Interpreting a Design with Stamps–and a Blog Hop!

– Posted in: Book

To say we are excited about the release of our new book Playful Fabric Printing would be an understatement of the highest order! To celebrate our launch, Melly and I have invited a number of super artists and surface designers to share their first impressions of our book with you.

Each day this week, if you pop over to their websites, you will see a motif they have been busy designing and printing, and quilting—and of course, if you comment on their post, you will be eligible to win a copy of the book! Comments will remain open for two weeks, and each blogger will give away a copy. If you comment on each blog, that is TEN chances to win!

Here is our blog hop calendar:

In addition, Melly and I are hosting a new Facebook group, for discussion and sharing of Playful Fabric Printing! Join here:

For my blog post today, I would like to illustrate how one sketch can be interpreted to become several types of printing tools—there is not only one right way!

Doodles. I chose the top center flower to develop.

My sketch began as a doodle on top of a list. This is quite typical for me! from there, I developed it into a repeat design and a single motif stamp. My first interpretation of the repeat design used a carving rubber to outline the design.

The carved rubber stamp lies on top of the print it made.

Another interpretation used the same design to make a pair of stamps from one piece of adhesive backed fun foam, separated into foreground and background. I used the “foreground” stamp to color the carved print above, loading two colors at once onto the stamp.

The stamp is rolled with two colors of dye paste.

Here is the finished print:

The finished print from a carved and a foam stamp.

The next print was made using only the foam stamps and a Thermofax screen. Below is the first layer, printed using the technique we call “double stamping” to create textural interest.

The first layer of printing using the foreground foam stamp (flower shapes).

Next I added detail from a Thermofax screen.

Detail lines added with a thermofax screen.

In the third and final layer I used the background stamp to add pink.

The finished print.

I kept on going with this set-up but changed the colors…..If you have an eagle eye, you will notice that this time I textured the background instead of the foreground!

Same tools,  new colors.


More new colors

One idea can be interpreted in many ways! Maybe I’ll carve a potato next!

If you would like to win a copy of Playful Fabric Printing, in the comments, tell me if you have ever made your own stamp, and if so, what materials you used! 


91 comments… add one
Sylvia January 24, 2017, 3:38 pm

I remember in grade school we made christmas wrapping paper out of a potato stamp! I have wanted to try more stamping in my work. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book!

Priscilla Read January 24, 2017, 4:04 pm

I’ve done a lot of linocut printing. Exciting to see possibilities for printing at home without a press. I already have a copy of your book, so I’ll be trying this at home.

Chris Dodsley January 24, 2017, 4:07 pm

haven’t printed my own fabric for 6 years, 2 days into the hop and I’m hugely inspired to start again – Chris 😀

Merna January 24, 2017, 4:36 pm

I’ve made linoleum blocks and cut an eraser or two into stamps. And many decades ago, I did potato printing with kids. Now I’m tempted again.

Jodi-Marie Lockyer January 24, 2017, 4:40 pm

Waiting for my copy of Playful Fabric Printing to arrive. I think I need to tidy up the ‘play’ area! So looking forward to creating my own fabrics again!

Allison January 24, 2017, 4:44 pm

I have not tried block printing yet – although I tried potato printing with the Girl Scouts.(and there are some thermofax screens lurking in my craft closet) This is a whole new experience for me – so excited by all the possibilites!

Dawn Conery January 24, 2017, 4:46 pm

I love this! I have only ever used a potato as a stamp as a child. But I love pattern design and your method looks like fun and so natural even tho it is stamped. I think I have to try this! Would love your book to learn how. Thank you!

Libby Williamson January 24, 2017, 6:32 pm

fantastic description showing different approaches! Cool!

Holly mclean January 24, 2017, 6:53 pm

I love making my own stamps. It’s fun to see all the ways you’ve developed your single doodle.

Debi Kibbee January 24, 2017, 7:07 pm

I have only used the sticky foam and cut them out, but want to try doing some on my brother scan n cut, save some time hand cutting

Jeannie January 24, 2017, 7:52 pm

I love the cloth you created and love the different effects using the same tools. I cannot wait to get out the dyes and play with your book. I keep reading it, but it is slow going since I get slowed down studying the photos (which are gorgeous). It is like a decadent dessert, you want to savor each page. (I have my book, so no need to add my name to the drawing.)

Kathy January 24, 2017, 9:01 pm

I’ve done various stamping techniques with linoleum blocks and foam. This book looks like a wonderful resource. Looking forward to a copy

Diane Ostdiek January 24, 2017, 9:16 pm

I have made stamps from foam rollers, wood and linocut. I am still very new to these processes and would benefit from the book.

Sandy G January 24, 2017, 9:20 pm

I’ve used fun foam, ezcarve blocks, thermofax screens, and blocks made with various types of ponytail holders. A great resource for non-traditional print tools is Traci Bunker’s book “Print and Stamp.” I can’t wait to see your book.

Jennifer January 24, 2017, 9:39 pm

I have made stamps out of a variety of materials such as veggies, lino and softoleum. I really love how you have shown there are seemingly endless possibilities for printing stamps.

Terry Grant January 24, 2017, 10:11 pm

I use stamps a lot. I’ve made them from linoleum block material, foam, erasers and ez cut stamp material. I like to add texture and color complexity to my fabrics with random, overlapping stamping.

Linda B January 24, 2017, 10:19 pm

Used foam core. Favorite design was a rabbit. Will have to look for him, spring is coming !

Linda McLaughlin January 24, 2017, 11:21 pm

I have over 100 carved stamps, most from Nasco’s safety-kut and Blick’s soap erasers.

Regina Dunn January 24, 2017, 11:22 pm

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with stamps made from a hot glue gun.

Cindi January 25, 2017, 12:37 am

So much fun. Great for us outside dyers who get depressed during these winter months,

Laurie Lasala-Tuttle January 25, 2017, 12:51 am

My first introduction to carving, besides using a potato, was using the very hard linoleum block, and am happy to now carve on the much softer rubber blocks!

Sandy January 25, 2017, 2:21 am

I think I’ve used all the usual materials for stamps, with varying success. Sometimes the fun of trying something new is its own reward.

Jody Lund January 25, 2017, 4:02 am

I have made stamps with the easy carve product available through art stores and craft foam, Oman its own and shapes glued to wood blocks. Making stamps is so much fun! And your book looks amazing, on my wish list.

Jan January 25, 2017, 4:03 am

So much fun.Have been cutting stamps and stencils all month.

Donna Funnell January 25, 2017, 6:57 am

One of my very first prints was making wrapping paper with an apple cut in half. Two of my favourites are block printing and gelli mono prints.

Laura Ganmaleri January 25, 2017, 8:05 am

I do love this book!

Ricki January 25, 2017, 10:58 am

So pleased that you’ve written the book. It’s such a great opportunity for those of us in other countries to have access to 2 wonderful teachers. About 10 years ago I found some giant erasers at a one pound store. They are about 1″x8″ and they carve beautifully. I was so excited that I got them to order a whole box for me and I’m still working through them…..It may take me another couple of years!

Chris January 25, 2017, 11:38 am

Only years ago out of a sponge with my grandchildren. Nothing as beautiful as your work.

Jo vdmey January 25, 2017, 1:54 pm

Ironically I carved my 2nd ever stamp on this past Sunday because my small group was covering stamping on Monday. I have made foam excised stamps many times from the trees in my back yard. Then I read online from Lisa Chins blog about your new book! This one is going on my wish list for sure!

Susan White January 25, 2017, 2:02 pm

Great ideas! Looking forward to reading more. Thank you.

Kathy Schmidt January 25, 2017, 2:14 pm

I’ve made and done a little stamping, but I’ve only been a one-layer stamper. Fascinating to see how to add all the different layers!

Carol Sloan January 25, 2017, 2:14 pm

I love your color changing ideas! I have made many stamps – carved, burned, foam, vegetables, clay, fabric, wood…and the list could go on and on. I especially like to carve stamps as you can quickly see how one tiny change can effect the entire pictorial story. Thank you for the chance to win one of the books!

Judi Corrado January 25, 2017, 3:26 pm

I have carved erasers for stamps. Great way to personalize designs

Julie H January 25, 2017, 3:28 pm

I’ve never carved a stamp, but with your book I may just give it a try. It certainly gives you unlimited options.

Wilma Brock January 25, 2017, 3:57 pm

Love the layering ideas and the texturing. Thank you for sharing.

Ellen Robinson January 25, 2017, 9:00 pm

This looks like an awesome book with plenty of ‘magic tricks’ to try out on fabric. Thanks for sharing.

Shelia A January 25, 2017, 10:54 pm

Only done eraser carved into stamps. Anxious to see others are doing. Ultimate wish to take one of your classes Carol. Come teach in Australia please.

Linda Stokes January 26, 2017, 1:07 am

I’ve done quite a few different stamps including Lino, fun foam, erasers, vegetables & found objects. Loved to see how you used your design in repeat and with the different colours & textures!

Michele Guthrie January 26, 2017, 2:08 am

I love making stamps. I’ve carved them from the soft, pink sheets available at the art supply store, and from erasers. I’ve also bought thin sheets of rubber at HD and cut them into shapes, then attached them with carpet tape to blocks of wood. You can also use the foam weatherstripping they sell and cut and bend it into shapes. One of the best stamps I ever had was the end of a stalk of celery!

Marti Meadows January 26, 2017, 5:35 am

I have not made a stamp. They look fantastic!

Sue S. January 26, 2017, 12:01 pm

I haven’t carved any stamps but I want to try it. Congrats on your book! It will spur me on to give stamp carving a shot.

Rosie P January 26, 2017, 12:18 pm

I haven’t carved my own stamps…yet!

Sharon Giles January 26, 2017, 1:48 pm

I’m currently teaching my gelli printing class how to make the kids sticky foam stamps. It’s so easy and I love your example. Tonight we’re exploring printing on fabric too and I wish I had your book!

Pam January 26, 2017, 2:49 pm

I’ve carved stamps out of erasers and also from linoleum blocks (many years ago) – I mostly use stamps on paper though and haven’t done so much with fabric and stamps. I love seeing your process – and the results are just beautiful!

Patricia Healey January 26, 2017, 4:02 pm

I have never carved a stamp, but I have cut sponges into shapes and used them in my journals. I really need to get with the program!

Nancy January 26, 2017, 4:31 pm

What great inspiration. Can hardly wait to start!

Connie Campbell January 26, 2017, 4:55 pm

Beautiful work! I have used foam core and Magic Stamp… I buy a lot of stamps LOL

Mary Ann Cox January 26, 2017, 4:56 pm

I’ve made stamps with fun foam, string, foam core, e-z cut, mat board. Love to make stamps. Love your techniques for multiple layers

Lisa January 26, 2017, 5:13 pm

One of my first fabric printing experiments was using a foam stamp and a dishwasher detergent gel that contained bleach. On a self dyed black fabric piece, the stamp made the color discharge into a beautiful rusty orange. I wish I knew where that piece of fabric ended up 🙂

Kathy Hunt January 26, 2017, 6:16 pm

Looks like a great book, Carol! Yes, I’ve carved stamps from erasers, SpeedyCut, and veggies. Also made them out of fun foam. Thanks

stephanie January 26, 2017, 7:00 pm

I’ve carved using lino, fun times!

Gill January 26, 2017, 7:15 pm

I’ve tried printing with foam stamps and thermofax – I want to try lino cutting next!

Dianne Carey January 26, 2017, 7:37 pm

Printing and fabric…I love them both!! Fun tutorial, and thanks for the chance to win the book!

anja January 26, 2017, 8:55 pm

I love making my own stamps. At first I used the simple school rubbers but now I order that kind of material online in big sheets of soft material easy to cut stamps with. I would love to go ahead with your book and learn so much more

linda badgley January 26, 2017, 9:01 pm

I look forward to trying these techniques

Barbara I. January 26, 2017, 10:55 pm

Congrats on the publication of your book, Carol and thanks for sharing all the techniques you used with your flower sketch translated into a stamp etc. Beautiful art. I have made stamps from carving into erasers and Speedy Carve Block. Also by gluing craft foam to a substrate.

Sue Rostron January 27, 2017, 12:04 am

This blog hop is awesome as I am finding blogs of artists whose work I love. I feel very isolated in terms of craft practise at the mo and it is always a rush to realise there are like minded women (and men) all around the world who get my love for art / craft.

Sue Rostron January 27, 2017, 12:05 am

Whoops, sorry I have carved stamps and used polystyrene once to make huge prints which made great background texture.

TX Creatrix January 27, 2017, 12:06 am


Chris January 27, 2017, 10:49 am

I carved once with a sponge, moderate success and then the kids 40 years ago with potatoes.

insure one quote April 18, 2017, 12:04 pm

How about instead of fixing things no one wants you let us keep the one we like the new design is messy we like the current one it works. I know you are not good at looking at comments (ever since google took over) But plz listen to us for once.

Shawna Pine January 27, 2017, 1:32 pm

Beautiful! I wish I could skip work today to play!

Gabriele January 27, 2017, 1:50 pm

I have used the sticky back foam to make stamps, but never ( before) considered stamping the background fabric. Something new to try!

Laura January 27, 2017, 2:51 pm

I’ve made stamps with cardboard, with the styrofoam meat trays and with the official carving material (speedcut maybe?) Thanks for showing how you developed a pattern.

Kevin Womack January 27, 2017, 4:36 pm

I have carved erasers and used sticky fun foam to make stamps in the past. I loved seeing your process — beautiful work!

Debra January 27, 2017, 9:41 pm

This looks like such a great book! I’d love to own it.

Ozge Basagac January 28, 2017, 11:53 am

My first stamp ever was from a potato, back when i was a kid. But as an adult i have mostly made foam stamps.I really would like to try thermofax printing but it is not available here in Turkey. Your book looks amazing. Thank you for the give away.

Ellen January 28, 2017, 2:05 pm

I did linolium block printing in HS, and have bought erasers to carve stamps more recently but have not dug into them yet.

Susan Spiers January 28, 2017, 5:28 pm

I make some of my own stamps, years ago-with potatoes-surprisingly they turned out very well! Thank you, Susan

BJ Kennedy January 29, 2017, 3:19 am

I really like how I’m shown it’s not as hard as I have thought it was to make a lino stamp. I too had my first experience at making my own stamp using a potato and frankly even as an adult that’s the way I did it. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and practice some new techniques

Pat T. January 29, 2017, 2:00 pm

I have a treasured memory of creating a linoleum block print in a middle school art class!! I worked SO hard on it, loving every moment! (It was very detailed, with a picture and *poem* carved in!!)
50 years later, I am a quilter, and SO excited to create my own fabric designs!!!
*Thank you!!*, for giving me access to just what I need to do that!!
Pat T.

Linda Wyatt January 29, 2017, 2:50 pm

I have made my own stamps with linoleum blocks, the big block of speedycarve, art gum erasers and styrofoam food packing trays. I love using my own designs to print on fabric and paper!

Whiskers January 29, 2017, 3:04 pm

In the dim, dark past of youth, I think I remember making a stamp out of an art gum eraser. Can’t remember what we used it for except an “art” project. I think it is time to grow more adult, and really make a mess!

Connie Akers January 29, 2017, 3:55 pm

Congratulations on the new book. It looks like there are lots of possibilities to learn & explore.

Beth January 29, 2017, 5:24 pm

I HAVE carved my own stamps. I have used erasers, linoleum blocks, and a white carving surface from Dick Blick (not sure what it is called). I haven’t been pleased with the results and hope I can get some good tips from your book.

tracee January 29, 2017, 9:35 pm

I have never made my own stamp. I’m a bit intimidated by the process.

Nancy Billings January 29, 2017, 10:06 pm

I have not carved a stamp in years but you have just inspired me to begin again.

emma January 30, 2017, 1:26 pm

I’ve never carved a stamp but I’ve been lurking and watching you – I can’t wait to buy (or win!) this book to try my hand at this.

Nancy January 30, 2017, 1:36 pm

My favorite made stamp was a Lino block stamp I used to make Christmas cards one year. It was a big snowflake. I realize that isn’t what you asked but it has filled my head this am.

Jane Hartfield January 30, 2017, 2:41 pm

How exciting! I stamp with yoga mat shapes,wood shapes, and ropes, etc.

Ellee January 30, 2017, 8:39 pm

In elementary school I made a potato stamp and used tempra paint with it. Haven’t made a stamp since, although I’d like to. This book would be a great help.

Marilyn January 31, 2017, 1:24 am

Wonderful ideas of what can be achieved with one stamp. This book would be a great resource for inspiration and creativity.

KARA PETERSON January 31, 2017, 5:38 am

I started out simply, cutting a 2″ slice from a pool noodle.

LynneP January 31, 2017, 2:37 pm

The fabrics you created are lovely! I have not ventured into stamp making yet. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

Denise Spillane February 2, 2017, 3:08 am

Love your blog post. Cool techniques and can’t wait to try them all

GAW February 2, 2017, 8:10 am

This hop is great fun. Than you for being one of the driving forces.

susan hartl February 2, 2017, 1:38 pm

Yes, I have made my own stamp. Carved it from a Speedball carving block!!!!!

Stephanie February 3, 2017, 5:55 pm

I like to make stamps from foam board.

Aurora Wolfe February 3, 2017, 5:56 pm

White erasers from Walmart and I have used potatoes!
Your blogpost is very inspiring1 Thank you!

Bunkerintegrated May 27, 2024, 5:50 am

Thank you for sharing! I love how detailed and engaging this post is! The step-by-step guidance and beautiful visuals make it so easy to follow along and try it myself. Great job!

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