- Any fabric item of your choosing
- Hot Ribbon
- Mini iron
- Regular iron
- Thin piece of fabric
- Pencil and eraser
Step 1: Draw your design on the fabric
Draw your design on the fabric. It can be on any type fabric you want, you can find a list of materials that will work best on the Hot Ribbon packets. I chose a baby carrier because my sister is having her baby soon (yay!) so she’ll be using it a lot!
Step 2: Align the ribbon with the lines of your sketch
Align the ribbon with the lines of your sketch (make sure the shiny side of the ribbon is facing up) and start tacking it in place with the mini iron, making sure to do it little by little instead of ironing on big areas at a time (this is very important!). For the curved areas, simply adjust the ribbon according to your sketch lines and iron it little by little so that it’ll look smooth and not crease. I know it looks pretty intimidating to use (you’ll find that it’s really easy!) so you can practice on another piece of fabric to get a feel of how it works before starting on your real project.
Step 3: Cut the ribbon
Once you get to a sharp point, cut the ribbon. I didn’t cut the ribbon beforehand just in case I misjudged how much ribbon I’d be using. This is the better way to do it in my opinion, because then you won’t have to deal with the mess of ironing it on and having to take it off, which can get really messy.
Step 4: Cut the ribbon and match it up
Cut the ribbon at an angle so that it matches up with the part that’s already tacked on to the fabric, then align them and iron it on. Repeat step 2 for the curved part.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2 and 4
Repeat steps 2 and 4 until you’ve finished all the waves. It’ll end up looking like this! I used 5 different shades of blue (sky blue, blue green, blue, royal blue, and dark blue) and did two rows of each color.
Side note: the blue and royal blue are very similar in color so if you want each color to look significantly different than the others, you can try white at the top or black at the bottom.
Step 6: Apply the octopus!
Now onto the octopus! Align the ribbon with the outline of the octopus and cut the edge to match the outline, and iron it on. Then cut the other side according to the outline. Repeat this process for the whole octopus. Make sure to line them up so that it looks like one solid picture, it should look something like this. Slightly layering the ribbons will guarantee that you won’t be able to see the fabric underneath, and although I didn’t do that, it is a fail-safe method so I recommend it!
Step 7: Adjust the octopus
These next parts are where it gets time consuming. For the eyes, cut two little strips of the black ribbon, then cut around the edges until it looks like a circle and iron them on. Next we’ll do the same thing we did with the eyes, but this time we’ll use the pink ribbon for the suction cups. Cut as many strips as you would like to see on the tentacles, then cut around the edges to make circles. This is the time consuming part because the circles will be so small and you have to cut so many of them. Once you’ve cut the circles, iron them on the tentacles where you please. Since the circles are so small, the ribbon might sometimes fall apart when you iron them on so you can just iron another circle onto it (which unfortunately means cutting more circles).
Step 8: Bond the ribbon
Once you’ve ironed on all the ribbons and you’re satisfied with your final picture, place the thin piece of fabric over the entire piece and use the regular iron to permanently bond the ribbon to your project. I just set the iron down and held it in place for 40-45 seconds.
And here's the final piece!
Some things I learned when using Hot Ribbon: If you want to overlap colors, the darker ones might stand out if you put a lighter color over it, like the blue colors did when I ironed the red over it. Also, if you iron it longer and apply more pressure, the darker colors will stand out more, which didn't end up looking bad, but if you prefer to make it look neat and clean, then I suggest starting with the octopus first or cutting around the outline of the octopus when making the waves.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Sign up for the iii newsletter to get all of our latest news and tutorials!