By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Make a statement for fall with a scarf that you made yourself! Design your own stamp, print your own fabric, and create a unique accessory for yourself, or as a gift.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own scarf:
- A sheet of fun foam. For more detailed stamps, I suggest using 2mm thick foam for easier cutting.
- Scissors and/or craft knife.
- A design for your stamp.
- A block of wood slightly larger than your stamp design.
- E6000 adhesive.
- Textile medium.
- A medium-sized paint brush.
- Acrylic craft paints in various colors.
- Cotton fabric; washed, ironed and hemmed. My scarf is a piece of thin, natural colored muslin that is 18″ wide by 70″ long, edges hemmed.
- Paper plates.
- Pom-pom, or other trim, for edging.
- Fabric glue, needle and thread or sewing machine to apply the trim.
To begin, transfer your design to your fun foam. I used a fox graphic that I created, printed, and then used a pencil transfer technique to transfer my image to my foam sheet. I covered the back of my image with pencil graphite, laid it onto my foam sheet graphite side down, and then traced over my graphic to apply the image to the foam.
Next, cut out your image, and then apply it to your wood block using E6000 adhesive. You don’t want to just use any old glue to create your stamp, it needs to be waterproof and hold up to the repeated stamping motion. The E6000 glue works the best for me. Let your stamp dry thoroughly.
Now we’re ready to begin stamping your scarf. You can do this one of two ways: using a brayer to apply the paint evenly to your stamp, or dipping the stamp into the paint (like you would using an ink pad).
Using the brayer will tend to give you more even paint application, and crisper looking edges to your stamped image. Applying the paint using the “dip and stamp” method will give you more uneven paint application, and can bleed some of the edges of the stamped image. You will just want to decide which technique will give you type of final image you are striving for. I chose to use the brayer method, so that is the technique described below.
On a paper plate, mix your paint and textile medium together. The directions on my textile medium instructed to mix one part textile medium to two parts paint. Refer to your textile medium for the correct mixing proportions. Using your brush, evenly spread your paint over the surface of the plate. Next, take your brayer and roll it back and forth until you have an even layer of paint on the surface of the brayer. Beginning at one edge of your design, roll the brayer over your stamp one direction, and then roll it across the other direction to make sure the whole surface is evenly covered. If you get any paint on the wood edges of your stamp, wipe it away with a damp rag, so it won’t leave marks on your fabric. Use firm pressure, and a slight rocking motion, as you apply your stamp to the fabric. I suggest practicing stamping on a scrap of your fabric before you begin your scarf, so you get a feel for how much paint to use, how to apply the paint with the roller, and how much pressure to use when stamping. It’s not hard, but it’s one of those techniques that you learn to do as you go.
Tips for stamping:
- I rinsed my stamp off under the faucet, using warm water, every few rows to remove paint and fabric fuzz that was building up and making my image less crisp. Rinse it, and then pat it dry using a paper towel, and go right back to stamping. It doesn’t have to dry all the way.
- Using a mist of water from a spray bottle, or just a few drops of water from your fingers, on your paper plate “ink-pad” when it starts to get a little tacky will help your paint to apply more evenly to your brayer, and ultimately make a bolder stamped image.
- Remember, every stamp is not going to look exactly the same and sometimes the ink may not apply evenly; you may have areas that are light, or don’t even show up at all. Don’t get too picky! This is supposed to be a handmade fabric, and having some variation is good. Just relax!
Once you have stamped your entire scarf, let the paint dry, and then follow the directions on the textile medium for setting the paint. Usually you heat set the paint using an iron.
Finally, using fabric glue, hand-sewing, or a sewing machine, apply your pom-pom trim to the ends of your scarf. Enjoy wearing a totally unique fashion accessory created by you!