Saturday, 1 July 2017

block printing with rubber stamps

I'm playing with block printing again. I've acquired some sample bags from work. Typically the B sample bag for standards is thrown away. I saved a bunch, washed the orange dust off and decided to experiment a bit. There are block printing tutorials all over the internet. Most of them discuss the use of carved wooden blocks following the Indian tradition. The other half seem to focus on the carving of lino or rubber blocks. here

Not this blog post! Nope.

Today my criteria for a craft activity required not leaving the house and the ability to stay in my PJ's all day. So I had to come up with a project that used supplies already on hand. Rather than teach you how to block print, I'm going to discuss different methods I'm trying over the next couple of posts.

Block printing with rubber stamps.

You will need to:

1 - acquire a friend who sends you rubber stamp when she thinks you'll like them. Alternatively, head to Art Riot or your local scrapbooking store and buy up some rubber stamps sold for embossing card and whatnot.

2 - acquire some fabric. (Or save some from being thrown out). Wash, dry and iron it flat.

3 - scrounge up some paint. I'm using left over Pebeo fabric paint from a previous project. You can also blend JoSonya's fabric medium 50x50 with acrylic paint.

4 - grab a foam brush or sponge. You need to apply a thin even coat of paint to the block. Having no sponge, I cut down one of my silk painting brushes. Apparently you can use a paint roller and paint pallet too.

Place your fabric on a towel or wool blanket covered table. Back it with newspaper to prevent bleed through. Dab a thin coat of paint on the block. Press firmly to the fabric and peel off carefully. Repeat many many times. Rinse all tools. Iron as directed by your paint. Done!


Rubber blocks work well and the stamps have well shaped wooden backs to help you press down.

The old Pebeo is a bit sticky and could probably be watered down. (Watered down works better)

Measurements won't necessarily work as you lose or gain space between applications.

The paint may need to be thicker to completely cover the bag number, but as it is, the printed design is light and flexible enough to be good on clothing.

It takes a while to cover a distance with a small stamp. (I listened to two Hello Internet episodes).

My bags aren't square so I get uneven prints where the paper won't quite fit.

Frequent stamp washing helps avoid accidental paint build up and a toothbrush makes a good scrubbing tool. (Must buy new toothbrush).

Rubber blocks backed with wood have an overhang making lining up the patterns difficult if you aren't looking directly down at the printing.

Next I'll try a clear plastic stamp kit I found at Kmart to see if that fixes my alignment issues.

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