Monday, September 20, 2010

How to Make No-Sew Fabric Postcards

A friend wanted to know if fabric postcards could be made without sewing.  Yes!  I just made two this morning.  So here are directions and pictures to illustrate the technique.

First, a supply list:
1.  focus fabric for the front of your card
2.  a coordinating, light-colored fabric for the back
3.  cotton flannel, white or cream colored preferably
4.  Steam a Seam fusible product (it comes in packages)
5.  rotary cutter, a cutting mat designed to use with these cutters, and a see-through quilting ruler (any fabric store would have these 3 products, which would make this project infinitely easier!)
6.  iron (heated to the cotton setting)
7.  nice to have, but not essential:  a rubber postcard stamp, with a message side and an address side, along with an ink pad

Cutting the plain fabric, using the rotary cutter, quilters' ruler, and cutting mat
1.  Cut your three fabrics 4" x 6".  (This is out-sized to allow you to trim at the end.)  Ink the rubber stamp, if using, and  center it on the coordinating fabric and press down firmly.

flannel, plain fabric,
focus fabric, cut to size
the two pieces of Steam a Seam
cut to size

2.  Remove one sheet of the Steam a Seam product.  Cut a strip from one side that is 12" x 4".  Then cut this strip into two equal sections. 

3.  From one of the sections of fusible, remove the protective paper, exposing the sticky side.  Carefully place the sticky side down on the wrong side of your focus fabric. Keep the protective paper that you just removed.

4.  Do the same with the 2nd piece of fusible web, placing it on the reverse side of the plain fabric.

bonding two pieces of fabric together
by ironing
5.  Place the piece of flannel on top of the fusible side of one of the sections.  Using the two sheets of protective paper as a pressing sheet, iron this section.  Press down firmly with the iron to ensure a good bond.
(It's important to use something as a pressing sheet; you don't want to get any stray pieces of the fusible material on your iron.)

6.  Now place the other section of the postcard, fusible side down, on top of the flannel-covered section of the other side.  You now have a "sandwich" of focus fabric, fusible web, flannel, fusible web, plain fabric.
Iron this "sandwich" again.   Press firmly, using the pressing sheets.  Turn over, press again.

7.  Now take your postcard back to the cutting mat.  Trim 1/4" from all four sides, making your postcard measure 3 1/2" x 5 1/2".  (Trimming as the last step ensures that all sides of your "sandwich" are perfectly straight, without any "ingredients" of the "sandwich" peeking out!)  If you stamped the card, fill the address and message side in as you please!  If you don't have a stamp, simply write POSTCARD across the top of the reverse side, and then draw a line down from it, dividing the reverse side into message and address sections.

8.  Now you have a fabric postcard, and not a stitch was sewn!

Two postcards I just made for this demo, one for Malcolm and the other for Dawson, my two Michigan grandsons!
P.S.  Of course, sharp fabric scissors could be used for this project, but it's difficult to get the cuts as straight as you can get them using a rotary cutter, ruler, and a cutting mat!

P.P.S.  When you are ready to mail your postcards, press down the stamp very firmly.  I use a little brayer for this purpose, but you can also use the side of your thumbnail.  (I always have those "forever stamps" on hand, so therefore I use them.)  Then, at the Post Office, ask the clerk to hand cancel the cards.  The first time I went to our local PO, the clerk seemed a bit dubious about the whole process, but I assured her that I had received some that had come through the mail to me just fine!


  1. Alice, You were saintly to write and illustrate such detailed instructions for making fabric notecards. With that neat stamp, you could create more for the children to mail or for your fellow grandees. So wise to stamp the back before putting together for we all know we can have stamping errors. Thanx for posting.

  2. Always nice to have options ! Thanks for your detailed instructions. Which method do you prefer?-- I really like the school print.

  3. Alice, I can't believe the time and care you took with the pictures and text of this blog.
    You are a jewel. The fabrics are also eye catching. Maybe we can use some fabric postcards for our bazaar.

  4. I prefer the sewn type, just because I enjoy the process more, but these really did turn out well!

  5. Love your fabric postcard and instructions