What is Smart-Fab? Well, according to the Smart-Fab homepage , “Smart-fab is an alternative to paper and cloth. It’s an innovative non-woven fabric, available in a range of brilliant, non-fading colors. Smart-Fab is easy to cut, fold, glue, staple, and sew. You can even draw or paint on it”. To me, it reminds of the hospital disposable gown fabric 🙂
Watch this video for more information on Smart-Fab.
Before receiving this product, I had never heard of or used Smart-Fab. Out of the 15 available Smart-Fab colors, I was given three sample rolls (2ft x 10ft each): dark pink, sky blue, and yellow. I received the rolls a few days before Easter in a narrow and long 4ft. box. Since I didn’t have enough time to make something for Easter, I decided the colors would make a wonderful Smart-Fab Spring mantle makeover.
I always wanted to do a large flower paper wreath, but wondered how it would hold up in storage. Paper is fragile, tears, and can be easily crushed. Smart-Fab is soft and pliable yet strong and durable. It doesn’t rip or fray and can be twisted and ruffled easily. It’s even water resistant! I knew that this was the perfect medium to make my large flower wreath – a Smart-Fab Spring Wreath.
Smart-Fab Spring Wreath Tutorial
- Smart-fab in your chosen colors
- 14″ styrofoam wreath
- wooden skewers
- cotton balls
- fabric glue (I used low temperature hot glue, but this is not recommended as it can burn a hole in Smart-Fab)
- black permanent marker
- pinking shears
- sewing machine or needle/thread
Step One – Covering the wreath
- Cut out at least 10 2″ x 24″ strips to cover the styrofoam wreath. Depending on how much you overlap your strips, you may need to cut more.
- Glue the end of the strip down and begin wrapping until the entire wreath is covered. Set aside.*I only wrapped my wreath once and it was pretty shear. If you prefer a more opaque look, wrap your wreath twice, overlap your strips closer together, or double up the Smart-Fab.*
Step Two – Making the flowers
- Cut 3″ x 24″ and 4″ x 24″ Smart-fab strips. One strip will make one large flower. Cut as many strips as needed to decorate your wreath. *I used a total of 12 large flowers and cut 6 of each size.*
- For the smaller flowers, choose another a second color and cut at least 6 – 1 1/2″ x 12″ Smart-fab strips. One strip will make one small flower.
- For more small flowers, choose a third color and cut at least 3 – 1 1/2″ x 12″ Smart-fab strips.
- For each flower you plan on making, cut a 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square in the same color for the centers.
- Take strips of Smart-fab and roll into approximately 4″ flat rolls.
- Cut one edge in varying designs. *Use the pinking shears and regular scissors.*
- Using the largest stitch length, sew the uncut edge of the strips.
- Pull on the loose thread and gather strips till it is almost half the original length (13″). Trim threads and set aside.
- Cut the wooden skewers into 2″ lengths. You’ll need one 2″ skewer for each flower.
- Take a cotton ball and split into two.
- Run a small amount of glue on the end of the 2″ skewer and place cotton ball on it. Once the cotton ball is applied, run another strip of glue near the bottom of the cotton ball (see second picture). *I used low temp. hot glue, which is not recommended by Smart-fab, but it worked for me. Do not touch the metal tip of the glue gun to the Smart-fab or it will burn a hole in it.*
- Wrap one 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square onto the cotton ball. Apply more glue as needed to secure all the edges of the cut square. This makes the center of each flower.
- Take one of the flower centers and glue the gathered strips onto the bottom of it. *I also used low temp.*
- Repeat this step until all the flowers are made.
- Place the flowers. Use the pointed side of one of the skewers and make a hole where you want the flower to go. *This step is important since Smart-fab does not pull apart easily.*
- Place glue on the bottom of the flower and place into wreath. *I used fabric glue here because it allowed me time to move the flowers if needed.*
- Stop here with just flowers or continue on.
Step 3 – Banner
- Choose the color of your banner flags. Pin together three layers of 10″ x 2 1/2″ strips of Smart-fab.
- Sew along one of the long straight edges.
- Using your pinking shears, cut into 6 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ triangles.
- Cut a 3/4″ x 14″ long strip in the same color as the triangles or in another color.
- Place the sewn edge of the cut triangles into the strip and sew together.
- Use a black permanent marker and write the word “SPRING” onto the banner.
- Cut a 4 1/2″ skewer and wrap with a strip of Smart-fab, leaving about an inch uncovered.
- Tie one end of the banner near the top of the stick and cut loose ends into thin strips.
- Glue skewer and opposite side of the banner into place.
- Cut 6 – 1 1/2″ x 9″ strips with pinking shears.
- Wrap and glue these between the flowers.
- Using the pinking shears, cut 1 – 1 1/2″ x the length needed to hang. Attach to the top of the wreath. *Add a bow for a finishing touch.*
Final Observations – Pros/Cons
Overall, I found Smart-Fab easy to work with. It was easy to cut and sew, draped well, and was easily folded to fit into my silver seashell. I would definitely use this product again.
|Cuts easily (I cut through 8 layers with ease)||Very Sheer – you’ll have to double or triple layer for opaque coverage|
|Pliable, soft, and drapes easily||Can’t use hot glue gun (although I used low temp)|
|Water resistant||Regular tape does not stick to it well|
|Easy to sew||Pencil doesn’t show up well|
|Paint, pen, and crayon show up well||Paint can seep through|
|Fray, tear, and crease resistant||Using too much glue can seep through|