Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Lettering revisited

Since Ann's post introducing the next AHIQ challenge, several people have asked about my method of printing words, so I thought it might be useful to do a quick recap.

I use this lovely set of letters, found on ebay, but there are plenty of modern versions easily available. I have often wondered about using printers letterset blocks, but the cost of a whole alphabet would be pretty steep.

Julie of Pink Doxies did a really useful post  about her exploration of surface design and as a result of what I read there I decided to try Liquitex for my  printing.  I use the inks plus their fabric medium - one measure ink to one of fabric medium.  In practice this is two or three drops of ink (the bottles have droppers) to one little squeeze of the medium.  I do it by eye and that seems to work okay.  If I know I won't have time to print everything I want in one go I count the drops of ink to reproduce the colour.  When I printed the lighthouse names for All at Sea I actually did it in three batches, and managed to get the same colour each time this way.  

I should also maybe mention that when I started I did a little sample of printing on a scrap, let it dry and then scrubbed it hard under the tap.  My printing stayed put but the fabric did not end up all stiff, so that was good enough for me.

My method is not very high tech: I mix the inks on the lid of a plastic box, apply to the letter with a paint brush (common or garden, stolen from the kids variety) and just press onto the fabric.  I did buy a couple of empty stamp pads, thinking that might be the way to go, but when you think about it, that method would use quite a lot more ink and in the end I didn't use them, preferring my paintbrush.  It's slow but I have a lot of control this way.

When I started I was lining my letters up by eye, but that proved a bit hit and miss, so now I use the edge of a ruler as a guide.  I put the stamp down so that its bottom edge just touches the top of the ruler,  like this:

And that's it, really. Nothing to it.

Just popping back here to add a note: if I think I have put a bit too much ink on, I just use a scrap and do two stampings, the first on the scrap, the second on the good fabric.


  1. Thanks for the thorough explanation, Kaja. I especially needed the reminder to use scraps for preliminary samples. :-) Do you simply wash the blocks with soap and water when finished or wipe them clean?

  2. What a cool set for lettering and I think your method works great! No reason to get technical if you get the results you want by approximation!

  3. Oh - wonderful. I am excited about the idea of using the paintbrush instead of a stamp pad! I bought my letter stamps the other day and now I can't wait to go try them. THANK YOU!!

  4. Thanks for the info. I lost all my printing stuff and paint things in the flood in Baton Rouge last year so I am now looking to replace the important things. But I want to upgrade some things, and this is the perfect solution for the letters!

  5. Kaja, your tutorial is really interesting and makes stamping seem easy. Your lettering looks really good. I suppose it took some trial and error to get your lettering this clean but it was well worth the effort. I'm off to read Anne's challenge for AHIQ. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Thank you for sharing your method....looks doable, even for me!

  7. Interesting . Using a brush there is less chance of the ink getting on the edge of the rubber backing , as has happened to me . I have used stazon ink pads before but I don't think it would stand up to regular washing

  8. That is a very nice set of stamps. I have a couple sets of hard foam stamps that I have used in the past with fabric ink/paint, but they are bigger and all capital letters. I am still thinking about how I am going to do my lettering for my AHIQ.

  9. Barrett's Silent Salesman, what a find!
    Thanks for sharing your experiments and results, very thoughtful.
    Lettering/calligraphy make an attractive embellishment.

  10. Oh - wonderful. I am excited about the idea of using the paintbrush instead of a stamp pad! I bought my letter stamps the other day and now I can't wait to go try them. THANK YOU!!


  11. I love text on fabric but it is a while since I have had a go. Must revisit.
    I was in a class ages ago and we applied the paint or ink to a palette then used a small sponge roller to the stamp which gave a good light spread of ink/paint.


Feel free to comment away! I read everything and welcome all feedback. I seem to be getting a lot of comments from no-reply bloggers at the moment - if you don't get a response, that will be why.