Thursday, 13 October 2011

Making Stamps for Fabric Printing.

Last week I showed you this.

fabric stamping tutorial

It is a piece that I show in my talk and because in the next few months I will be talking to some groups who have members that I know have heard me before in other venues, I thought it would be a good idea to get it finished.
Before I do anything else to it I wanted to share with you how I made the stamps from the styrofoam pizza bases. There always seems to be a lot of them around here.

I got the designs from a book I brought back from Brunei called 'Hornbills and Dragons' by Bernard Sellato. It looks at the designs found in Kalimantan, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah which are the countries that make up the island of Borneo. 
The designs have very convieniently been displayed in clear black and white graphics.

hand stamped fabric tutorialI scanned the images into the printer, resized them, and printed them out. Using the printout as a guide I used a sharp pointed pencil to engrave an outline of the image onto a piece of pizza base.

hand stamped fabric tutorialI then carved out the stencil using a soldering iron. You have to be quick or you end up with a big hole and you HAVE to work in a well ventilated area because of the fumes given off by the styrofoam.
hand stamped fabric tutorialI glued the designs onto another piece for stability and strength.

hand stamped fabric tutorialThis method allowed me to get some very intricate designs made into a stamp, quickly and easily. If a mistake was made it was no bother to just start again on an inexpensive pizza base.
As with any culture the designs have a lot of history and meaning for the indigenous tribes of Borneo, many of who still live in the traditional long house.

The designs can be seen in all sorts of crafts such as carvings, paintings, textiles and basket weaving,

even tattoos.

Stay tuned to see what I do next with this piece.

hand stamped fabric tutorial


  1. Oh LOVE these - I don't think we get pizza boxes like that - just plain old cardboard - so I'll need to find something else

  2. So. COOL! Like Ethne, we don't get pizza base boxes like that, but I'll try and suss something out equally cheap and cheerful to try this. :)

  3. I use the "plate" that the pizza sits on inside the box of supermarket ready made pizzas. UK readers wil know what I mean. Meat trays or such will do the job, anything that melts...but be careful!

  4. This is a really cool piece. I so going to give this a try. thanks for the inspiration. Hugs

  5. I don't get pizza, lol.
    I have thought about doing something like that, I used to do wood carving and would be fun to make my own prints.


  6. 1. Love the new blog look!
    2. Love the fabric designs.
    3. I love Borneo. Many years now since I have been but such a gorgeous place, and so much to see. One of my favourite memories is sitting out on a river delta in an open sided restaurant ordering fresh seafood cooked to order. Heaven!


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