How do I alter a blanket by adding photographs?


I care for a lady who is ninety-one years old. She has a wool blanket given to her by her mother as a wedding gift. It is falling apart, but I was hoping to alter it to add pictures of her mother and family. How should I begin?

What a lovely idea! You'll need to transfer your photographs to fabric, so that you can appliqué them onto the blanket.

There are a couple of ways that you may be able to do this. For the first you'll need photocopies of your pictures, and we'd recommend that you obtain reversed copies, unless you're happy with the final images' being reversed. We also think that a 'proper' photocopy is best, rather than one produced using an inkjet printer, as the process is a bit 'wet', and we wonder if the ink from the printer might run.

This method uses a transfer medium. In the UK there is one called Dylon Image Maker that has been specially developed for use with fabrics. You simply paste Image Maker onto your photocopy, place the image pasted side down onto the fabric, and let it dry overnight. You then wet it, rub off the paper, and add another coat to seal the image.

Dylon has a list of international contacts, so you may be able to obtain this product locally. We do know, though, that Golden produce several types of transfer medium, and you may find that these are more readily available. We've found some hints and tips on using Golden transfer medium on their website that may be helpful to you.

The other, and we think better, way is to print the photographs directly onto your fabric. For this method you would need to scan the photographs into your computer, and then print them off on special paper-backed fabric. We know of a company in the UK, called Crafty Computer Paper, which manufactures and sells various suitable fabrics, including cotton, linen and silk, and ships overseas at cost (or below!). Here's their website address for these products.

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