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« Kick-Start Your Art Journal (Part 3) | Main | Kick-Start Your Art Journal (Part 2) »
Friday
Feb132009

FIMO Fabric Stamps

Make stamps with FIMO clay to embellish fabric.
The irregular, imperfect nature of handmade stamps
makes them perfect for stamping one-of-a-kind textures.

Ingredients

  • FIMO soft polymer clay
  • soft rubber brayer or wooden rolling pin
  • parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • sharp knife
  • found objects to mold clay
  • stamping ink or fabric ink
  • cotton fabric

The Play-by-Play

1.  Start with "FIMO soft" polymer clay. Knead by hand to soften, then place a small amount on parchment paper or aluminum foil and flatten to desired size with a soft rubber brayer, smooth object or wooden rolling pin. The size needed to make the round stamp above was about 2" x 2" and about 1/8" thick. Note: some FIMO colors stain surfaces (learned my lesson using a white cutting board).

2. Consider the shape you'd like to stamp. Here's how the shapes above were made.

  • Round stamp (stamped in red above): Carved lines with a V-shaped lino-cutting tool (typically used for block printing). The FIMO carves like butter with no resistance. I aligned the cutting tool with a ruler to keep the lines straight. You can carve any shape into the FIMO. I used a cup to cut it into a circle.
  • Rectangle stamp (in blue): Imprinted with a tiny wooden square to make the pattern. Cut it into a rectangle with a knife.
  • Circles stamp (in lime): Cut the FIMO into circles using found items like medicine cups and small jars. Pressed the little circles onto a flat piece of clay. Added dots with pencils.
  • Swirl stamp (used for art journaling) was made by rolling a thin snake of FIMO and dropping it in a swirl pattern on a flat square of rolled FIMO, then turning the stamp over and pressing lightly on the back with a book to flatten. 

3.  Kids can carve FIMO with anything that creates a mark or texture. Search your kitchen gadget drawer, your garden, use a pencil, fork, etc. If you mess up, just roll again and start over!

4.  Place the clay on aluminum foil on a baking sheet and bake in the oven per package instructions. *Warning: FIMO is HOT when removed from the oven*

5. After baking you wind up with not-perfectly-flat handmade stamps, so they'll work better on fabric than on paper! To test on fabric, I inked the stamps with regular stamping ink and stamped on cotton fabric. Brilliant! 

Ideas for FIMO polymer clay stamps include: stamping unique backgrounds for art journaling, stamping fabric strips to use as ephemera in art journals, printing t-shirts to tote bags, sewing stamped fabrics together, weaving stamped fabric, making greeting cards and Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).

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