Review | Stiffy Fabric Stiffener

Reported by Michelle Laycock

Several years ago I taught a fabric stiffener technique at a paper crafting class. When Craft Critique was in search of tips on using products related to fabric I decided to dig my Stiffy Fabric Stiffener out of the cabinet and play.

Stiffy fabric stiffener is a liquid medium that dries invisible and leaves a matte finish on your fabric. It is a popular product used in crochet. In sewing, it can be used to laminate lace to fabric and for applique.

But Stiffy isn’t just for sewing! It can also be used in paper crafting. Add fabric to your cards to give the receiver a tactile treat.

For use in paper crafting, Stiffy works best if you start with a thin, light fabric. In this tutorial, I’ve chosen a beautiful chocolate brown stone-washed silk. (I happened to have an out-of-date silk skirt that I no longer wear, so I’m giving it new life by recycling it for this project).
Place your fabric on a non-stick surface. Don’t use a paper surface, as the fabric will stick to the paper. I use my craft table with no surface protection.
Brush Stiffy fabric stiffener all over the silk using a foam craft brush. Let dry at least 45 minutes. You may want to hang it on a clothes line. If you are impatient, speed up the process by using a heat gun.
When it is dry, iron your silk with a low setting.
The silk can now be cut with a scrapbooking cutter just as if it is paper. You can also stamp on your silk with pigment ink, punch the edges of your silk with a corner punch and adhere using glue stick or glue dots.
Looks like cardstock, feels like silk!

In my finished creation, all of the chocolate brown layers are actually stone-washed silk which gives the card a nice feel!

To use lightweight fabrics in paper crafting, Stiffy fabric stiffener is exactly the medium you need to make the job turn out right. Even a light, airy, untameable silk can be used in the same way as cardstock… for a beautiful effect!

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11 Responses to Review | Stiffy Fabric Stiffener

  1. Avatar
    Stamperosity March 13, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    This is a great tip. I have had this stuff in my craft area for years and have only used it to give sizing to flimsy ribbon…but now that I know you can use it with other stuff…I may have to break it out again! Thanks for the info!

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    Colleen March 13, 2007 at 8:41 am #

    Oh wow! This is the coolest thing I have heard of…puts my sample to shame…

    Lovely card, great technique…cool product!

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    Donna March 13, 2007 at 10:11 am #

    Cool! I am so trying that.

  4. Avatar
    Cindy Keery March 13, 2007 at 11:12 am #

    Beautiful card, Michelle! When I was working with fabric on a card the other day I was wishing I had some fabric stiffener to make the fabric more like paper. Have you worked with the spray fabric stiffener at all?

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    scoopy March 13, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    Very cool!

  6. Avatar
    scoopy March 13, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    Very cool!

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    scrappersister March 15, 2007 at 1:05 am #

    I have never made a card using fabric. Not sure that I will. But when I was at Target a few days ago looking the cards that they were selling I saw lots of them with fabric in or on the card. Seems to be a new trend. 🙂


  8. Avatar
    Michelle Laycock March 15, 2007 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks for your kind comments!

    No, I haven’t used any spray fabric stiffeners but maybe I’ll try them someday.

    And yes, I’ve noticed quite a few cards in stores with fabric on them lately. Maybe it is a trend! And it is so easy to make your own!

  9. Avatar
    Michelle September 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi everybody! I’m looking for something that will allow me to stiffen a silk piece of lingerie and paint on top with acrylic paint. So my questions are:
    1. Does Stiffy seal the fabric?
    2. Can you use acrylic paint on it?


  10. Avatar
    Jan February 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    When using Stiffy, if the fabric turns out flimsy, can you apply another coat after the first coat has dried? Thanks!

  11. Avatar
    Anonymous October 22, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    any idea if the finished product stands up to water? i just finished a “scarecrow” mask for halloween using burlap and fabric stiffener…curious if it will resist sweat.