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Bubble Printing Tutorial
by Susan Sorrell

Prepared For Dye 100% cotton fabric
Pebo Seta fabric paint
Dye-na-flow fabric paints
Sponge brayer
Plexiglas or glass flat surface
Different sizes of bubble wrap
Spray bottle with water
Large paint brush and small plastic cups


When I get stumped on a piece of fabric art or end up with a piece of ugly fabric, I like to bubble print. It is a really easy way to change the look of a piece of fabric and takes no experience using fabric paints. The best part is that bubble wrap is being made in different sizes, so I am always saving scraps of bubble wrap from the packages I get in the mail.   

Step 1

 Assemble all of your materials, so you can dive right in and paint.  I starting out with a white piece of cotton and I can add color later after the bubble print dries. You will need a piece of glass to put your fabric paint and a hard sponge brayer. The hard sponge brayer won’t soak up all of your paint and will give you a nice even print.  I like to use Pebo Setacolor paints and the one I have chosen for this print is the opaque red.  I am going to use the large bubble wrap, but l like to use all sizes and keep a stash of them next to my painting table.

Step 2


Pour some fabric paint out on your printing plate and roll your brayer through your paint. Try to get an even coat on your brayer, which means roll your brayer through your paint several times.


Roll your brayer over the bubble wrap several times to make sure you have enough paint to make a print. If you want a light print don’t apply a lot of paint and for a darker print apply a lot of paint to the bubble wrap.

Step 3


I like to place my material on top of the bubble wrap if it is a large piece. I run my hand over the material with a light touch until I start seeing the paint soak into the fabric.

Step 4

 Let you bubble print dry and then iron according to the instructions of the fabric paint you are using. You can leave it with a white background or you can use some Dye-na-Flow paints and give your bubble print some color.


I like using the Dye-na-flow paints, since this is the closest I can get to dyeing fabric in my studio. The colors are bright and easy to blend.

Step 5

 When applying the Dye-Na-Flow, I use a spray bottle to wet the back of my fabric and then apply the paint dyes with a brush and by dripping. I have found if you put the Dye-Na-Flow in small cups and add a little bit of water it is easier to brush onto your fabric.

If you want to get some pretty color combinations when using the Dye-Na-Flow paint dyes, use only the Magenta, Yellow and Turquoise. These three colors will blend into pretty oranges, greens, and purples.


Now you might be wondering why I applied the dye paints to the back of the fabric instead of the front. Well, I like to see the print sit on top of the colored background and if I paint on top of the print, the dye paints might cover up some of the red dots.

Here is my finished piece of fabric. I have also included some examples of other bubble prints I have made.



This was a piece of fabric that the painting didn’t turn out to my liking, so I make a white bubble print on top of it with a small bubble wrap. I made the print really show up by applying a lot of white paint to the brayer.


I like to use Lutradur a lot in my work and this piece need a little something added to it, so I did a light bubble print on it with white paint.


 The bubble wrap printing is part of my Monoprinting on Fabric workshop, which gives you a taste of different ways to play with paint and other materials to print on fiber.

If you need supplies to experiment and try bubble printing you can find them as follows:

Click here for PFD fabrics. 

Click here for Pebeo Setacolor Opaque/Shimmer paints or here for Setacolor Transparent paints.

Click here for Dye-na-Flow paints and exciter pack.

Click here for Lutradur.

Susan teaches a number of online classes at joggles.  Click here to see her classes.

Click here to visit Susan's website.

Text & images copyright 2006 Susan Sorrell.  You may not copy or reproduce this information without explicit written permission.


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