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Kraft-tex is a magical material that cuts like paper and washes like fabric! Try our 3 kraft-tex makes and find out more about this clever product...
Have you heard of kraft-tex? It’s an amazing, extremely versatile craft product that you’ll definitely want to add to your crafty stash. Kraft-tex is a textured, 0.55mm thick paper that has had a small amount of synthetic latex added to it, making it much more sturdy in structure . Although it’s a paper, this treatment makes it tear-resistant and flexible and so can be used in the same way as a fabric. It is available in two types, either Original Unwashed or Hand-Dyed & Prewashed. The original is slightly stiffer and smoother in texture which, once washed will gain some texture. The hand-dyed and prewashed is all ready to use.
If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to leather then kraft-tex is an ideal substitute. It’s slightly rugged surface looks leather-like, it has a similar thickness as leather and comes in natural hues or in an array of rich, hand-dyed colours. Slight variations can occur in both texture and colour, as you see in leather, but obviously kraft-tex is a lot more animal-friendly. You can add more of a vintage leathery effect by scrunching kraft-tex up several times. This makes is softer and more flexible to use as well as giving it a rougher texture. Although supple and lightweight, is extremely durable like leather so ideal for making bags, wallets, book covers, luggage tags and even belts and slippers.
When using kraft-tex for sewing projects is it recommended that you wash your kraft-tex first. If it’s machine-washed, it gives it a bit more flexibility, so it is easier to sew. It can be ironed on a cotton setting whilst always retaining its slightly textured surface. When cutting out kraft-tex for sewing, it’s best to use a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. Due to being a paper product, it may blunt your best fabric scissors, so keep a pair specifically for using with it. Once kraft-tex is pierced with a needle it will leave a permanent hole so ideally hold layers together with clips to avoid any pin holes. Use a longer stitch length to help prevent any tearing and try not to sew back and forth to avoid too many perforations. You can achieve really striking results in your sewing projects by sewing different colours of kraft-text together or mixing with contrasting fabrics. It can be cut into fringing as it doesn’t fray – which means poppers or eyelets can be added to it without any worries of them coming loose. You can also cut shapes to add as appliqué, knowing they will stay fray-free once sewn in place. It can be embroidered too, adding extra texture and colour to your sewing projects.
Kraft-tex can be used for craft projects beyond sewing, too. It works with most glues and can be stamped, inked, coloured, embossed and even printed on. Stamping works best on the smoother side and embossing powders to be added on top for a striking effect. Both water-based and permanent markers and paints can be applied to both sides– just be aware that water-based materials will fade if washed. If you love creating mixed-media projects then it’s unique texture lends itself really well. If you wash kraft-tex before stamping or embossing you will achieve a more distressed look. It can be scored and folded, too. Kraft-tex can be die cut easily and used in embossing folders. It embosses more easily if dampened slightly first.
As it can be cut without fraying, it is ideal for creating jewellery. It makes perfect tassels to add to bag charms or keyrings. Shapes can be pierced easily to allow for earring hooks or jump rings to be added. Strips can be cut and woven together to create bags or home decor projects. Sheets of Kraft-tex can be put through a printer too. Iron it first, cut to size then manually feed through your printer one sheet at a time.
So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly, vegan craft product that’s durable, vibrant and extremely versatile then kraft-tex is ticking all the crafty boxes. It’s available as pre-cut A4 sheets to give you a taster of the different colours available or buy it in rolls for those larger craft projects. Grab yours now and enjoy many hours of truly unique crafting and sewing.
Here are three projects made using it to get your kraft-tex journey started...
These are perfect for using up all those little scraps you may have leftover from other craft projects. Waste not want not! Especially when you can craft such lovely giftable item like these kraft-tex earrings. We're listing the kraft-tex paper colours and ink shades we used in our make, but you can swap in any materials you have in your supplies that work well together.
Kraft-tex paper scraps in moss, linen and crimson
Distress ink pads – we used blue and orange
Embossing ink pad
Silver embossing powder
Jump rings and earring hooks
Pokey tool and mat
Use the template to cut out two large shapes from moss kraft-tex, two medium shapes from linen and two small shapes from crimson. The kraft-tex template has the shapes you need for the slippers and the earrings – you need the 3 pointed oval shapes in the bottom right for this project.
Use a small pair of scissors to trim wavy lines up to about a third up both of the large moss shapes. Cut into some of the ends, so that they sit at an angle then separate them with your fingers.
Take the medium linen shapes and ink one end with a blue Distress ink pad. We are using a finger dauber to apply the ink, but a small sponge or a cotton bud will work for this, too. Turn around then ink the other end with an orange Distress ink pad. If you don't have Distress inks, try adding colour with coloured pencils or pens instead.
Stamp the small crimson shapes with an intricate pattern stamp using an embossing ink pad. Sprinkle with silver embossing powder, tap off the excess then melt with a heat tool. If you don't have these materials, you can add a similar pattern by doodling on the Kraft-tex with a white or metallic fineliner pen.
Lay each of your kraft-tex earring shapes on a foam mat then pierce a small hole through the top of each one. We're using a papercraft pokey tool, but you can use a sewing needle or the point of a small pair of embroidery scissors to make the hole if you don't have a pokey tool.
Thread one large shape on to a jump ring followed by a medium shape then a small shape. Repeat with the other three shapes on another jump ring then attach earring hooks to the tops.
Welcome guests into your home with a set of kraft-tex slippers to keep their toes cosy if they want to the their shoes off! These can be made in various sizes depending on how large you print the template. If the height of the template is printed up to 27cm they can be made for a ladies size 4/5. Experiment with sizes adding approximately 1cm for each size required.
This size can be made out of two A4 sheets of kraft-tex which allows you to make them two-tone, where the top of the slipper and the sole are made of different colours of kraft-tex. To make large sizes and to make them from one piece then use a roll of kraft-tex, as the pre-cut A4 sheets will be too small.
For best results wash the kraft-tex before use to get rid of any shrinkage and left-over dye. This will enable you to wash the slippers in between guests and use them again and again!
Kraft-tex A4 sheets – we used linen and denim colours
Scissors or rotary cutter
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Print the template to the required size then cut out. The kraft-tex earrings templates are on the same template page as the slippers – for the kraft-tex slippers you need the star shape and the large shape that looks like a pixie boot. Sew an A4 sheet of linen and denim kraft-tex together down the long side. Repeat with another two sheets.
Lay the template on top of two sheets so the fold line matches up with the sewn line. Draw around the template with a pencil then cut out. Repeat on the other two sheets making sure they’re cut in the opposite direction to make a pair.
Cut out two stars using the template provided. Appliqué on to the tops of the slippers. Please note you can sew with just a straight stitch rather than zigzag around the stars as the kraft-tex won’t fray.
Fold the tops over on to the soles, match up the sides and front then machine or hand sew together.
This is a super-easy project to make with Kraft-tex as it requires no sewing at all, because the kraft-tex can be cut without fraying. Once the notebook is used up, simply untie it then replace with a new one.
A4 kraft-tex sheet – we used sapphire colour
Scissors or craft knife
Notebook and pen
Print and cut out the kraft-tex template. Lay on a sheet of sapphire kraft-tex then draw around it and cut out.
Make small crosses through the kraft-tex where there are dots on the template using a craft knife. You'll use these holes to thread a strip of kraft-tex through, which will secure the notebook inside the cover. Place a small notebook on top so the shaped end is on the right.
Take your kraft-tex waste leftover from cutting the cover out of the A4 sheet. Trim two lengths from the long side of the scrap kraft-tex. You want these to be as thin as possible. Tie them together in a knot. Open up the notebook, place the lengths in the middle then thread through the small crosses in the cover.
Tie the lengths together on the outside to secure the notebook in place. Wrap the left-hand side over the notebook followed by the right. Push the loop through the hole then place a pen through the loop to secure the sides together.
We have lots of other craft tutorials on Gathered where the no-fray, easy cut hard wearing characteristics of kraft-tex would work brilliantly! Try our fun felt vegetables or our fabric advent calendar in kraft-tex. Substitute kraft-tex for cork in our how to make a cork purse tutorial, or swap it for leather in our how to make leather baby shoes tutorial. Try kraft-tex in our kids animal masks project for a mask make in minute with no sewing required! It is easy to piece so kraft-tex makes a great material for our how to make embroidered notebooks project.
Once you try this versatile material, you won't be short of ideas to make more with it. Can’t wait to get crafting? Discover a brilliant range of kraft-tex colours as well as more project inspiration at C&T Publishing's online store.
Sarah is a freelance craft designer specialising in paper craft, quilling and sewing. She regularly creates a variety of projects for several uk craft companies and magazines. She also designs and makes her own resin jewellery: https://kraftikeepsakes.co.uk/
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