How to print embroidery patterns onto fabric with an inkjet printer: a tutorial

With this series, which includes the Snowdrop and the Morning Bouquet patterns, I wanted to try something I'd heard about that would make transferring an embroidery pattern quick and painless: that you can use your home inkjet printer to print embroidery patterns quickly and neatly right onto the fabric you'll stitch on.


Snowdrop PDF embroidery pattern


The PDF file of the Snowdrop pattern has a page with the design only that is completely free of any markings except for the pattern design itself. This way, you can print these pages out on the fabric you'll embroider, with a little help of a bit of freezer paper.




To print on fabric with your inkjet printer, you will need:

  • freezer paper
  • fabric (preferably a stable medium-weight woven cotton like quilting cotton)
  • scissors or rotary cutter (whatever your preference)
  • iron set to high heat and dry (no steam)
  • inkjet printer (laser printers won't work)
Alright - let's get started! First, cut a piece of freezer paper to the size your printer will print (US Letter or A4 for the Snowdrop patterns).





Now lay the freezer paper onto your fabric, lining up the long edge with the grainline (this will help keep the fabric stable as it goes through your printer). Make sure the freezer paper's shiny plasticky side faces downwards, towards the fabric.




Now, with your iron set to high heat and no steam, iron the freezer paper onto the fabric. Check to make sure it adhered everywhere.




Cut the fabric to the size of the freezer paper, keeping the edges neat.




Feed the fabric-paper you just created through your inkjet printer, making sure that the fabric is facing towards the print head. On my printer this means the fabric faces forward. If you don't know which way the print head faces, test it using a blank sheet of paper.




Now press print! Okay, first make sure you're ONLY printing the page with the design you want to use, so make sure you change your print settings to print JUST THAT PAGE, and make sure you turn off scaling, or have it set to printing at actual size. (The second page of the Snowdrop PDF download has a handy test square if you'd like to do a quick paper test print be sure it's printing at the correct size.)


snowdrop pattern printed onto fabric


When you're done, peel off the freezer paper.




And ta-da! You have a beautifully printed design on fabric, all ready to get hooped up and stitched!


Snowdrop embroidery pattern printed on fabric


How easy is that, right?

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