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What type of DIY projects can you make with a heat press

Spring is here again (finally!) and you’re getting the itch to spring clean your house, including, of course, redoing your décor. After the dust settles from the massive cleaning efforts, take a look at your rooms and decide what you want to change. Look at purchasing things you want to make over, but hold on to your wallet and your sanity – prices on home goods have risen on par with everything else, and there’s nothing unusual or unique out there, unless you’re really willing to loosen the purse strings. Don’t fret – you can make most of the items you want, with time, a good bit of creativity, and a few tools – such as a heat press machine.

There are many projects you can make using a heat press:

  • Curtains or Drapes
  • Throw pillows
  • Tablecloths
  • Placemats
  • Napkins
  • Table runners
  • Chair covers
  • Vases
  • Picture frames
  • Knick-knacks
  • Wall hangings

Let’s look at how to make a few projects:

Curtains or Drapes

You can use heat press vinyl (HPV) to make unique fabrics; these fabrics in turn make unique drapes or curtains for your room. Steps to create your unique fabric:

Start with the fabric: choose a solid color, coordinating with the color palate of the room. Stick with 100% cotton if you can; silk or metallic fabrics may melt with the temperatures needed to transfer your design. Once you’ve found the perfect fabric, play it safe and pre-wash it. Once it’s dry, iron it to remove the wrinkles and it’s ready for use!

Cut your design from the heat, transfer roll or the transfer paper. If you’re using letters, you must cut the spaces out of the insides of the letters, or you must cut the picture out of the transfer medium.

Transfer the design to the fabric. You can use the low-tech, versatile heat press machine known as your iron, or you can use an actual heat press. Do your research before buying, to ensure you get the best heat press machine you can for your money. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations for the heat setting to use for your project, and set the iron or the heat press accordingly. Press the design onto your fabric. If you are using an iron, you will need to press the design onto the fabric in sections. Press for your hardware’s recommended time limit. Repeat until the entire design has been pressed.

Let the design cool, for 10 – 30 seconds. Peel the backing off the fabric, and voila! Your design is on the fabric.

Repeat for other sections, if necessary.

Once your fabric is ready, cut and sew your drapes or curtains!

Throw Pillows

This project requires a sewing machine, scissors, thread, a zipper, an iron, ironing board, and your chosen method of transfer – HTV or printable transfer paper. Steps to making a unique throw pillow:

  1. Choose and prepare your fabric.
  2. Cut the front and back pieces for the pillow.
  3. Transfer your design, as described above, onto one of the pieces of fabric.
  4. Putting the right sides of the fabric pieces together, sew three sides of the fabric together completely, and sew the ends of the fourth side, leaving the rest open.
  5. Press the seams open.
  6. Turn the pillowcase inside out, through the open side.
  7. Work out the corners and side seams out, using the point of the scissors.
  8. Sew the zipper into the open side.
  9. Insert the pillow form and zip close.

And you now have a unique throw pillow!

Once you’re comfortable with the heat transfer process, you can use it for almost any project you can dream up. There are other considerations for heat transfers on non-fabric materials, but it can be done. Check with the manufacturer of your chosen method for instructions and tips on these other materials.

You don’t have to settle for the run-of-the-mill products found in the big box stores – you can design and create your own home décor yourself.

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