Saturday, 13 September 2014

Making Fabric Stamps

Hey fellow crafting friends!

I have been going through that famous scrap basket again and I have organised everything into piles of useful shapes. It is like money in the bank! I now have a pile of squares one size, a pile another size, 

some tumblers, dresden sections and wedges,

strips and so on. 

I have hexies in three sizes in another box so I am good to go. 

This method may seem a little anti creative but trust me, it works. I can save time now if I get an idea for a project, I just dip into the relevant pre-cut pile.

So what now, I hear you ask and, what pray is the point of telling us this?  Well I am glad that you have asked because what I am left with now is the smaller, less useful pieces in the scrap basket but I am still determined to use them.

I am going to make postage stamps! Not real ones of course - I can just see the look on the post office people's faces if you front up to the counter with a fabric stamp! No these are a cute way of personalising your work, kind of like a signature. You have seen tags and labels on craft I am sure. Well you can make things too and that is what we are doing today.

Here is a picture of what I mean...

And here are a couple of things that I have used them on....

Cute hey? They are easy to make with some basic equipment.

You will need to gather these supplies - 
small scraps
some pale, plain fabric in cream or white
pinking shears*
glue stick
small stamp set
permanent black ink

*pinking shears come in various designs. I have a regular zig-zag pair and also a scalloped pair for something different.

To finish the stamps, you will also need some realistic looking 'cancelling' stamps as used in post offices in times gone by (you know, when people actually sent a real letter....)

Here is mine...

It is a Panduro Hobby set and it is really good. I have just ordered another set from eBay for some extra variation. You can also use any small, round design which looks realistic. 

Okay, let's get going! Firstly choose your fabric. You can choose a random piece...

or you can go for a design element like a flower or a bird and then fussy cut it. Opt for lighter fabrics for this so that you can see the price on the stamp.

Cut the chosen piece of fabric to a square or a rectangle and paste it onto the cream background fabric with a glue stick. Make sure that you leave enough space around the stamp to pink. Your stamps can be any shape or size that you want within reason. To make them look more realistic, keep to normal 'stamp sizes'.

Now trim around the design with the pinking shears (about 1/2 cm) to make it decorative. Don't be too worried about the odd piece of cotton on the side. This adds to the homemade look.

Finally, we need to have a price on these! Get your stamp set and find a number stamp and a 'p' or a 'c' stamp depending on which denomination that you want. I live in England and we have pence so I am going for the 'p' stamp.

Put the amount onto one of the corners of the stamp. I have used a couple of examples to show you the flexibility...

There is even a special Christmas issue!

That's it! Now get a box to store them in and when you want to 'sign' your work just dip in and choose one. You can use them over a project in their own right too.

To use them, sew them onto the project with your sewing machine and then cancel them with the stamp that you have bought for this purpose.

This last step makes them look quite realistic. This is the sort of small detail that adds an extra dimension to your work. They are easy to make at home and you can do anything with them. They are a handy little embellishment to have around. You can layer a couple up too if you like.

If you have chosen a plainer fabric, you can also add more detail with other stamps like this...

The glue on the fabric makes a nice smooth surface to stamp onto. You get lots of detail.

WARNING: this is a highly addictive activity which can severely eat into your time!

I hope that you have enjoyed this little tutorial. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave a comment. I love to hear what you think.