Thursday, 20 February 2014

Stamping Fun

This month was my mom's birthday and I had a perfect excuse to try myself at making stamps and using them on fabric. The idea was to use these colored foam sheets because they are really easy to cut with e-xacto knife or even scissors. I took a few photos while I was working so I’d be able to share this project with you and maybe inspire you to try it out as well. The possibilities are endless: tablecloths, tea towels, napkins, T-shirts,....


I made a round tablecloth which I had sewn by myself because they seem to be impossible to buy. For my design I chose flowers I “picked” up from my mother’s china. I photographed one plate, enlarged the design and printed it out. Then I cut out the flowers I wanted to make stamps of:


I took a soft pencil (2B) to outline the flower and then I pressed it on the foam to have a stencil to use for cutting:

Then I had to glue my cut-out shape to something solid to make my stamp. I wanted to use something see through so I'd have better luck with my positioning when stamping on the fabric. The only thing I could buy was this acrylic glass plate. I wish it were smaller but it served me well regardless.

I took my roller glue applicator and rolled the glue on the glass and then put my finished design on it:

For a smaller stamp I was able to use some wood left overs:

After the stamps were made it was time for some coloring. I used fabric colors and I though the brayer will do the trick but it didn't. It made a total mess so I had to come up with something else to use for applying the color to the stamps. Luckily I had some stencil foam brushes and I tried with one and it was perfect! You simply dab the color on the stamp and you can see it pretty well because it leaves tiny dots on the surface (with brayer, I had problems lifting the color up from the tray and leaving it on the stamp).

Time to start stamping:

After I was done with stamping the tablecloth looked like this:


It was a bit too plain for my taste so I mixed myself three more colors, took a tiny brush and added some detail to all of the stamped designs:

This was it. Pretty simple, a bit time consuming but one of a kind! And my mom loved it which made it all worth it (did I mention the sore muscles I had after all those squats because I had to work on the floor? :) )

I will definitely be using this technique again. I will however use double foam because the one I have is a bit too thin and it makes printing cleanly quite a challenge (there are many marks left from the acrylic plate because it touched the fabric). 

The foam can be gently peeled off from the acrylic glass and reused later (if the design is not too delicate because in this case it will probably tear apart). I need to find smaller pieces of acrylic glass or just go and buy some of those that are sold for stamping ;)  (a bit expensive though)


I hope this little tutorial will be helpful to you and that you will share your creations with me if you will try it out. Have fun and please share if you like it.

21 comments:

Sandy P said...

wow, thanks so much for sharing this! I love printmaking so I loved seeing how you did this step by step. I was also wondering about the 'neatness' of the stamps, I find I get messiness from the non-stamping parts too (like you said you had from the acrylic plate). Love your after touches, truly truly BEAUTIFUL! maybe just keep the stamps glued onto the acrylic plate to reuse as your own design? why bother peeling it off, especially if it will ruin your foam stamps....you can use it on fabric again or envelopes, paper, collage, etc!

nini said...

Awww, thank you Sandy! I agree with you about leaving stamps on the plate but in my case the plate is too big anyway. If I had smaller ones I'd definitely do that.

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

Nini, this is so fantastic! Thank you so very much for sharing all the details, you are truly generous!

And I get ideas... I want to make the same or very similar patterns on metal pieces and join these together for a bracelet; perhaps I can make a "stamp" like you did and add tiny detals with the pen, before etching...

Kramar! (Swedish for hugs), Anna Stina

Sandy P said...

hmmm, do you have anyone handy that can cut the acrylic with the fine high speed saw? so you can have some acrylic to use again and some to keep as a stamp?

PS I looooveeee Anna's idea of metal stamps too! :)

nini said...

Oh Anna, I love your ideas too! Details with the pen or needle... that would be so lovely. You must share if you make some!

Yes Sandy, it would be great to find somebody to cut it for me. Or maybe I should visit somebody who makes things from these acrylic sheets and get some left overs from them as I really don't need perfect cut outs.

Rachel said...

Wow Nini, your tablecloth turned out beautifully, I can imagine your Mum must've been over the moon with it! Thanks for sharing your process, it certainly makes me feel like giving it a go, although i'll perhaps try it on a smaller scale! x

nini said...

Thank you very much Rachel.
I'm looking forward to seeing your tries because you are so good at coming up with lovely patterns.

suzi poland said...

Simply stunning, thanks for sharing how. <3

nini said...

Thank you dear Suzi ♥

Sand said...

Beautiful! I bet your mum was so touched, its so extra special when a gift is made, and so personal too by using her china pattern. I love your added details too, they lift the design wonderfully. I can see it becoming a treasured heirloom :)
Hmmm, maybe look on eBay for anyone getting rid of craft stash? Do you have anything there like Freecycle? Where you can ask for stuff like that in case anyone in the community is getting rid of stuff/has things lying around unused. Hope you can find some anyway because i'd love to see more of your printing! :)

nini said...

Thank you Sand! Good idea about e bay (never bought anything there that didn't have the "buy now" option though) and I'll look for second hand stuff over here too. Maybe there are people selling away their craft stashes indeed. Really a great idea. Thanks oodles as someone I know would say ;)

Norsk Sapphire said...

You mum did not just love it, she was deeply moved because she knew how much work had been put into such a table cloth. And, she is proud, extatic and bragging about the gift.

nini said...

I know Mr Norsk and I was deeply touched by her reaction too ♥

Cindy D. said...

Wow, spectacular project! Such intricate detail and handled beautifully. I love to see the whole project from start to finish, and I really love the detail you added with a brush at the end.

With just a couple extra hours in the day I might try some of your textile projects. But for now I'll just have to admire yours. :)

nini said...

Oh Cindy, you are always so nice to me! Thank you so much. With all the drawing and painting you have on your hands I can totally understand your lack of time :)

Esther Lankhaar said...

Wow, I admire the beautiful table-cloth and all the work you put in it. Such patience you have!

nini said...

Thank you my dear Esther ♥

Elena Rosa Brown said...

Nini this is amazing! Such a clever use of printing materials and a great technique.

The finished project looks brilliant. Great job!

nini said...

Thank you so much Elena Rosa. This means a lot! ♥

Monika Milkos said...

It's absolutely superb! :-)

nini said...

Thank you Monika! I loved making it and I think I'll make one soon again :)