Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hand-Stamped Ribbon

Creating your own hand-stamped ribbon is the perfect way to add a coordinated touch to your decor plans when you can't find exactly what you're looking for.  There are very little limits to your stamping choices with all of the rubber stamp resources today.  Check your local craft store and then online.  I always start my searches on eBay and then move to Yahoo and Google when I have no luck there.  If you still can't find what you like, create your own image or print and take it to your local office supply store.  They can turn your print into a rubber stamp.

The best fabric to use when making your ribbon is muslin.  You can get unbleach and bleached virtually anywhere that sells fabric.  If you'd like color options, I'd suggest either trying another fabric or dying the muslin.

Please note that it's best to find a permanent ink pad.  Non-permanent ink will smear and rub off onto your hands when you're handling the ribbon.  Give the ink plenty of time to dry before handling.  It may be wise to press the ribbon between a cloth with a warm iron to help the ink set in completely.  Be careful to use something in between the ribbon and your iron to protect the iron from becoming stained.

Muslin (I selected unbleached for this project)
Ink pad (permanent)
Rubber stamps


1. Determine how wide you want your ribbon to be.  Mark the width of your ribbon along the cut edge of your muslin with a pencil.  Then take your scissors and score those marks.  You only need to cut about 1/4 to a 1/2 and inch in.

2. Take your fabric and tear it at each scored spot.  The fabric is made in such a way that you should get a straight, fairly clean tear clear to the end of your piece.  You will notice that the fabric will pucker up in a few places...that's completely ok.

3. There will be some stray pieces of thread hanging from each strip.  Gently pull them away from the fabric.  This will cause the edges and ends to fray, giving you the primitive/handmade look.

4. Lay down a protective barrier to keep your surface safe while stamping.  Lay down a strip of your ribbon and begin stamping.  Technique and placement is completely up to you.  I chose a french script stamp for this particular ribbon.  I was careful to only make my fabric strip as wide as my stamp so that I had the option of being able to print across and fill the whole piece.  I staggered my stamping to add depth and variety.  I also knew I was planning to go in and fill with a second stamp.

5. I went back in with a second stamp onto my ribbon.  I used black but you could also choose to print with a different color if you know what colors will coordinate with the other items the ribbon will be paired with.

I plan to make this ribbon with a variety of different stamps.  I'm waiting for a stamp of music manuscript to arrive from eBay.  I'll be sure to post those pics once I've made it.

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