold diagonally in the other direction. Unfold again. Your fold lines should look like this so far:
Fold all four corners in to the center. Leave it folded.
Fold one side in to the center.
Fold the opposite side into the center as well.
Unfold, then repeat those two folds in the opposite direction. Unfold.
Unfold two corners opposite each other and fold up the sides.
Pull up one of the corners, allowing the sides to collapse in on the folds.
Fold that corner down over the side.
Press the corner into the bottom.
Repeat with the remaining corner on the other side to finish the box top.
Repeat all the steps on the 8” square to make the bottom.
To make the bow, gather the 1/2” strips. Holding one 7 1/2” strip wrong side up, bring one end to the center so that both the middle and end are still wrong side up. Do the same with the other end, going in the opposite direction, so it creates an 8 shape. Overlap the two ends 1/4 - 1/2” in the center, making sure the loops are even. Clip to hold in place.
Once you do this a couple of times it gets a lot easier. Repeat with all the remaining strips except the 2 1/2”. I used a different color clip for each size so that I wouldn’t get them mixed up.
For the 2 1/2” strip, just make a circular loop, overlapping the ends and clipping.
Thread the needle with a long length of thread. Knot the ends together. Push the needle down through the overlapped section on the smallest loop.
Push the needle down through the center of one of the 6 1/2” loops, wrong side up, and push it up next to the first loop.
Add the remaining 6 1/2” loops in the same manner.
Add the 7” loops.
Finish with the 7 1/2” loops. Knot the thread under the bow, but don’t cut it off yet.
Adjust the loops as needed. You can either clip the thread and glue or tape the bow to the box, or stitch it on through the box lid, like I did.
Folding and creating the box and bow worked really well with the Terial Magic, but because the fabric isn’t very stiff, it’s a little tough to put the lid on and take it off. Luckily, it won’t have to be done often, and it’s cute enough to be worth the trouble!