Print Your Own Fabric {Part 2}

Today I am excited to show you how to make moldable stamps that you can use to print fabric (or paper or anything else that will hold still long enough for you to stamp it!). There are only two pieces of equipment you need to make moldable stamps: a heat embossing tool and thicker pieces of craft foam. I used some square foam blocks that came with alphabet letters on four sides of the block but had two smooth sides. I also used the 1/4″ craft foam sheets.

Using this method, you heat the foam for a few seconds with the heat embossing tool (in case you were wondering, a hair dryer won’t get the foam hot enough), and then press the foam into a texture, object, or shape that you want on the stamp. The foam molds around whatever you press it into and you have a stamp to use. If it doesn’t turn out like you wanted, all you have to do is reheat the foam with the heat embossing tool and the foam will go back to the original flat surface.

Let me show you. For this one I started with a foam block and crocheted lace doily.making moldable stampThen I heated the flat surface of the block for probably ten seconds (I don’t really time it) and then quickly flipped it over and pressed it into the center of the doily.pressing foam into laceAnd this is what my new stamp looks like:New homemade stampI then brushed fabric paint onto the foam and started stamping fabric. I tried it first on some red polka-dot fabric and got this:Stamped red polkadot fabricThen I tried it on a solid pink fabric and stamped over it again in the middle on one side of the fabric to see what kind of look that would give.stamped pink fabricJust to give you an idea of some of the possibilities of stamps you can make with this method, here are a few I tried:moldable stampsThe three in the middle were pressed onto textured embossing sheets. The ones at the top were pressed onto key ring circles, and a paperclip, button miniature scissors and clothespin. The one at the bottom was pressed onto four buttons. Once I got started doing this, I was hunting all over the house for things to make stamps from (It can become addicting).

I decided to try using some of my grandson’s Lego® characters on a piece of 1/4″ craft foam. I followed the same process as on the blocks, only I placed a small  book over the foam while pressing it into the characters for even men stampIt seemed a little plain, so I took a ballpoint pen and drew some extra lines and circles onto the foam. I also used the pen to indent the hands a little more.Space men stampThis 1/4″ craft foam was not self adhesive, so I rolled up a piece of duck tape backwards and used it to stick the foam stamp onto a clear CD case cover. Using a foam brush, I lightly painted the stamp with fabric paint each time before stamping the fabric.painting the stampI tried to be consistent with turning my stamp a quarter turn each time I stamped the fabric but realized after a while that I had somehow gotten lost in space with my little space guys. Oh well, I like it, and it is definitely one of a kind. Now I am trying to figure out what I want to make for my grandson from this piece of new fabric. Maybe a pillow?Space men stamped fabricAfter letting it dry 24 hours, I can heat set the prints on my new fabrics with the iron. Then they are ready to use!

Making moldable stamps is a great method to use to get some very unique designs on your stamps. Since we have discovered that the selection of fabrics for boys is very limited at the fabric stores, I think Melinda and I will be handprinting a lot more of our own unique boy’s designs on fabric in the future!


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