One of the easiest ways to personalise items in your home is to print on to them with fabric paints. I wanted to create some personalised cushions for Christmas presents and decided to use a technique I'd tried before - stamp printing. Here are a few of the cushions I made for my friends and family and the steps you can follow to make your own too...
I purchased some plain 50x50cm cushion covers from IKEA. These are the strongest/thickest ones I've found for the best price. They were £3 each and cushion inners can be bought for £2 from IKEA too. You'll need some fabric paint and my favourites are these Dylon pots which are super easy to work with and dry soft and flexible which gives a more professional look to your projects. These are around £3 each depending on where you buy them and for this tutorial I'll be using the metallic gold. The best option for painting your handmade stamps (coming up) is to use little sponges or small paintbrushes.
I printed my designs using handmade stamps. I'm going to do a mini diy tutorial in a separate post showing you exactly how to design and make your own stamps but basically I used self-adhesive foam cut out the shapes I wanted including the word 'love' and stuck them on to pieces of chunky cardboard. It works surprisingly well!
001. Start by taping up your cushion cover. I used masking tape all the way around the stitched edge. Pop a few sheets of newspaper inside to stop any paint seeping through to the other side.
002. It's a good idea to test out your stamp on a spare piece of paper first. Paint a thin layer of fabric paint on to the stamp, turn over and press firmly on to a flat surface. It's important your cushion cover is lying on a flat surface with no lumps of bumps. I also gave my cover a quick iron before starting.
003. Go ahead and get printing! Make sure you take your stamp off the edges of your cushion too - this gives the appearance of a pattern and makes your project look more professional. Once dry peel off the masking tape. I found with these cotton cushions it takes only half an hour for the paint to dry which is great as I'm not so patient when it comes to crafts!
004. Flip the cushion cover over to print on the other side. I made this polka dot heart by poking holes into the foam with a pencil. The idea with stamping on fabric is that it's not perfect and precise but I like the hand-made look and the soft faded shapes. Again I tested this stamp first on a piece of paper.
005. I decided after printing my polka dot hearts to fill a few in with solid gold. The gold paint has a shimmer to it which makes it look even more vibrant.
006. Leave your cushion to dry completely before giving it an iron. A hot iron helps to seal in the design and this is an important step for the fabric paint to become permanent on the cotton. Throwing your cover into the washing machine on a quick cycle will soften up the paint and make it more flexible.
007. Pop a cushion inner inside the cover, plump up and enjoy your new hand-made craft!