Those who've tried it already know: stamp-printing your own fabric is incredibly satisfying. And it doesn't require a whole lot of fancy technique. You can use your stamped fabric to make pillows , curtains, bags... or just hang that baby up as a cool piece of wall art. Aren't you original!
DIY Stamped Fabric
- Level: Easy
What You Need
- Cotton or linen fabric in a light color
- Water soluble block printing ink
- Rubber stamp carving tools - Lino Handle and Cutters, Speedy Carve Block
- Brayer roller
- Box cutter
- Craft paper to cover and protect your work surface
- Large flat tray or acrylic block for the ink
- Iron and ironing board
For this project, you can also consider purchasing a block printing starter kit . They're perfect if you're a newbie, and come with all the tools needed to get started in block printing.
Here's How to Get Stamping
1. Cut the Block
First, you'll cut down your large speedy carve block into smaller pieces: With a pen, draw a line 1½ inches away from the edge of the block. Then gently cut along the line with the box cutter. Cut with up and down motions and try not to pull on block, as this will warp the material. You'll end up with a rectangle 1½ inches wide.
Now cut that rectangle down into a square that is 1½ inches by 1½ inches. This is the block you'll carve to form your stamp!
2. Draw Diagonally
Use the ruler and draw a line diagonally across the block, from one corner to the other. Repeat and draw additional parallel lines. The lines can be randomly placed or have exact measurements between them, it totally depends on what feels right for you (and how Type A you are).
3. Get in the Groove
Insert the smallest blade into your lino cutter. Apply the cutter to the lines you've drawn, with the sharp side pointing down into the block. With a soft motion, push the blade across the block's surface. Do this gently!!
Repeat for each line until your block is covered in diagonal grooves.
4. One More Cut
Break out the box cutter and cut the block in half diagonally to make two triangles. You technically only need one to make the design shown here, so set the other aside as a backup!
5. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Put craft paper down to protect your work surface. Squirt a small amount of water soluble block printing ink onto your tray. Carefully roll the ink onto the brayer roller, and use the roller to apply the ink to your block's textured surface.
Turn the block over and press it to a piece of test fabric with even pressure. Pull the block up, being careful not to smudge the ink. Keep stamping and playing around with pressure until you master the design you want.
6. Do it for Real
Once you've become a stamp master, lay down the fabric for your final project and stamp away! You can make any design you want, but for the one above, start in one corner and work on one row at a time, alternating facing the triangle up and down. Make sure you reapply ink to your block before each stamp, so the ink in the pattern is even.
Set aside the fabric until it's dry, then press it to set the ink. Now you're done and have a totally cool piece of fabric to use as you please! (Like, say, for this DIY graphic pillow .)
Photos by Marni Weaver