DIY Projects

May 7, 2012

DIY Block-Printed Linens

Get inspired by the relaxed boho vibe of block-printed textiles produced by some great design houses like John Robshaw, Les Indiennes and Raoul Textiles. While the ancient art of block-printing takes years to master, you can mimic the look easily and inexpensively using stamps and fabric paint to decorate basic white linens for your patio table. Or, you can modify this project to adorn anything from party invitations to cotton pillow shams.

Materials and Tools

  • Linen or cotton table linens
  • Fabric paint
  • Rubber or wood stamps
  • Acrylic stamp block
  • Foam stencil brush
  • Rotary cutting mat
  • Iron

Step 1: Source stamps

Even the smallest craft store should stock rubber stamps in pretty floral motifs. If you’re inclined to try hand-carved wooden stamps, look for these at Indian import stores. Here three different motifs are used on the table runner, but we kept the look (and technique) simple by using only one colour, a deep blue paint that replicates the look of on-trend authentic indigo dye.

Step 2: Block-print linens

The fabric paint may bleed through loosely woven linens, so lay your fabric on a flat, non-porous surface, such as a rotary cutting mat. If you’re using a rubber stamp, position it on an acrylic stamp block (above) — the two will stick together for easy manoeuvring. Then, paint the face of the stamp with a foam stencil brush. Before stamping, experiment on a scrap of fabric to get a feel for how much pressure you’ll need to apply. Be creative with your pattern and don’t be alarmed if stamps vary in darkness — these variations give the finished product a charmingly imperfect quality. Clean the paint buildup off the stamps throughout the project as needed.

Step 3: Press linens to set paint

Let the linens sit for approximately one hour, until paint is dry to the touch. Then, press with a hot iron directly on the fabric to set the paint so the linens are safe to launder.

Runner, Uno white linen napkins, Pattern 127 flatware, Naxos salad plates, Marta juice glasses, CB2; vase, jam pot, wooden bowl, spoon, La Merceria; chair, Design Republic; vintage wooden stamp, Haveli Home.