Fabric confetti: a tutorial

It was only a matter of time before I figured out how to use fabric in my hole punches instead of paper. And that time, my friends, has arrived. Hurrah, I hear you cry. Hurrah for fabric and hole punches and the slightly worrying people who sit around working out how to combine them.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

1. Cut fabric to manageable size and smear enough PVA glue over both sides  – not so much that it’s drenched but enough that the fabric feels wet on both sides. I used my fingers to do that. More elegant types might prefer to employ some kind of brush.

2. Allow fabric to dry. This is the hardest bit as it usually requires an overnight stint to be thoroughly dry. Patience is not my middle name. It’s Elizabeth.

I hung mine from a make-shift string clothes line my handsome husband strung up for me (because by the time I realised I needed it my hands were too glue-y to do it and I couldn’t put down my fabric). Forethought is also not, as you’re now aware, my middle name.

One little tip: if your fabric is not patterned on both sides, you will need to fold it in half on itself as you’re glue-ing. That didn’t occur to me until I started creating my first lots of confetti and I was left with dots that had a right side and a wrong side. Not very festive. Not in my world anyway. So then I went back and glued the fabric over itself and waited another 24 hours. The waiting was agony, I tell you.

3. Once your fabric is completely dry it will feel stiff and basically be begging you to give it a once over with your hole punch. That’s right, begging you. Put your ear right up close to it and you might actually be able to hear it begging. Shameless stuff.

4. Now punch to your heart’s content. That’s right, punch it up my friends.

I even like the way the leftover fabric looks.

And this works on a variety of fabrics. For the next batch I used quite a thin grey poplin and then a much heavier piece of yellow floral quilting cotton. I also combined smaller circles with larger ones. Oh yes girlfriends, I mixed it on up.

But of course, if circles aren’t your thing it doesn’t matter a jot (as my lovely Grandmother, the less-oft mentioned Isobel used to say) because if you can find a hole punch in a shape, you can make fabric confetti in that shape.

Imagine my excitement when these perfect little hearts fell out of the little collection tray at the bottom of my punch.

Spurred on by my success, I decided to really up the ante and with my heart in my throat and hands all a-tremble I slid some fabric between a snowflake punch. Yep, a finely detailed snowflake punch. I know! Potential fabric confetti suicide. But my courage paid off. OMG, I was so elated. I fist pumped the air like 10 times.

Okay I didn’t (no, really, I didn’t – please believe me *plaintively*), but the thought of myself doing that because of fabric confetti makes me laugh.

I don’t think I would go doing anything rash like trying the snowflakes with a heavier fabric though. Unless you’re totally without fear. And if that’s you, I salute you.

And would it be twirling betty without polka dots? Nope.

This could be used in so many ways.

  • As, um, confetti. Ie, imagine gorgeous paper (or fabric) cones filled with fabric confetti to shower the bride and groom with. Especially if it were heart-shaped. Sigh.
  • In an envelope with a special invitation or letter. Although,  whenever I open a letter like this:

and confetti or glitter or whatever goes all over my floor I do get a touch annoyed. But if you enjoy irritating your friends, this could be the use for you.

  • Strewn over a white tablecloth for a posh lunch or at a wedding. Would be lovely to use fabric that had already been used eg, for bridesmaid’s dresses or even the bride’s dress. But only if she’s a bit of a goer and has gone the non-traditional route. White confetti on a white table-cloth wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

By the way, there are dedicated fabric stiffeners on the market including one with the snicker-inducing name of  ‘Stiffy’, but PVA glue works equally well, is probably cheaper and available everywhere. And in any case, I might be brave but I’m not brave enough to go into a shop and ask for some Stiffy. Well not without blushing anyway.

Please do comment with other ideas for how you would use fabric confetti. There must be lots…

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21 thoughts on “Fabric confetti: a tutorial

  1. Just remember this stuff (gorgeous and clever as it is) does not biograde quickly so be careful where you sprinkle it!

  2. Don’t wait out the drying time overnight; have h.h. or junior bettys fan the hairdryer over the gluey fab. A. Maureen. xx

  3. I just love this idea, and your wicked sense of humour, you certainly put a smile on my face, keep up the good work.
    Cheers, Carilyn.

  4. i don’t know which i am more thrilled about: discovering twirling betty and her delightful sense of humor or fabric confetti?! the former, i’m sure. i can’t wait to dive in and see what else you have to say about anything. i enjoyed this very much! and this tutorial is amazing!

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  6. That’s so funny. I went into Spotlight yesterday looking for Stiffy. I asked the girl behind the counter. She didn’t know anything about fabric stiffener. I waffled on – you know Tonia Todman used to use it … she looked at me blankly like a 20’s something does thinking who the hell is Tonia Todman? I came home and googled it. They still make Stiffy but it’s very hard to find. (giggling as I type) I want to punch some fabric for Christmas, so I’ll give the PVA mix a try. Thanks for the tips
    Kylie

    • Ahahhahhahahhah – your comment made me laugh so much. I LOVE the thought of people asking other unsuspecting people for a bottle o’ Stiffy. I can just imagine the Spotty girl’s reaction. I too honestly cannot write anything about Stiffy without giggling. Thanks for the laugh. PS: I think it might be time to resurrect Tonia Todman. Shall we start a FB page? Actually, there prolly is already one.

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  10. Great idea!!!!! I make handmade paper and have been looking for a way to get tiny fabric “confetti” to embed into the paper. This would work great! Thanks so much!

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  14. Was “innocently ?” Looking for a little stiffener when I happened upon your blog. Not only informative, exciting (I’ve been given a bag of various hole punches) but very very amusing too. Thank you!!
    Hennie

    • Hi Hennie
      Your so very welcome. Even though I haven’t posted in a while, I do so love hearing from readers who have found something interesting (and amusing) here. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. That’s possibly the first time the words “innocently” and “stiffener” have been used in the same sentence! Have a lovely week. xx Christen.

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