Stamps are even more fun when you create them from scratch. Update your fabrics and furnishings with these neat DIY stamps made from affordable materials and tools. Pull out your favorite paint, pillows, inks, and linens, and get stamping!


Strawberry Block Print

A cotton flour-sack towel gets a sweet strawberry makeover with a block-printed design. Re-create this look by freehand drawing a fruity design onto a carving block.

To get a textured look, partially carve away sections of the space around the main design. Roll an even layer of screen-printing ink for fabric over the design with a brayer. Flip the block and press it evenly onto the fabric to transfer the image.

Metallic Impression

Stop paying for expensive patterned gift bags. Instead, purchase plain white bags in bulk and detail them with a design made from a printmaking carving block. For a cohesive look, stamp the same design on a coordinating tag.

Use a linoleum cutter to trace lines and circles into a printmaking carving block. Angle the tool to control the depth of the cut; a steeper angle means a deeper cut. Lightly dab metallic screen-printing ink evenly over the design for a more transparent impression, then press it onto the bag in quadrants.

Wood Block Upgrade

If you can't find the perfect bedding, turn to wood block stamps to pump up plain linens. Choose colors and patterns that complement throw pillows and blankets to achieve the look you've been dreaming of.

After choosing your stamp shapes, use a stenciling sponge to cover each one evenly with screen-printing ink. Press it onto the fabric gently. Place cardboard behind the fabric to prevent ink from seeping.

Foam Print Notebooks

Skip pricey store-bought notebooks, and customize your own notebook covers with stamps made from balsa foam blocks.

We used a linoleum cutter to carve geometric textures into balsa foam, but a dowel with a tapered end also works as a carving tool. After creating your desired designs, dab an even layer of paint onto the DIY stamps with a stenciling sponge. Stamp shapes onto the notebook, let dry, and enjoy!

Pillowcase Print

A repeating floral design makes a plain cotton pillowcase look like designer fabric. Remove the pillow form from the case, and slip a piece of cardboard inside to prevent the ink from bleeding through. Rotate your block as you stamp for a more interesting pattern.

Place a printed ink-jet design facedown on your carving block, and use an iron on a warm setting to transfer the design. Remove the negative space using a linoleum cutter; push and scoop out the linoleum, pointing the sharp end of the cutter away from you. Roll an even layer of screen-printing ink for fabric over the design with a brayer, then press the block evenly onto the pillowcase, starting at the center. Repeat, working your way out to the edges and reapplying ink after each print. Wipe away excess paint from the block between each impression for cleaner results.

Button Detail

Look around your house to find interesting print-worthy objects. Buttons, with their tiny details, make a big impact on cloth napkins. You also can use paper clips, safety pins, or other small items. Choose fabric with a smooth texture for crisper prints.

Hot-glue a button onto a wood block, and dab an even layer of fabric paint onto the button. Practice pressing the design onto a scrap piece of fabric to make sure you're happy with the results before stamping onto the napkin. If your button has a shank, carve a small space for it out of the wood block and stamp away.

Crafts Foam Cutout

Can't find a table runner to match your table linens? DIY your own with adhesive crafts foam. The look will be sophisticated and blend right into surrounding table accents.

Make a bold style statement with large-scale designs cut from inexpensive crafts foam. Draw your design on paper and use it as a template to trace onto sticky-backed crafts foam. Cut out your design, peel off the backing, and adhere to a large wood block or the bottom of a cake pan. Roll an even layer of screen-printing ink for fabric over the design, then press it onto the fabric, applying even pressure. Rinse off the foam and let dry between impressions to ensure crisp lines.


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