All The Other Crafts · Crafts

Experimenting with Stamping on Bags

     Hey everyone, today I have not so much a finished craft but an idea and some experimenting to show you!

     When I was in the shops, I spotted these small, plain fabric, bags (are they cotton? I’m not good with fabrics). As the bag was less than €2, I figured it would do no harm to pick one up and experiment with it. I didn’t have any plans in mind but I was sure I’d think of something.

photo-stamping-on-bag-stazon-ink-before-wash     When I was looking at the bag later that day at home, I thought stamping on it might be a fun thing to do. I didn’t bother looking anything like tips up at all as I wasn’t near my laptop so I jut grabbed a stamp I thought would work and some ink. I went with my A5 steampunk background stamp and Stazon ink. I figured I’d try Stazon because it works for stamping on tiles, it might work for fabric. Also, I don’t own that many types of ink.

     So, with bag, stamp and ink in hand, I set to work. The end result is quite nice. I used black ink but the black isn’t as strong on the fabric verses on paper. The fabric gives it a nice softer hue, I think.

     I learnt a few useful things from this first stamping. I had my A5 stamp on a clear block, inked up my stamp and with bag flat on  my desk, pressed the stamp down into the bag. Even though I thought I had pressed down everywhere, when I lifted the stamp up I found I had lovely crisp images from around the side of the stamp but the centre was nowhere to be found! I tried again but the same thing – I couldn’t get the middle. After the second try, I decided to re-ink my stamp, lay the clear block flat on the table and bring my bag to the stamp, pressing gently down on it. When I lifted the bag up this time, it looked much better!

     Of course, this raised another issue – it’s better to only stamp once because no matter how careful I am, there always seems to be some misalignment with the image creating a somewhat blurry look:

photo-stamping-on-bag-repeat-stamping-problem

     I quite liked how stamping on the bag came out and if I had brought the bag to the stamp the first time and in future stamping, the blurred image wouldn’t be a worry.

     Having done that, I decided I wanted to know how the ink on the bag would react to water, you know, like in case it got wet from the rain. Although, rather than give it an easy time, I decided to just through the bag in the washing machine to see what would happen. It turns out, a lot of the Stazon ink gets washed away!

photo-stamping-on-bag-stazon-fade-after-washing

     One side came out really faded (see above) and the other side was almost washed away completely.

     So, don’t do that!

     These are the things you could probably learn about from the internet but it’s good to experience them for yourself sometimes. After drying the bag out again, I decided to do some more stamping. This time, I used the smaller steampunk stamps rather than the background one. The first time I used one, I had it on a clear block but again, I struggled to get a good impression so I actually took it off the block and stamped without putting it on anything, just laying it down on the bag carefully and gently pressing down. This seemed to work more better because as the stamp was more flexible, it was able to get the ink onto the textured fabric better. I think, at least!

photo-stamping-on-bag-lawn-fawn-crisp-stamping

     I also tried using a different ink. On one side of the bag, I used more Stazon ink but on the other, I used a Lawn Fawn ink I had that I got to use with alcohol markers.

photo-stamping-on-bag-lawn-fawn-ink-stamiping-over-stazon

     I was really happy with how the Lawn Fawn ink worked actually, it got some really nice, crisp images from the stamps on the fabric, even over some faded images. I had some vague memory of people heat setting things with fabric (for what I’m not sure!) so I figured some heat wouldn’t do the bag harm. Rather than pull out the iron though, I just a hair straightener and ran it over the bag a few times. I’m not sure if that had any effect on the ink but it at least made the bag nice after coming out of the wash – in hindsight, might have been useful to iron it after I took it out of the dryer and before stamping!

     Considering what the washing machine did to it, I decided against that for a second wash so instead I gave it a quick hand wash in the sink with some soap and then dried it on the radiator. Both inks fared that reasonably well, though I think the Lawn Fawn ink did better.

     That would have been the end of my testing but the bag got another test when I threw a banana into it for when I was going on my shopping trip to IKEA. In the packing of the car, the bag ended up under a heavy package so the banana made a mess. I threw the bag into the washing machine again. The Lawn Fawn ink stood up well enough considering it was in the washing machine and was its second time being washed. Also, the old Stazon didn’t fade any more which was interesting.

     However, one thing this bag couldn’t handle – squished banana. Even after the washing machine, the banana mark was left so into the bin with this one!

     Still, I learned a lot from this and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experimenting process when it comes to crafting.

      Although, if anyone does have any tips for stamping on fabrics, do let me know!

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24 thoughts on “Experimenting with Stamping on Bags

  1. This is very cute and a great idea! I’m sure they have inks for stamping on fabric that will withstand the wash, which may be worth looking into if you decide to do this more often (it would be a cute gift idea).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I might try this out some more. With different stamped images it would be great for personalising and you could even colour in some images with fabric markers. I’ll definitely have to look into getting some stamping ink for fabrics!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That must have been a fun project and it has certainly given me some ideas, if I run out of crafty stuff to do (unlikely!). I think I remember having a fabric ink pad once that my mum gave me, so that’s a thought. Most inks take a while to ‘set’ even naturally, I remember when my kids were little that even washable inks would stain permanently if not caught soon after the ‘accident’ had occurred. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it ever possible to run out of crafty things to do? xD Stamping on bags though is a nice craft to try. It’s quite easy and I guess if you’re gifting someone something, easy to personalise! I’ll have to look out for a fabric ink pad – definitely sounds like it would do the job.

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  3. I like this! It looks fun and looks like something my little could do with little supervision from me. Always trying to find functional art projects with her. We could make one and turn it into her library book bag.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be a great little craft to try seeing as all it involves is some stamping! If you’re using stamps that can be coloured in you could even use some fabric markers to do that. I’ve not tried that yet but I do want to next time 🙂

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  4. Not sure if I’m telling you something you already know …. but …
    Wash the bags (or any fabric) you use before you stamp/paint etc on them/it, as the finishing coat which is given to fabrics (to make them ‘stiff’ and not so floppy) will act as a kind of resist to anything you try and put on the fabric, and so will wash out when you put the fabric through the washing machine.
    Hope this helps for next time! ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH!! and I forgot to say …. once washed, thoroughly dried, and then ironed… allow the bag to air properly, then (putting some card behind where you’re stamping – stamp (or paint) your design, then leave it for a good while for the ink/paint to properly dry … THEN … iron it with a dry iron. No steam or don’t wet it with a lovely smelling spray or even just water. NOTHING. Just a dry iron. That action ‘sets’ the design. Then leave it to cool somewhere. Don’t rub it or drag your hand over it till its had time to thoroughly cool. ~ C. x

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Try putting a piece of board inside the bag before you stamp so you are only stamping on a single piece of fabric. With some fabrics it is worth washing
    first – then iron – then stamp – it will help remove any residue left on the fabric from the manufacturing process.

    Liked by 2 people

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