First off, if you have been following my work, then you know that I am an imperfectionist. I believe that slight flaws add interest and soul to a hand-printed piece of fabric.
That said, the work should not be sloppy. There is a difference between artifacts of the hand-made process, and just being careless with the work.
I love to print in repeat. Most of the time I can get away with eye-balling the placement of my motifs (and frankly, I prefer to work this way). However, there are times when perfect placement is necessary. For instance, this piece, which requires precise placement to create a seamless pattern :
Doing this by hand was tricky until I discovered a “Stampamajig.”
It is essentially a “Jig” for lining up your print placement, used in conjunction with the accompanying stamped template:
How to use:
- Make your print template by trimming the clear plastic sheet to your stamp shape/size. Then ink and stamp onto the template. Let dry. This will serve to help place your print where you want it, without guesswork.
- Make your first impression on the fabric where you want to begin.
- Place your template next to the first impression. Make sure that the template is oriented as you want the image.
- Line up the Stampamajig to the corner closest to where the next image will go.
- Ink up your stamp and place it in the corner of the Stampamajig and stamp as usual. You should now have a perfectly placed image. Repeat as often as needed.
Here is a little video I made showing this process.
Now, of course because I’m a rebel and I always need to find a different way to do something, I have some alternatives for you.
You may not be able to find this product easily.
You may want a larger version.
Or you could just protest the over-commercialization of craft supplies… Ok, that’s just me.
Anyway, here are some other things that I found works well.
1. For the Jig itself:
- Make your own with wood, if you’re handy. This requires that you find the straightest wood you can find.
- Framing Square. (found at any hardware/home improvement store.
I think this is probably the best alternative because it is metal, and not prone to warping with temperature and moisture. Also it is moulded (?) so that there is no risk of the corner getting out of square like with a T-square.
2. For the Template/Imaging Sheet:
Plastic Cutting Sheet! The Template Imaging Sheet is literally the same material!
Remember my previous post about dollar store items? This is another use for those awesome things!
So there ya have it! My secret to making perfectly lined up prints (when I want to, cuz frankly, that’s not often). Let me know what you think!