Hey everyone, today we are going to stretch our stamps with Archival ink and an inexpensive cotton tank. You can stamp and paint a washable design and have a custom printed t-shirt, tank or tea towel of your favorite stamps. A little story here…long ago a friend of mine’s mom made me a pair of jeans with a cute painted design in acrylic paint. They were bell-bottoms with an adorable lion and flowers…I LOVED them.
Flash forward to a video I saw of @WendyVecchi talking about Archival ink and it being WATERPROOF permanent ink and a lightbulb went off in my head to combine my stamps some acrylic paint and Archival Ink.
I thought that if this worked it would also be great on tea towels, napkins or anything else you may want to customize and paint. Some tips for getting the best impressions and making it last at the bottom of the post.
So I Have done this on old fashioned cotton tea towels before and it worked great but I decided to start on an inexpensive tank from the rack to try with the gorgeous Hero Arts Peony stamp. Also and you will need to use a stamping platform of some type because you will need to stamp this multiple times to get a nice impression unless you are going to paint over the lines and do some no-line coloring.
Really a beautiful stamp in black would also be amazing on the top of a T-shirt as well.
I placed the tank in the Misti and used the magnet to hold it in position and put my stamp where I wanted it, picked it up with the Misti and used Ranger Black Archival Ink to stamp the flower-I repeated that about 4 times, first because I wanted it to be in front and then I masked the flower off with some adhesive label and stamped the leaves where I wanted them to go.
After stamping the images repeatedly about 4-5 times I have a really nice impression and was ready to paint. I put my make art station inside the tank (or behind whatever you are painting, so that it doesn’t run through to the opposite side) and secured it with magnets, you could also just use some pins or tape and a piece of cardboard but you want to protect the other side of whatever you are painting.
I used some inexpensive but very pretty colors of Acrylic from Target but you could also use fabric paint or sharpie stain markers for fabric or other archival ink colors and simply stamp more.
An important tip: DO NOT make the acrylic paint too watery you want to use it almost like it comes out of the tube or jar for the first coat as you need to create a base so it will not bleed. If you get some bleeding wait till it is dry and you can paint over it. A great feature of the Archival ink was it somewhat held the acrylic inside of the lines and if I went over a black line I could carefully wipe off the paint to reveal the black again. GENIUS!
I let each color dry and used different sized brushes to get a painterly look. I used a black Sharpie fabric pen to add some small black details at the end and you could also use paint pens or fabric paints with your stamped images as well.
Tips to make your artwork last!
1- Pre-wash your fabric so sizing has been removed- paint will adhere better to fabric.
2- Add multiple layers of thin but not watery paint and let everything completely dry well before stretching or wearing.
3-Heat set by putting it in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes before wearing. Or wetting it with a solution of white vinegar and water and then heat setting with a warm iron from the back of the piece. (I did not do this, I just used the dryer method)
4-Wash on delicate or handwash in cold water. (unless you want a soft watercolor look, then the paint will degrade over some washings in warm water)
5-You may also use other archival inks to stamp with instead of painting
6-you may add a textile medium to your acrylic paint to make it even more long-lasting. Like this one here: https://plaidonline.com/products/folkart-mediums-textile-medium-2-oz
Hope you enjoy this idea for stretching your stamps and make some custom items with your favorite stamps!