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.
- 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
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. Details at FIMO Stamps.
3. Kids can carve FIMO with anything that creates a mark or texture. Search your kitchen gadget drawer, your garden (ideas at FIMO Fossils), 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!
6. Find handmade stamp ideas at FIMO Stamps, Carving Eraser Stamps and Erasers=Stamps. Stamping ink is not typically permanent, so if you plan to wash/wear the fabric be sure to use appropriate ink/paint for fabric.
Ideas for FIMO polymer clay stamps...
- Stamp unique backgrounds for art journaling
- Stamp fabric strips to use as ephemera in art journals. In Art Journal: 3 Hearts, used handmade heart eraser stamp. In The Next Action, used handmade swirl FIMO stamp.
- Print t-shirts to tote bags
- Sew stamped fabrics together
- Weave stamped fabric
- Greeting cards and Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)