Monday, September 3, 2012

Canning Jar Dish Towels

I brought this gorgeous blue canning jar home from my late mother- and father-in-law's house just recently.  I don't know if it colored because of age or if it was made that way, but it's beautiful either way!  So it inspired me to do some sketching and the sketching led to some fabric stamping ... I have a more detailed past post on stamping on fabric that goes into depth on carving a stamping block that you might want to take a look at if you haven't tried it before.

*dish towels  - I made mine from 19 x 27 inch rectangles of good quality muslin.  I ironed each end under 1/4 inch, turned this edge under again and sewed in place.  See this past post on mitering. corners.
*carving material, such as Safety-Kut
*printing ink - I use either Jacquard or Speedball
*printing plate
*pattern found here

1.  Print off pattern and go over each line with a pencil - press fairly hard to deposit lots of graphite.

2.  Lay the pattern upside down on top of the carving material and rub hard with a ruler or scissors handle.  Lift a little bit of the pattern up to check and see if it's transferred before you take the pattern off.

3.  On the carving material, go over your transferred lines with a thick Sharpie.

4.  Begin carving all the white area of your carving material away.  I like to carve around each black line and then start removing the material between the lines.

5.  When you have the inside of the jar carved away, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut most of the extra carving material away.

6.  This is what it will look like when you're done.

7.   Do a test print with a regular stamp pad onto a piece of paper.  This will show you whether or not you have more to carve away - those extra black lines on your print are also black on your stamp, making them easy to see and get rid of.  I think leaving a few of them gives the print a nice carved look, but it's a matter of personal opinion!

8.  Gather your printing materials and a piece of scrap fabric, ...

9.  ... put a small dollop of printing ink on the printing plate and roll the brayer over it until a thin layer of ink is on the brayer.  Roll the inked brayer over your stamp - use toothpicks to take out any ink that gets into the space between lines.

10.  Make a test print on a piece of scrap fabric - put the stamp down in one motion to prevent smearing.  Press firmly a few times.

11.  When you lift the stamp up, do it quickly and in one motion so you don't get extra ink on your fabric.  Here's one of my towels - I did a quick dip in indigo before printing to give it a nice light blue color.  Edit:  I forgot to tell you to heat set the printing ink by ironing on the back for about a minute - put a scrap cloth between the towel and your ironing board if you don't want to risk a slight shadow print on your ironing board cover!

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Wow! I love these! I want these! Project when you are up here next?

  2. Brilliant! Did you hand dye the muslin? It's a gorgeous color.

    1. Thank you! Yes - the fabric is hand dyed with indigo. A short dip to give a chambray color!