Posted by: rachelbarnes | March 25, 2009

Stamping fabric with acrylic paint and linoleum type stamps

So I’ve wanted to spread my stamp making into custom fabric creating. I’ve been looking around at craft stores for stamp pads that are meant to ink on fabric, without luck.  I then had the idea of using acrylic paint as the stamp ink for fabric.  I have acrylic paint at home, so that would mean I could try this experiment with all of the materials I have at home (if you don’t already own acrylic paint, you can purchase acrylic paint with fabric fixative already mixed together).  I found this article that shares a little about acrylic stamping and a great brand to try of paint (oddly enough I only have two brands of acrylic paint at home and one of the two is Liquitex).  If you stamp with just acrylic paint, it will make your fabric stiff when it dries.  If you use this lovely Fabric Fixative, your fabric will stay flexible after the paint dries.  You mix one part fixative to one part paint.

The stamp I wanted to make is based of an image I liked of wine glass rings.  Here is a picture of my image and carving block.


I took my charcoal pencil and traced the image.  Then I put the image on the carving block and rubbed the back side of the paper to transfer the image onto the carving block.


Then I started carving.  I use the #1 blade first to go around the detail of the circles.


The next step is my FAVORITE, I LOVE using the #5 blade.  It’s the largest blade and it makes carving go by super fast!  I go around with the #5 blade to take out the large chunks of the image.


Here is a picture of my stamped images.

asilkstamppaperI like to stamp the image after I’m done carving and the go back and carve more out of the stamp that I missed.  If you like a more handmade look, you can leave the carving marks.  You can see on my stamp in the picture below the extra black marks that are around the image that were inked.


The fabric part of this project is shown in the following picture.  I’m repurposing a silk blend sweater into a gift bag (sorry, it was hard to show the white sweater well in the picture).

asilksweaterI cut the arms off the sweater and then cut the front and back apart.  I just used the back for this bag since the front has such as deep v-neck.

This will be my finished bag (I’ll add a draw string), but I thought I’d experiment on a piece of scrap fabric before I start stamping the bag.


I inserted the cereal box to prevent the paint from bleeding through the fabric.  Any type of cardboard or other material you have on had to insert behind fabric will work well.  I mixed one part of the fabric fixative with one part blue acrylic paint.  I inked my stamp with a brayer and then stamped a scrap piece of the fabric.


Here is a close up of one of the images.


A couple of things I learned, my brayer had dried black speedball stamp ink on it, which bled into the blue paint that I inked the stamp with.  I assumed that the dried black paint wouldn’t effect a new layer, but it did.  I washed off my stamp and brayer and I will try this image again on scrap fabric in a different color.

Please read the additional tips from liquitex on using fabric fixative here, and here.  I believe there are other brands out there for fabric fixative, but Liquitex was the only brand my local Dick Blick store carried.  The instructions recommend waiting 4 days to wash your painted garment.

I’m going to still experiment with my fabric swatch to wait 4 days and then wash it to see how the image turns out.  I’d also like to carve a little more out of my image to make some of the circles more thin.  I think there are too many thick circles when the image is painted onto fabric.  I will share my findings from the washed fabric and a different color paint in a future post.  Thanks for viewing my fabric stamping experiment!



  1. Fun project and good info on adding the liquitex!!!

  2. That’s a great stamp you carved!
    Looking forward to more experiments.

  3. […] have great news, referencing the last post I had with fabric stamping that was a mini-disaster (when the paint washed out after the first time in the washing machine).  […]

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