Alright people! This is a really cool project that truly doesn’t require ANY artistic ability! It’s a bit of a departure in that I won’t be doing any hand dyeing, but I figure that stamping on fabric is close enough. I have been enamored with printmaking since I took a class as an undergrad, so there may be more printmaking heading your way!
- large pink pearl eraser or something similar in size (mine is approximately 1 x 2 inches)
- exacto knife
- ball point pen
- block cutting tool
- inkpad for fabric – I’m using a VersaCraft inkpad in real black
- fabric – I’m using an 18 x 18 inch cotton pillow cover
- clear vinyl or barrier of some sort
Step 1: Get your hands on a large one of these:
Step 2: Cut off one of the slanted ends with an exacto knife so that you have a rectangle.
Step 3: Find the middle of your eraser (my eraser is one inch wide, so I marked it at 1/2 inch in a few places) and drew a line.
Step 4: Okay, so I jumped the gun a bit in the pic above! Now start making angled lines along the length of your center line.
Step 5: Use your lovely little block cutter to carve your lines. As you can see I din’t follow my lines exactly. This isn’t meant to be perfect – it is handmade after all! Besides (speaking as a partially reformed perfectionist) perfection is highly overrated.
By the way, I have done block printing before using a variety of carving blocks. This is the first time that I have used an eraser and I have to say that I loved it! It carved really smoothly and easily.
Step 6: Ink up your stamp and do a test print. I’m using regular old stamp ink for this so that I don’t waste any of my pricey fabric ink. It is super important to do a test print because it allows you to see if you need to go back and carve a bit more here or there. Mine looks good!
Step 7: Okay, so this is where my head started to hurt a bit. I decided to do this really cool pattern and although it isn’t hard, it definitely took me some time to wrap my brain around it. So I practiced on a few sheets of paper first. Here are my efforts.
By gosh, I think I finally got it! Wait, that doesn’t sound right?! I think it’s “by George,” right? Anyways, I got it!
Step 8: Iron your pillow case or whatever fabric you’re using. Fold it in half and then in half again and press it with your iron. This will give you the middle point as well as vertical and horizontal lines to help guide you as you stamp. Now place something under your fabric so that your stamp ink doesn’t bleed through. I’m using a piece of clear vinyl that I inserted between the two layers of my pillow case. The pic on the right shows the vinyl, it is folded in half to make it more visible to you, my dear readers. 🙂
Step 9: Find the center of your piece and begin stamping around that point. Ink your stamp well and be sure to press firmly and evenly when you place your stamp.
This took some patience and a steady hand…I was doing great until the bottom left corner where I lost my focus and I placed a stamp in the wrong spot. So, I took a deep breath and I just kept going trying to form the same basic shape. It got a little out of control and I have to say that the perfectionist in me was freaking out a little bit. What was I saying about perfectionism being overrated?????
In the end I think it looks cool. Who says that it has to be the same pattern the whole way through?! I think that the lesson here is that you can make a mistake (or 10) and it will still be okay. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Step 10: Let your ink dry completely and then heat set it with your iron for 15-30 seconds (no steam). This will make your print permanent and it will allow you to wash your fabric if needed.
Well, there it is in all of it’s glory, what do you think?