Sometimes, I come up with an idea I fall so completely in love with and it works so well that I have to call Chica and tell her about it no matter what time it is. That’s what happened a few nights ago when I made custom ribbon using iron-on transfers and white grosgrain ribbon. Maybe you all are now thinking, “Jo, people have been doing this for years. What rock have you been under?” but using iron-ons on ribbon is a completely new concept to me and I am loving all the possibilities.
It started one day when I did a Google Image search for “vintage St. Patrick’s Day”. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with any of the images I found, but I just wanted some inspiration. As I stared at my screen, I noticed that the mosaic of thumbnails looked really good. I took a screenshot of them and saved it to my computer.
After that, the saved image languished on my hard drive for about a week while I thought. I remembered the mosaic postage stamp heart T-shirt I had made for Little Jo for Valentine’s Day, and I knew I wanted to do make her a similarly cute thing to wear on St. Patrick’s Day. This is where the mosaic of images would be perfect, and I finally settled on using it with some white grosgrain ribbon.
I printed the picture mosaic out on iron-on transfer sheets, using the “reverse image” feature on my printer so that the wording would appear correct after I ironed the image onto the ribbon. Then I used my iron the only way I know how — for crafts. Since my images were slightly larger than the ribbon, I put some parchment paper underneath so that when I ironed, the extra transfer wouldn’t stick to my cloth towel beneath. (I had already learned that lesson the hard way!)
After I finished ironing, I just flipped the ribbon over trimmed off the excess iron-on. I was so happy when I peeled it back and saw what a great custom ribbon I had! And in case you’re wondering, the texture of the ribbon still feels great. It is really smooth and flexible. Chica and I were both amazed.
I can think of so many reasons to make custom ribbon now, such as:
- Adding “Merry Christmas from the Smiths” and using it to tie up packages or gifts
- Using pictures of a bride and groom to decorate a gift or for wedding decorations
- Putting “To:” and “From:” right on the ribbon and then filling the rest in with pen
- Customizing with a team mascot and team colors to make hair bows for cheerleaders
My mental list is going on and on and on!
I’ll show you how I used this particular ribbon in a minute, but first let me show you the shirt I made to go along with it. I started with a plain, white, cotton T-shirt and felted a shamrock onto the shoulder. The first step to basic needle felting was to put a Clover felting needle mat under where I wanted my design.
Then I used a shamrock cookie cutter to act as my pattern form. I put some wool roving into the form and then jabbed it a few hundred times with my Clover felting needle tool to lock the fibers into the cotton shirt beneath. I LOVE this part!
Here it is with the middle part all felted. I just kept adding more roving and felting it until the design was all filled in.
Doesn’t Little Jo look cute in all of her St. Patrick’s Day apparel? I used the custom ribbon to make her an easy belt. I simply stitched a small snap to the end of the ribbon and that was it. She looks so cute, and with all that green, no one will get to pinch her at school!