New This Month


No-Sew Fabric Pet Portrait

Turn a favorite pet photo into a fabric portrait without using a needle and thread.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2007


  • Photo of pet
  • Tracing paper
  • Freezer paper
  • Thin marker
  • Scissors
  • Fabric (Ultrasuede, calico, or other lightweight fabric)
  • Double-sided adhesive
  • Iron

  • Disappearing-ink marker
  • Glue stick
  • Pre-stretched artist's canvas
  • Staple gun
  • Glue gun
  • Ribbon or lace, optiona


  1. Enlarge photo to make tracing easier. Place tracing paper over photo and, with a thin marker, trace the head, markings, body and feet, eyes, ears, and nose. Then, flip tracing paper over. Place freezer paper (shiny side down) over tracing paper and trace individual parts of body (tracing the backside of the line drawing will provide the original image; otherwise, it will be backwards). Shift freezer paper slightly to make cutting out patterns easier.
  2. Cut all pattern pieces from freezer paper. Cut largest body parts out, such as the head and body. Create small details, such as eyes and inside of ears, with a different fabric (and pattern, if desired). Prepare the fabric by ironing on double-sided adhesive. Then, iron on freezer paper (shiny side down). Cut out shape. Affix by peeling off freezer paper and adhesive backing to expose fusible adhesive.
  3. Use disappearing ink to transfer detail lines (such as wrinkles, expression linoes, shadows, contours, claws, eye twinkles, etc.) onto images.
  4. Use backstitch to create contour or wrinkle lines of your pet image. Add French knots for whisker pokes.
  5. Refer to line drawing to make sure pet portrait is aligned correctly. Assemble pet portrait by layering pieces and heat setting with iron.
  6. Heat set fully-assembled pet onto background fabric. Staple to pre-stretched artist's canvas.
  7. Use your imagination to glue on embellishments using your favorite trimmings, such as ribbon or lace.

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