How to Print on Fabric – Freezer Paper Method

How to Print on Fabric – Freezer Paper Method
How to Print on Fabric Freezer Paper Method

Today I’m sharing a fun way and economical way to print on fabric, using your home Inkjet Computer! I think this is probably the cheapest method of all. I call it the Freezer Paper Method because … it uses Freezer Paper … and also because … I’m super creative like that when it comes to thinking up names for various craft methods. ;)

Use Freezzer Paper to Print on Fabric

I thought I would show you a photo of the Freezer Paper, because I know in other parts of the world, it might be called something else, so I thought this might help. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s paper that’s used to wrap up food in order to freeze it. It’s shiny on one side and dull on the other. As you can tell my box is about 200 years old … I guess I don’t freeze a lot of stuff. :/

Anyway, this method is super easy, just follow the steps below!

Printing on Fabric with Inkjet Printer

Step 1: Start with a freshly ironed piece of fabric. ( I like to print on Canvas Drop Cloth, because it takes the ink beautifully, and you can get a lot of fabric for the money, it also goes nicely through my printer). Cut out a section of freezer paper, approximately 8 1/2″ by 11″, and iron it (shiny side facing towards the fabric) to the fabric until it adheres nicely.

User your Home Printer to Printon Fabric

Step 2: Trim up the fabric and Freezer paper to exactly 8 1/2″ by 11″. I use a piece of printer cardstock as a pattern, to make sure the size is exact. You could measure it out and draw lines on it instead. Important: Make sure you don’t have any frayed edges, and that the fabric does not overhang the paper! You don’t wanted it snagging in your printer and getting stuck!

How to Print on Fabric

Step 3: Place in your printer. Make sure you have it placed so that the ink prints on the fabric side and not the paper side.

Printer Settings for Fabric

Step 4: Adjust your printer settings. When you hit the print button and get the pop up window, you should have some type of button for “Printer Preferences” click on that and select “Best Photo” and then print. This will put a nice amount of ink on your fabric, for the best quality image.

Fabric Printing DIY

Step 5: Stay right with the printer and guide the fabric through if needed. For some reason it usually takes a few times for my printer to recognize it, it usually sends the fabric through a few times, with out printing,  and I have to keep putting it back in until it decides to accept it. I have no idea why and hopefully yours won’t do that!

Tutorial for Printing on Fabric

Gorgeous right?!! And so easy! The print is amazingly crisp and clear, I just love doing this! You can peel off your Freezer Paper now (I’m told you can reuse it, up to 10 times, so you can save it and iron it on to another piece of fabric. Yay!).  I use an Epson Printer with Pigment ink that’s waterproof. If yours isn’t, you can set it with Vinegar using this Tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed this fun method! If you like the Bird Printable in the photos, you can grab it for free HERE, there’s also a tutorial for a fun project that I made with this!

How to Print on Fabric

And for even more Fun Fabric Printing techniques, be sure and check out our 6 Ways to Easily Print on Fabric Post HERE!



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  1. Have you tried setting your printer to take thick paper/envelopes? It may stop it pulling the fabric through without printing on it. It’s the setting I use when I want to print on thick card.

    • Karen Watson says:

      Great idea Laurel! I’ll try that next time!

    • I never thought of that! I have the same problem with printing thicker things like cardstock and fabric on my Epson printer that Karen has with getting her fabric/freezer paper sandwich to roll through. I will give that a try, thank you.

  2. Great tutorial, Karen! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for the tutorial but I think you missed a step or two. I don’t see anything about how the bird pic relates to the freezer paper. Do you copy the bird image onto the freezer paper, or just printing the image? If the latter, what is the freezer paper’s purpose? I’d really like to know because I’ve been wondering how to print images from your awesome website onto fabric. Thank you.

    • Debbie Knight says:

      you add the freezer paper to stiffen the fabric to work in the printer. She printed the image right on the fabric.

    • Karen Watson says:

      Mitzie, Yes, what Debbie said. There’s no missing step, you can’t put fabric into your printer without something stiffening it, or it will bunch up in your printer. The freezer paper is there to make it stiff, so that the printer thinks it’s paper and slides it through. I hope that helps!

  4. This is a real wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to try this on my future fashion projects!

  5. Fantastic tutorial. I will definitely put this one to use. Thank you.

  6. I have used this method for quite a while and I agree Karen, it is hands down the best and most inexpensive way to print on fabric! The only thing I would add to this is to roll the fabric/paper combo fabric side out just before printing so there are not any curled edges, That way it feeds smoothly through the printer and you won’t pick up toner ink on the edges.

  7. Will this work with a color laser printer? Thanks!

    • Karen Watson says:

      Hi Carolyn, I wish I knew! I don’t own one, but maybe someone that does, and has tried this, will chime in and let us know!

      • Thanks! :)

        • Carolyn Tix says:

          Thank you for sharing this, I have heard of it before, but never did try it. I make MANY gifts for Christmas and this will come in handy and be much less expensive than using the transfer sheets.

      • Wesley Williams says:

        You might not want to print this with a laser printer, that style printer uses heated rollers to set the toner onto the paper you are using, it might get hot enough to melt the bond you have with the freezer paper and the fabric, and get caught up in the rollers.

  8. I’ve seen this tutorial before, but never one as easy-to-follow as yours!! I love the screenshot and all of your top-secret, insider tips! Thanks, Karen!! xoxo

  9. Debbie Knight says:

    Hi, does anyone know if you can buy Swiss batiste, and other very fine fabrics to print on at JoAnn Fabrics? I think that I read Swiss batiste doesn’t ravel and is very thin for very small projects. Any other recommendations for the ease of printing on many other kinds of fabrics? Would anyone have, or know of a chart for this information?

  10. Debbie Knight says:

    I have a Xerox Phaser 8560 which uses wax squares for printing instead of ink or toner? It’s a marvelous finish! Has anyone every tried to use this printer to print on fabric? Any and all comments appreciated! Thank you!

  11. Karen: I use Freezer paper frequently in quilting. You do not have to throw out a piece of freezer paper after you use it, as it is reusable. I like to use it when making quilt labels by drawing dark lines on the non shiny side and then ironing muslin to the shiny side. You should be able to see the lines so that you can keep your writing straight on the quilt label. Then the save the freezer paper for the next label.

  12. This is fantastic!!! I have never tried this. Have tried other transfer methods. Looking around to see what I can print on. Sharing on my FB page this afternoon!

  13. Thanks Karen for showing this tutorial. I was always frustrated because most transfers call for a laser printer and I have an inkject printer. Now watch me go:)

  14. This might be useful for people in the UK. I used to have Reynold’s Freezer paper sent from the US, but you can now get it from Hobbycraft or some quilters shops. I also hav a tutorial on my blog if it helps

  15. I have wanted to print on my own fabric for so long but the methods for doing so are all so expensive. I can afford this method and will certainly be trying it in the near future. I am excited to finally be able to make something I have only been dreaming of making and it’s all because of your post. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  16. Kay Nicholls says:

    Thanks so much Karen for this easy, simple tutorial. I live in Australia, and after alot of searching I’ve found the Reynolds freezer paper is sold in Spotlight stores for $1.50 (AUD) per metre. I hope this is helpful to any of your other Australian followers. :) :)

  17. Wonderful information! Love it!

  18. Thank you so much for this very easy and affordable option. I have tons of things I’ve been wanting to print on fabric and haven’t found one that wouldnt be so expensive. I love all of your graphics and really dig the projects everyone shares. Thanks!

  19. you can also use double sided tape on cardstock to hold the fabric in place and then run it thru the printer…very easy and it works great!

  20. Thanks for the tut! can’t wait to try this!!!

  21. Great tip about the canvas drop cloth. Thanks for sharing.

  22. thanks you very much for sharing…

  23. Does anyone know if this process works for burlap fabric also

  24. Besides the great tutorial that gives us a good image transfer option, those of us in America now realize we have taken freezer paper availability for granted all these years. Interesting comments from the UK and Australia!

  25. In the past, I’ve used spray starch to stiffen my fabric (light linen) and it passed through my laser printer with no problems.

    Spray with starch, iron dry and repeat about 4 times. It should feel as stiff as paper without the bulk.


  26. Love this!! Thank you for the awesome tutorial! This website is a treasure trove. :)

  27. Hi, I have used this method and it works well, but I found one I like even better, I purchased basting spray from the sewing dept at Wal Mart, about $5. Cut out the fabric so it is a little larger than your paper, spray the fabric (make sure it is covered well to the edges) then stick the paper to it and trim the edges to fit the paper, you can smooth it easily, because if you have a wrinkle you just pull up the paper and it sticks right back. When done it just peals off easily. Make sure you have no strings around the edges of the paper. A can should last a long time. I make miniatures and print my own fabric all the time this way. Its faster than the freezer paper.

  28. Will the freezer paper method work on all fabrics ? What about burlap fabric ?

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  30. Jacquelyn Flora says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial – I am going to try this. I had one question for you though – I think we have the same printer Epson Workforce 1100 – it is a wide format. I wanted to try to print a larger than 81/2 X 11 piece. Have you tried something larger as long as the freezer paper and card stock are the same size?

    Also, I print a lot on card stock and my printer takes forever to take up the sheets – it either doesn’t grab it or it shoots it through like you were mentioning. In my experience having it on thick paper and envelopes doesn’t matter much. I wish I could find a good solution for this. If you ever do please share.

    Thanks again.

  31. Thank you, Karen. Ok… Dumb question alert.
    After you’ve printed the letter sized piece of fabric, how do you attach it to a project? I mean… What if you’re project is a table runner? A letter sized piece of fabric would surely look out of place? Or for a shirt? The same holds true. I’m trying to do both of those projects as well as your french typography onto a wooden table. I’m a little overwhelmed with just enough information to get me inspired, but not enough to allow me to get the project started?

  32. I love this!Very Crafty and it sure does come out crisp and clear!

  33. Can you print the same on legal size?

  34. Thanks so much for great info. I’ve been doing vintage prints onto fabric using a flexible transparent substance that I developed about 12 years ago. It is more expensive than this idea is. I have a board with my pillows with this on Pinterest but I have longed for an expensive dye sublimation printer and heat press for years but couldn’t afford it. I am definitely going to give this a try! I hate the iron on transfers which feel crinkly and papery on the fabric. I like to see the fabric through the transfer. My gel substance allows for that but it is time consuming and expensive. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!
    Alice Hudson Roberts

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