Make it Sewcial... easy peasy printing January 27 2014

Printing is a really easy peasy way of customising your handmade projects and there are so many techniques you can try at home using very basic materials, I wanted to share a few ideas with you here to show you how simple it can be.



My printing tools of choice are the humble potato... I know you probably remember doing this way back in the day at school but nothings changed, theres nowt wrong with good old fashioned potato printing and the results are as suprisingly as good as they were back then, plus its really good fun and makes you feel like a big kid all over again! (honestly, don't knock it till you've tried it!)

I've also used a cork from a nice bottle of fizz we enjoyed at the weekend, if you love polka dots then this is the perfect size little tool and produces a lovely spotty print every time.

And finally a good sized round sponge for printing bigger bolder spots.

Oky dokes, lets give it a whirl :

Step by steps

1) Materials - fish a couple of tatties out of the vegetable basket, finish off your wine so that you can use the cork, grab a sponge, some fabric (cottons and linens work best) or card and a fabric paint in a colour of your choice

2) spread the paint evenly on to your sponge with a paintbrush, 

3) decide where you want your dots to be and print, pressing firmly to create a nice solid shape

4) leave your printed fabric to dry, this usually takes a couple of hours, then cover it with an old tea towel and press with a warm iron to seal the print

5) now time to make a stamp with your potato, as you can see from the pics i've kept my designs super simple, I haven't tried to be too clever here, because a) it is only a potato after all, and b) simple designs are all the rage don't you know!

6) easy peasy does it again - dip your stamp into the paint

7) print a lovely graphic pattern on your fabric - leave to dry 

8) triangles and raindrops!... yes please!

Look even the gorgeous Mr C couldn't resist a piece of the printing action... how blimmin cute is that cloud? 

1) He used a more traditional method of printing with Lino (available from specialist craft stores) shop around for the equipment as obviously this method is a little bit more costly than printing with a potato! you will need special paint and cutting tools to create your designs but it is worth it to produce a  professional result. 

2) printing cards and thinking ahead to Valentines day!

3) cutting a paper stencil and rolling paint over the top is another technique (plus cute felt cloud brooch making an appearance in the pic... a gift from Mr C for my birthday last Feb... he's always one step ahead of the game that one!)

4) and freestyle painting with fabric paints *swoon* and thats just for the love of Mr C's gorgeous tattoos! 

So there we have it. Printing at the kitchen table made easy. The results are varied and may not look very special when you begin but once you've turned that handprinted fabric you've created into a cushion or a purse or something else lovely, you will fall in love with the finished project much much more than using a piece of fabric straight off the shelf.

I like to think the charm and loveliness is in the slight imperfections of hand printing, it adds character to your work and anyway, how boring would it be if every piece looked the same! Dullsville central and thats soooo not what handmade is all about about! 

What other bits and bobs have you used to print fabric?... I would love to hear your ideas.

happy printing folks, have fun

big love, Allison x x x