Using stamps in projects has always been popular, but with new ranges of archival inks and endless stamp designs, it’s never been easier to customise your crafts. From scrapbooks to cushion covers, homemade prints to flower pots, if you use the right stamp and ink combination, you can add unique and quirky touches to pretty much anything. We’ve come up with a few great tips and simple tutorials for stamping onto different surfaces – ink pads at the ready, this week we’re working with fabric!
Five Top Tips for Stamping onto Fabric
1. Choose your ink carefully – make sure it’s archival quality and fade-proof, and also that it’s designed to be used on fabric, because not all inks are. We recommend using Versacraft but Versafine can work well too.
2. Choose your stamp – you can use pretty much any style for fabric, but if you’re planning on creating a repeating pattern, clear cling-mount stamps are perfect. The transparency allows you to see exactly where you’re placing them, which means you can be precise, rather than guessing and hoping for the best!
3. Prepare your fabric – wash and dry your fabric thoroughly, then iron to remove all creases; if you’re stamping onto something that’s all crumpled, it’s going to be almost impossible to get a nice, even print. If you’re working with a pillow case, cushion cover or item of clothing, make sure you lie it flat, and place a sheet of thick card (a piece of an old cardboard box is ideal) inside so the ink doesn’t seem through to the other side.
4. Inking the stamp – the key to a successful image is getting a good, even coverage of ink on the stamp. Tap the ink pad lightly over the entire surface of the upturned stamp so the ink distributes evenly, rather than pressing the stamp down hard on the pad . If you over-ink your stamp the image will be messy, blobby and unclear. Another great advantage of applying ink in this way is that it doesn't matter if the ink pad is smaller than the stamp.
5. Plan ahead but don’t fear mistakes – by stamping onto a piece of paper with the same dimensions first, you can reduce the chances of messing up your design when it matters. If you do make a mistake, don’t panic – Versacraft inks can be washed out with cold water prior to heat setting, so you can always simply start over again.
Quick and Easy Customised Tea Towels
Printing onto tea towels is the ideal first project for people who haven’t tried stamping onto fabric before; crisp white cotton is a great surface for experimenting on, and there’s the added bonus that they’re not too pricey either. We did a written message and a repeating vintage bicycle pattern, which added a quirky little touch – you could do absolutely anything though, from retro prints that cover the entire tea towel to pretty floral borders.
You will need:
Plain cotton tea towels (ours were from IKEA, and cheap as chips)
Ink pad in your chosen colour – we used Versacraft in Real Black
1. Prepare your fabric, and plan your design by testing it on a sheet of paper.
2. Once you’re happy, lay your fabric out and place a sheet of cardboard underneath. Make sure your surface is smooth and crease free, and then secure with masking tape.
3. Ink your stamp, then press down firmly onto the fabric. Repeat until you’ve created the desired effect, and then fix your design using an iron.