This tutorial on DIY Fabric Stamping is designed to help you make one-of-a-kind hand stamped fabric pieces that can be transformed into a wide variety of household items, decor and clothing. While it takes some time, the result is truly stunning.
DIY Fabric Stamping Materials
- A stamp or lino cut – large, simple shapes will work best
- One or two yards of light coloured fabric – cotton, linen, or wool
- Water-based fabric ink
- Brayers – one soft for rolling ink and one hard for pressing the stamp. (If you don’t have a brayer you can use a paint brush or foam brush to apply the ink to the stamp)
- A piece of glass for rolling out the ink – I used the glass from an old picture frame
- Painter’s tape
- Scrap paper or drop cloth to protect your work surface
I decided to create a simple, linear repeating pattern using a Moose linocut I made a few years ago. The first step is to lay out a strip of painter’s tape on the fabric. Place the stamp face down on the fabric, lining up the bottom edge of the stamp with the top edge of the tape. Make a pencil mark on both the stamp and tape. These are known as registration marks.
Now you can decide how far apart you will place each stamped image. I chose to separate each stamp by 6 inches. Measuring from the first pencil mark on the tape put a registration mark at 6 inch intervals all the way across. You should also now decide how far apart the stamped rows will be. To keep things simple I measured 6 inches above the first piece of tape, placed a second one, and then continued to lay out rows of tape 6 inches apart on the remaining fabric. To create a staggered pattern the registration marks on rows 2, 4, 6, etc should be centered between the marks on rows 1, 3, 5, etc.
Scoop a small amount of ink onto the piece of glass. A little goes a long way, so don’t use too much! Roll the soft brayer into the ink then draw it back towards the bottom of the glass and then back up towards the top. Rolling the brayer back and forth will spread the ink in an even layer across its surface. You can also turn the brayer 90 degrees and roll it a few times across the ink area to help get an even spread. Listen for a sticky “squelch” sound – that’s the indicator that you have the right amount of ink on the brayer! (If you don’t hear the squelch you may have too much ink on the brayer)
Gently roll the inked brayer across the stamp. Roll several times in the same direction rather than back and forth. (Rolling back and forth can actually remove the ink you just applied) Carefully lift the inked stamp and place it face down on the fabric, lining up the registration marks. Don’t attempt to reposition the stamp once it is placed on the fabric. Hold the stamp in place with one hand while applying even pressure by rolling the hard brayer across its surface. Try not to roll the brayer right off the edge of the stamp as this can cause some image distortion!
Continue to stamp your image, re-inking each time, until the entire piece of fabric is stamped. Allow the ink to dry before ironing the wrong side of the fabric to help “heat set” the ink. Now you can start to plan all the wonderful things to make with this fabric!
Kate Carder-Thompson is an artist, designer, and embroidery enthusiast. She is currently working on a series of art making experiments in which iconic patterns from disparate cultures, geographic areas, and time periods are forcibly intersected and stitched together. Kate blogs at Haliblurtin and lives in a small cottage in Haliburton, Ontario with her husband and their menagerie of pets.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
That is wicked cool! I had no idea you could even do something like that, but it’s awesome!
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Jennifer B says
This is so pretty! I can think of a million fun things that I could make from that fabric too!
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Lisa Jones says
This Is Pretty Cool I Always Thought Doing This Would Be Hard!! Thank You!
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Amy Desrosiers says
I used to be a silk screener when I was younger, and have the appreciation for fabric design. I love this idea, and admit I have never thought to do it!
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Wow! Your fabric came out really awesome. I had no idea it was so easy.
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Christine Luken says
Very cool! It looks like something even a non-crafty person like me could do!
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Debbie Denny says
What a great tutorial. That is awesome.
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I always wondered how people did that. Thanks for the tutorial!
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Francine @ Teresa's Family Cleaning says
I would love to do this with my son. He would have a blast.
this is giving me all kinds of fun crafty ideas
Heather Lawrence says
Totally love the moose!
I love how easy this looks to make.
Knowing me I would end up with a ton of fingerprints…. LOL!!
I love this idea, super crafty!
Lois Alter Mark says
That is the cutest thing ever! I love moose(s?!) and would find so many ways to use this!
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Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
I agree! so many great applications for this tutorial
That is really cool. It hadn’t really occurred to me that you can buy the materials to do stuff like that.
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I love the look of the stamped fabric. Thanks for the tutorial.
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Jessica Lieb (@bkeepsushonest) says
This is so cool. It looks like something I could do too.
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Deanna Ritz says
What a great idea. Your stamps turned out great. I would love to do this on some material in my boys room. Thanks for the idea. :)
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Oh my gosh! This is awesome. I want to spend a good portion of my summer forcing myself to get crafty and make some of my own clothes. This will be such a useful tool for adding funky patterns to my looks. – Katy
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Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
so many creative things you can do with them!
I love the way yours came out! Thanks for the tutorial!
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Robin Gagnon says
I’ve never done this, but have pressed designs into velvet.
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Fab! I love the moose print! I must try this soon! Coming over from pintorials. Lou
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Hellie's Corner says
That looks great, one way to guarantee no-one else will have the same as you. I have ideas flying around my head at the moment :-)
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That is pretty neat! I did something similar for our Disney shirts!
Awesome! You could really make so many fun and personal fabrics for your house or for gifts! Thanks for sharing!
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Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas says
Beautiful! It’s so precise! This gives me an idea for hand towels…
Gude @HodgePodgeCraft says
This is really clear and a fantastic how-to.
Thanks for sharing at #Pintorials! :)
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Liz Mays says
I’d be so nervous while I did this, but it’s awesome! You did a great job!
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Maria @ Feisty Tapas says
This is a fantastic idea, and I have just the perfect calico for it in my craft cupboard!
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Janeane Davis says
I like the idea of stamping fabric and making designs. It is good to learn how easy it is to make my own stamps.
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Lexie Lane says
Oh wow! This is really neat! I’d love to be able to be creative with my designs like this!
Kate Williams says
Love, love, love this :) I’ve got some speedball paints knocking around from screen printing, will have to give it a go #pintorials
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I love this! This could work for tshirts and stuff like that-so fun!
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Nicole Brady says
You make this look so easy. I don’t have much of a craft-thumb so I manage to fumble everything. But this technique would be great to personalize fabric for any kind of project!
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Are you able to wash and dry the material normal? I am thinking about trying this on some white baby sheets :)
Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
Jenna – as long as you use fabric ink the it would be totally fine to wash and dry normally! Thanks for asking :)