during my maternity leave, I asked a few of my favorite mamas and mamas-to-be to kindly step in with some fun guest posts to keep you company
Hi everyone! My name is Casey, and you can find me regularly over at My Life as a Sugar Lander, where I post about days with my little boy, my shop, PAPER+TWINE, other crafts, and pretty things. I am so happy for Alyson and her new baby boy! What an exciting time. If you are anything like me, you have a steady (and ever growing) list of friends expecting. Some months there seem to be baby showers on every weekend! I love making a special gift for my soon-to-be-mom friends, and I try and change it up from time to time, to keep my friends on their toes. Although I love to Gocco print, I have recently gotten into stamps. Carving stamps, and printing to be exact! I love the handprinted/imperfect quality they bring to paper, and fabric. I wanted to share with you a project on how to make a fabric gift wrap, which I made for a recent baby shower. (You can wrap any gift in fabric, I am wrapping up some books for a little baby boy!) It just so happens that Alyson loves whales, so this project is perfect to share.
All supplies can be found at your local craft store. And if you don’t feel like carving your own stamp, any stamp will do! You will need: rubber blocks, a carving tool, fabric, (size is up to you, mine is 29″ squared) a brayer, and block printing ink. Carving is pretty easy, and makes for a nice craft to do at night while watching TV. Draw out your desired image, and with a pencil, lightly press on your image, that is laying on the rubber block, to make the imprint. Next, use your carving tool to carve away excess rubber, leaving your image raised. Also, make sure your fabric is washed, dried, and ironed before printing.
Squeeze some ink onto a paper plate. You don’t need much. Take your brayer, and using a little force, roll it into the ink, coating the whole brayer. There should be a nice, coated, yet thin layer of ink on the whole roll. Lightly apply the ink onto your stamp. It is always good to test print before you start printing on your final fabric piece! Press down on the stamp with your palm, for a more even application. Don’t be worried if the stamped image isn’t solid, this is what makes it beautiful, the imperfections, and slight differences of each individual print.
Once you are done printing, leave your fabric to dry for a few hours. When it is dry to the touch, iron to set the ink. I decided to sew my edges of the fabric, but it would be just as nice to leave the edges raw! When it comes to wrapping your gift, have fun with it! There is no wrong way. Place your gift in the middle of the fabric, and take opposite corners, and tie them, then take the other two corners, and do the same. And there you have it, a unique gift for the mom to be. The printing part of this project took less than an hour, and clean up is easy. Just rinse everything, (rubber stamp included) under water and pat dry. What a unique, thoughtful gift for a friend…a job whale done!