05 December 2010

Gnome Sachet Tutorial

Gnome Sachets by Nick & Moira
I should probably wait to post these until after Christmas in case anyone who's getting one of these for Christmas happens upon my blog before then, but they are just too cute not to share! I wanted to make presents for my boyfriend's family that combined both of our talents. I asked Nick to draw a gnome for me. I scanned in his drawing and printed it onto 100% cotton fabric.

Printing on fabric is brand-new to me, but so far, so good! Instead of buying a few sheets of printable fabric at the craft store, I decided to buy a kit to make my own fabric from C.J. Jenkins Company. For $30, I got two yards of fabric, a big bottle of BubbleJet 2000, a smaller bottle of BubbleJet Rinse, and a 50-pack of freezer paper. This kit is enough to make 50 sheets of printable fabric. Buying it by the sheet at the craft store would have cost about $8 for a couple sheets.

Basically, you cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than a sheet of freezer paper. The fabric gets soaked in the BubbleJet 2000 for 5 minutes, which you can save after the fabric is finished and use for another sheet later. When the fabric is removed from the liquid, let the excess liquid drip out, but don't wring the fabric. Hang to dry. When the fabric is dry, iron to the shiny side of a sheet of freezer paper. Trim the excess fabric from the edges and you are ready to print.

I scanned in the gnome and copied it several times in PhotoShop so that I'd have 6 large gnomes and 5 smaller gnomes on a single sheet. This is enough for six large sachets (about 3 inches x 5 inches). I'll use the little gnomes for another project, but I haven't decided what it will be just yet! Print your image at the highest quality using an inkjet printer. My printer is an Epson. You should check out the CJ Jenkins site if you have a different brand to make sure the BubbleJet 2000 will work for you.

Once the image is printed, leave the fabric alone for at least 30 minutes so the ink can dry thoroughly. Wash in BubbleJet Rinse to set the ink by agitating in water mixed with rinse (about 4 caps to one gallon, I think is the recommended amount) for 5 minutes. I have a small bucket washer which I used for this purpose. I think you can use a regular washing machine, too, but I didn't have one available. Hang up the fabric to dry.

Once the fabric is dry, iron to remove any wrinkles and use as desired. For my gnome sachets, I used a layer of natural linen and a red felt to sew a pouch. I sewed the cotton and linen onto the red wool, then sewed two squares of wool together along the sides and at the top. To add the ribbon, I just cut a 6 inch piece of ribbon, folded it in half, and pinned it into the seam with the right sides of fabric together & the loop in the center of the pouch.

I filled the sachet with recycled batting and Maine Woods Balsam from Dragonfly Hill Farm. The balsam cost about $5, I think, for a 3-ounce yummy smelling bag. You could use whatever fabric scraps you have on hand to make these! You could also use lavender, dried rose petals, or whatever potpourri you have on hand to stuff them. Or don't add any scent at all & just have a cute decoration. I didn't do very neat stitches on the bottom to finish the sachet, mostly because these were my samples, but you could do a nice stitch to finish them & you have a cute present!


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