Blog Hop | How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah

How To Print Fabric | Zeena Shah

Hey folks! I know its been aaaaaaages since I did a DIY on here (that isn’t wedding related!). So, I’ve got a fun and super easy one today, if like me, you’re completely into printmaking/marking of any kind and at times, don’t have the right resources at hand! It’s also in celebration of Zeena Shah’s new book How to Print Fabric which I’m excited to share with you here through this blog hop series hosted by Stitch Craft Create.

If you’ve been an old follower of MbM, you’ll probably remember all my posts from back in 2013 on this remarkably talented lady, her beautiful hand-printed homeware products, and the couple of workshops I did with her at her East London studio. Some of you may have even seen her pretty face appear on Kirsty Allsopp’s Kirstie’s Vintage Home, 60 Minute Makeover and even The Apprentice! If you still don’t know much about her….seriously, you must check her out. I am admittedly a huge fan of her work and have had the great pleasure to get to know Zeena in the three years I’ve been here in London, so I’m delighted that her first book is finally hitting the shelves next month!

Well, this book is all about making printmaking accessible to everyone at home, which y’all know is exactly my ethos behind a lot of my DIYs on here. It can be frustrating when you suddenly get a creative impulse and realise you don’t have the space or right equipment to produce the ideas you have in your head! Zeena’s book inspires and encourages everyone to not let these hinder your creative flow, with her simple yet practical ‘kitchen-table techniques’ that explores 20 hand printed home accessories using everyday household things – from lint rollers to embroidery hoops! Inspired by the book, I thought I’d give it a try myself….and with time being a luxury these days for me, I felt this was even more apt to prove how simple and effective it can be…if you don’t overthink it all too much! ;) In this instance, I’m using one of my all-time favourite stencilling technique to decorate a plain, undecorated christmas stocking I had leftover from last year which was perfect as it skipped the need for any sewing! Time it took: 20-30 mins, start to finish.


What you’ll need:

  1. Light to medium weight fabric (or opt for pre-sewn things like cushion covers, tea towels or tote bags)
  2. fabric ink pad or fabric paint (I happened to have both)
  3. scraps of card to under or between your fabric and your worktop
  4. scalpel blade or Stanley knife
  5. sponge dabbers/stipplers or even make-up sponge!
  6. cutting mat
  7. card to create your stencil


If you’re confident (or more gung-ho in your approach), just free hand cut out the patterns you wish to print otherwise sketch it out first if you need a guide of sort. I’ve kept mine simple (inspired by Zeena’s Furoshiki wrapping cloth DIY) sticking to basic shapes of rectangles and trriangles.
MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-03MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-05Before printing, place some card or heavy weight paper between your fabric so to avoid the ink coming through on the reverse side (important if you’re printing on things like cushion covers) or underneath to protect your worktop. Then place your stencil over your fabric, and use your sponge dabber/stippler to gently dab your ink over it. These are great if you want more precision and control when covering smaller or detailed cut-outs. Also, if you use fabric paint, dab off any excess on some scrap card first before you apply it over your template as this will prevent a blotchy finish. The thinner, all even, application…the better the overall finish!

Repeat this process across your fabric until the entire piece is covered with your pattern. You can do it in sections like I did – either strategically or more haphazardly – whatever way you wish. Just don’t over think it! ;)MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-06MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-07

I added a subtle pop of colour using the red ink stamp pad. Had my cut-outs been larger, I could have used the stamp pad directly onto the stencil to dab the ink onto the fabric however, due to the smaller cut-outs I used a sponge stippler for more control and precision.

And that’s it! Drying time wasn’t that long because the patterns had smaller surface area which was great. I ran the iron over it at the end to fix the ink……and here’s my rather contemporary and somewhat Scandi-inspired stocking! :) Nice and simple!


[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

There’s a heap load of DIY projects for you to try in Zeena’s book, each beautifully illustrated and photographed, with step-by-step tutorials and even templates for you to use! So, if I havent convinced you enough with this post then check out what fellow bloggers have had to say themselves about the book here. There’s also some ‘How To‘ video snippets from the book, on the Stitch Craft Create YouTube channel totally worth checking! And if you want to pre-order your copy of the book, just hop over to Amazon or pop over to Zeena’s website if you fancy a signed copy (with a special gift enclosed!)

A heartfelt congratulations to Zeena for this major and truly deserved accomplishment. I look forward to celebrating the big book launch next week!

Have a good one folks and go get your craft on! :) xx

[Workshop Shenanigans]: Letterpress printing – round two!

BLOG_STRIP_letterpressAUG_3-WEBOkay, so here’s what I got up to from the letterpress workshop by Turnbull Grey I went along to on Tuesday. I was lucky enough to go to this the second time thanks to a very generous husband who bought be a voucher as one of my birthday gifts (thank you, thank you, thank you!!). If you can remember how excited I was from the first one, you can only imagine my sheer delight when I learnt I was going again!! To sum it up – I ABSOLUTELY love this workshop and everything about letterpress printing! It takes a lot of thought, time and patience to come up with beautiful prints using this traditional printing method (not to mention the need for some serious elbow grease!) which for some isn’t exactly their cup of tea but for me….it’s therapeutic! I get great joy from sketching out ideas to picking out the right wooden types to mixing up the paints and creating my final print on the press! There’s a lot hard graft to this method so you can see why it has become something from a bygone era where everything these days are taken up by digital methods for quick and convenient deliverance. That being said, there is a new-found love and respect for letterpress and many people still incorporate it into the present day printing industry like Turnbull Grey themselves. Personally, I think it adds such a beautiful depth and dimension to the final print – every piece marked with your labour of love – literally!

So, I had a few ideas in mind. With so many of my friends and family having babies this year, I decided i’d do something baby/child related so that I could present them as gifts. Having been to the workshop before, I was able to skip the induction and the Adana printing press and go straight onto the big proofing one which worked well because, me being me, opted for another challenging quote that consisted of 12 words (the last one I did had eight!) so I knew I had set myself a challenge in a limited time frame (three hours!). Even my husband advised that I go with a ‘Plan B’ should I find that ‘Plan A’ does become too time-consuming to put together. But I was determined to make it work (always love a challenge!) so went about picking out my wooden types for my favourite quote from Winnie the Pooh; “sometimes, it’s the littlest things that take up the most room in our hearts” – okay, so I tweaked it a bit so that it read ‘OUR’ instead of ‘YOUR’ and made ‘heart’ plural as I was directing it to both the parents. Anyway, here’s what took place:
BLOG_STRIP_letterpressAUG_1-WEB BLOG_STRIP_letterpressAUG_2-WEBSo what do you think? Think i’m super pleased with how it turned out not to mention the pure satisfaction of actually accomplishing this challenging quote! (FYI – including all the banter, it took me 1.5hours to pick the types and set it all up!) There was a slight amendment in the first set up where after the test-run Angela and I realised that the gap in the middle of ‘MOST’ and ‘ROOM’ was far too wide so decided to add a star motif and then spaced it out accordingly which I think worked really well. I did this in both baby blue and baby pink! Super pleased about the prints and I do hope my recipients love it just as much as I do (especially as they now know that my heart, soul and SWEAT went behind it!!)  :P  I took some better photos (these ones above are off my iPhone so does it no justice!) of the prints, framed, when I got home so will post that shortly!

Thanks again to Chris and Angela for another fun-fuelled workshop! They do have dates up for September workshops so keep an eye out on their website for more details, or simply by following them on Facebook or Twitter. They are based in Clerkenwell so centrally located for us Londoners! :)  So yea, if you like this kinda thing and simply want to try your hand at letterpress printing then go sign up!! It’s just a small group of three so you learn loads and plus get to meet so many other like-minded creative folk!!  :) xx


[Image credit: Made by Molu]

My first craft class – booked!

I cannot tell you how excited I am (and weirdly a tad bit nervous!) about my first ever craft class that I’ve signed up to. There was no hesitation whatsoever – as soon as I received the newsletter in my inbox about the forthcoming ‘Craft It Yourself’ events I was onto their site in matter of seconds to hit ‘book now‘. I’m a huge fan of Clerkenwell’s Craft Central who hold some fabulous fairs and workshops that help promote and build the increasingly popular culture of craft and design. For this reason alone, classes are known to get booked up very quickly (which it did!!) and at £19.99 (inclusive of materials and complimentary wine!) these 2-hour workshops were a bargain too!

So of the three workshops, I opted for the Japanese Gocco Printmaking workshop…..I CANNOT WAIT eeeek!!! :)  I shall obviously report back to you on how it all goes (aided with plenty of photos!) but in the meantime here are a few visual treats to give you an idea of what Gocco printing is all about: check out Printed Wonders – founded by Xtina Lamb who will be running this workshop! Lets hope my stuff turns out half as good as hers! Also here’s a video clip on how its done!

Roll on 29th of November! :D