Simple & easy is often the best! ‘But taking it up a ‘notch’ with some unique twist is even better! These handmade stamps are super cheap to make and one-of-a-kind! Let’s see how to print Handmade silicone stamps on Fabric!
Nature-made silicone stamps!
It is wonderful to be able to make silicone stamps with things you find in your own backyard! My silicone mold putty recipe and method makes this really easy and costs pennies. Pick a leaf that has a lot of details and you’ll get some really great texture imprints. There really is no limit to what you could use as an imprint, be creative!
Make sure to use 100% silicone caulking and cornstarch. (Use the one that says #1 on the tube). Keep the caulking as one large ‘blob’ and work carefully with the cornstarch so that your gloved fingers don’t get sticky.
Combine the silicone with the corn starch by tossing it gently and making sure to keep some corn starch between your fingers and the sticky silicone. It is similar to working with eggs to make noodle dough. Once it becomes putty-like and not sticky anymore you can use a rolling pin to flatten it. Use the corn starch as you would flour when you are rolling a pastry dough.
Press the vein side (underside) of the leaves into the dough firmly and use something that is quite flat to keep the stamp as flat as possible.
It cures quickly and the leaves peel off easily.
The amount of detail that is picked up is quite amazing. I love using the rhubarb & Coleus leaves. Yes, you can carve your own with a carving block but it is a lot more work. There are many many stamp ideas especially since the mold putty is so inexpensive. Imagine using a tree stump or other rustic driftwood…
Finishing the Silicone Stamps:
After casting, the edges of these rubber stamps can easily be trimmed with an xacto knife (or scissors) as desired. If you would like a block or handle added you could also glue one to the back. I find that the flat leaf shape is quite simple to work with.
Wow! Look at those details! This material lasts really well and can even be scrubbed. They have the same qualities as rubber carving blocks. It takes a lot of patience to carve small details with a blade (lino cutter) into a rubber block for your own rubber stamps, which my method avoids.
How to Apply the Ink:
When using these stamps keep in mind what you are going to print onto. Speedball makes a great block printing ink for paper and fabric. Once the ink has cured it can be machine washed. Speedball brand makes water based and oil-based inks. The Oil-based ones take longer to dry, which also give more working time. That also gives extra time when working with the ink.
Use a brayer (roller) to spread a small squeeze of the thick ink on a very flat surface like a piece of glass. Once well spread you can roll the stamp. Make sure all the areas are covered, but without excess ink.
My Secret Tip for Fabrics:
When I am looking for inexpensive fabric for sewing projects I often look at thrift stores for curtains. It seems there are huge amounts available of all kinds of fibre. There is also usually a lot of yardage in a curtain panel.
Carefully apply the stamp to the fabric without shifting. Press firmly over all areas of the stamp. I am not a huge fan or symmetrical designs so I chose a very random design. I would rather not have to spend time planing and measuring with a ruler. That also makes this a project that kids could enjoy. With a bit of planning you could make your own logos for stationery as well. (see clean-up tips below)
Let the oil-base printed ink cure for a few days until not tacky anymore. (blow dryer can expedite drying)
I print before sewing in case there are any mistakes but you could use commercially available linens. I have chosen to make placemats with this linen-like curtain fabric. For simplicity (and modern shape) I chose an angled geometric shape.
Sew right sides together (like making a cushion) leaving a small opening.
Clip off the points at the corners to give the shape distinct crisp corners. Poke with a dull point to aid in pushing into the corner; a knitting needle or such works well.
Press the fabric with an iron set to the fabric type. My fabric is a polyester blend. Use a pressing cloth if pressing on the printed areas.
How to Finish the edges:
After pressing (including the opening) sew a small topstitch around the edge of placemat. I usually choose a width in relation to presser foot width to easily follow with my eye.
How clean up:
Do not let the ink dry on the stamps longer than needed. I prefer water-clean up oil-based ink as it dries slowly but cleans up with soap and water.
Wash the brayer (roller), glass sheet and stamps in warm soapy water.
The stamps are strong enough to be able to be scrubbed with a toothbrush if needed. I have used these stamps a few times with no degrading in the surface.
What can you use these stamps for?
For a minimal simple table-scape I made these placemats to follow my theme of nature. The texture is quite amazing! I could imagine these motifs as home-made wrapping paper as well!
A themed wedding could also use them as invitation and envelopes embellishment. If I find some extra fabric I may also make a table runner and napkins!
So wonderful for Mother Nature to offer her designs to make handmade silicone stamps! Print on fabric, or whatever you can think of…. What do you think? Would you use a simple design like this in your space? Where would you print your fabric stamp??