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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stamped fabric embellishments by Allison Callcott

Towards the end of last year I was fortunate to participate in an online class by Tracey Thorne on inspiration cards working with mixed media. One of the requirements for that class was a piece of blue fabric with a flourish. Not something I had in my stash. Should I go out and buy some fabric for just the one card? Sure I’d probably use the fabric again, but my stash was starting to look like I was a quilter not a scrapper! I figured there had to be another way. I came up with the answer that night as I lay in bed thinking (obsessing LOL?!) about that blue fabric with a flourish but its only now (probably about three months later!) that I’ve had the time to sit down and play. And play, and play, and play, I did. So come with me on this journey of making our own stamped fabric embellishments, I promise you’ll have some fun, and then some …

List of materials

* an apron and plastic gloves – if you want to keep your clothes and hands clean
* Wet Ones (or similar) and tissues – fun stuff can get messy!
* Inkssentials craft sheet – if you don’t have one spread out lots of paper (oh and buy one!)
* containers and paddle pop sticks for mixing water and re-inkers
* scrap paper – make sure it is clean (ie, does not have any printing or other inks on it)
* scissors – I used pinking shears (not pictured)

* white fabric – mine was a stiff fabric but I have no idea what it is (sorry)
* Tim Holtz Distress Ink inkpads
(I used Spiced Marmalade, Broken China, Vintage Photo, Shabby Shutters & Worn Lipstick)
* Tim Holtz Distress Ink re-inkers – the same colours as the inkpads
* stamps – acrylic or rubber (I used a Heidi Swapp clear stamp and various SU! stamps)

Optional extras (not pictured)

* various trims and ribbons
* cardstock
* template/mask – I used TCW Daisy Cluster
* Ranger mini misters
* water mister

Getting started

Once you have gathered all your supplies, cut squares of fabric approximately 6”x6”, small ‘swatches’ measuring approximately 3”x2”, and sample stamping pieces approximately 3”x4”. I cut five of each of the sizes as I was working with five colours . Set up your inkpads with their corresponding re-inkers, containers with paddle pop sticks, and your stamp. At this time, because I was set on creating a flourish, patterned fabric, I worked with a Heidi Swapp clear acrylic stamp ‘Damask’.

Let the fun begin

Inking your stamp well and evenly, stamp your inked stamp with each of the colours you are working with onto one of the sample stamping pieces of white fabric. At this time, try to get a ‘feel’ for how heavily you need to ink your stamp and how firmly you need to press your stamp onto the fabric, given the type of fabric, and the stamp, you are using yourself. Set the sample pieces aside, keeping one to continue working with.

Gather a 6”x6” fabric square, a small fabric swatch, a container and paddle pop stick, water, a re-inker, the sample stamped image in the same colour as the re-inker, and scrap paper.

Fill your container with water until it is approximately two-thirds full. Add several drops of the re-inker, and mix with the paddle pop stick. At this time remember that less is more. We can always add more of the re-inker to the water to intensify the colour of the distress ink dye we are making. It is not so easy to de-saturate the colour without then using a larger container and more water.

Dip your fabric swatch into the distress ink dye and check the intensity of the colour. Add more drops of the re-inker if required. Leave your fabric swatch soaking in the container for a short time (ie, less than a minute); lift out with the paddle pop stick and check the colour against your sample stamped image. The colour of the dyed swatch must be lighter than the colour of the ink on your sample stamped image if this technique is to work. Once you are happy with the colour of the distress ink dye, submerge your 6”x6” fabric square into the container and once ready, place flat on your clean scrap paper, with the swatch, to dry. Please note the photos below show exactly why you should use clean scrap paper. I initially thought to reuse and recycle paper that had been printed on with my inkjet printer; not a good idea given that inkjet inks are water-soluble and we are working not only with water, but also water-based inks. D’oh!

Optional extras

Whilst waiting for my five dyed 6”x6” fabric squares to dry I decided to have a play with the distress ink dyes; otherwise it felt like such a waste to simply pour them down the drain. So I poured three of my distress ink dyes (Broken China, Vintage Photo, and Shabby Shutters) into Ranger mini misters and, together with the re-inkers in the same colours, set to work making a mess (LOL).

* First up I sprayed a freshly cut piece of fabric with water before applying the re-inkers direct to the dampened fabric with the eyedroppers in the lids. To assist the inks spreading and running into each other, I sprayed the fabric with more water. Next up I dragged the fabric through the ink and water that had collected on the Inkssentials craft mat. I set this aside to dry.

* Next I sprayed the three distress ink dyes onto another piece of freshly cut fabric, and set that aside to dry.

* I then selected a piece of cardstock lighter than the Broken China distress ink dye I had made, a TCW template (Daisy Cluster), and using the template as a mask, sprayed the distress ink dye onto the cardstock.

* Finally, because I still had a fair amount of the distress ink dyes I had made, I completely submerged various ribbons and trims in each of the five colours. There were also set aside to dry.

Cleaning up as we go

By now I had finished with the distress ink dyes I had made and to create some desperately needed space on my desk it was time to start cleaning up. Please take care (LOL … you’ll soon see why!!) when disposing of your distress ink dyes and handling the re-inker bottles. Maybe do the cleaning up in your laundry? Any and all suggestions for how to clean the grout between my kitchen floor tiles would be gladly received. (oops)

The final steps

Now that my fabric pieces were dry (okay I confess … with a little bit of help from the iron set to a moderate setting on dry) it was time to get stamping. Using a variety of stamps including, Heidi Swapp clear stamp Damask, and Stampin’ Up! Stamps Inspired by Nature, Petal Prints, Upsy Daisy, and Circle Circus, and the same inkpad colour as the dyed piece of fabric, I transformed my plain coloured pieces of fabric into patterned fabrics that could be used on their own or have patterned sections cut out.

For something different, I used the Vintage Photo inkpad to stamp the image onto the two pieces of mixed coloured fabrics I had created in the ‘Optional Extras’.

I am delighted with my stamped fabric embellishments. I look forward to using them on future projects (so keep an eye out for them!) and am surprised that what started as a search for a blue fabric flourish turned into this! LOL it would have been sooooo much easier to simply buy some fabric. BTW if you have survived this step by step tutorial to the end … congratulations, and thank you!



Susan said...

Looks like a truly fun day, Alz (except for the kitchen tiles!! You might be able to recolour the grout? Try here - http://www.groutshields.com/)

I love the effects you created. I can see this fabric on cards, in layouts, on OTP items...I'm really looking forward to seeing How you use them!


Leanne said...

Totally brilliant, will definately be giving this technique a go

Yillup said...

Wow! I love the tone-on-tone effect you achieved. Looks like you had heaps of fun in the process!!!

I think you can buy grout whitener from the supermarket. Not entirely sure how effective it would be against ink...

nic said...

This looks great!! Thanks for the inspiration Alz :)

sueat17 said...

Awesome tutorial, and I love the effects you've created...just beautiful! Shame about the grouting :(