You can elevate simple food to high art by making your table top one of a kind! Printed napkins, placemats and table runners can add a touch of beauty and whimsy to your meal. With a few basic supplies, you’ll be ready to create custom linens to suit any occasion.
- 100% cotton table linens
- Fabric paint
- Plexiglas or glass
- Rubber brayer (a small rubber roller)
- Rubber stamps
- Paper or fabric for practicing
Tip: Choose a stamp with a simple design. Small details and fine lines won’t print well. You can also carve your own stamp using a block of rubber and a carving tool, available at craft stores. Make sure to do your printing on a hard, flat surface.
- Wash, dry and iron your table linens according to care instructions before getting started. This will ensure the final product doesn’t shrink, and you’ll have a wrinkle-free surface for printing.
- Put a small dollop of fabric paint on the Plexiglas and use the rubber brayer to roll out a thin, even layer. The brayer will now be coated with paint.
- Carefully roll the brayer over the stamp, covering the stamp image with paint. Now you’re ready to print your fabric! Tip: Test your stamping technique on plain paper or scrap fabric first.
- Place the stamp down on the fabric. Evenly press the back of the stamp to transfer the paint to the fabric (a small hardcover book or child-size rolling pin is great for this).
- Carefully lift the stamp straight up off of the fabric and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 as many times as required to make your pattern. Tip: Randomly spaced patterns have a hand-made appeal.
- When the paint is dry (about an hour), iron the back of the fabric to “set” the paint colour according to package directions.
- Wash the stamp, brayer, and Plexiglas with soap and warm water before switching colours, and again as soon as you are done stamping. You can reuse all of these materials for future projects.
Safety Note: Parents crafting with children should use Plexiglas or plastic to roll paint, as regular glass can break.
For the word nerd: A table runner sprinkled with the letters of the alphabet, and napkins printed with punctuation marks.
For the newlyweds: Placemats and napkins with a monogram stamp.
For little hands: Skip the stamps and make a family tablecloth by printing handprints directly on the fabric! Make sure to wash hands with soap and warm water as soon as you are done!