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

[What’s On]: The Crafty Fox Talks on ‘How to do your own PR’

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend Crafty Fox Market’s second series of Talks held at the Collective Hub in Camden that brought together a great panel of speakers; journalist Perri Lewis, Designer-Maker Zeena Shah, Creative Director Miss Cakehead along with Katherine Raderecht of Mollie Makes and The Simple Things to share their insight on how to go about promoting yourself and your business effectively. Perri dealt with the ‘dos + don’ts’ on how to approach journalists and bloggers, while Zeena gave tips from her own experience on how essential it is to network, being friendly and saying “yes” to creative proposals (however challenging it may be!) and Miss Cakehead encouraged folk (using her own Avante Garde portfolio of PR work) that being bold and brave i.e. using your creative imagination, to make you and your work stand out from the crowd! All in all, it was such an amazing evening that left me feeling really inspired (I took down plenty of notes and even recorded it for reference!) and even had the opportunity to meet and network with other creative individuals. I cannot wait for the next set of talks, so I shall be keeping my eyes peeled on the Crafty Fox Market website (or alternatively sign up to their mailing list!). Unfortunately, I’ve only a few photos taken from that night as I was far too busy taking down notes and networking!! I do know that Michelle and Tim were doing the official photography and videos so it may crop up soon enough so keep your eyes peeled!CRAFTFOX-TALKS_1_WEB CRAFTFOX-TALKS_2_WEB CRAFTFOX-TALKS_3_WEB CRAFTFOX-TALKS_4_WEB CRAFTFOX-TALKS_5_WEB CRAFTFOX-TALKS_6_WEBAnd I’m totally pleased with the contents of my Goody Bag (above)! Thank you Crafty Fox Market for hosting a fantastic inspiring event and I look forward your next one already! :)

[Image credit: Made by Molu]

Screen printed goodies!

Following on from my last blog, here’s a wee look at the things I made using the designs I drew and cut up on that day. I’ve yet to complete the tandem bike print you see on the tea towel by adding the balloon in red…..and which I’m thinking I’ll turn into cushions. So that will be my task for the next spare time I get! :) What do you think –  you like them? :) I’m dithering about whether to sell some of these seeing as they are one-offs…. either way, I will most definitely keep one of each for myself! :DSCREEN PRINTING_TEESHIRT web SCREEN PRINTING_TOTE BAGS web SCREEN PRINTING_TEA TOWEL web

[Workshop Shenanigans]: Screen Printing with Zeena Shah

Well, I finally got round to giving screen printing a go! I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember really and had planned on checking the Print Club in Dalston out when Zeena announced her screen printing workshop sessions. Having done the lino-printing workshop with her before I decided, without any hesitation, to sign up!  Now there are a few ways of doing silk screen printing but in this session we did the paper cut-out stencil technique and not the photo-emulsion one. What this means is you draw out your designs onto paper, keeping in mind the positive and negative parts of your design which dictate what areas you will cut out. The ‘positives’ is the bit you want to print i.e. where the paint goes through onto the fabric and the negatives are the bits you block out/seal off (now I hope I don’t get this the wrong way round!!).  Cutting out stencils using paper is a labour of love but what is truly great about this method is that you can easily set it up and do it at home, skipping out all the photo-exposing-of-designs-on-to-the-screens part of the process and not relying on bigger equipment, dark rooms etc. It’s ideal for those new to screen-printing or for those who fancy doing some quick short runs of printing as the stencils only last about 3 print runs, at tops,which makes this process all the more bespoke! So here’s a look at what went on that day. In the time we had, were able to conjure up two designs; the first illustration of mine was that of a tandem bike with a balloon (you’ll see I used both the positives and negatives to create my prints!) and then the second I did as a homage to shoe lovers like me! :D I’m afraid the photos are captured through my iPhone so they aren’t the clearest but in my defense, it’s not the easiest to document while juggling stencils, paints and screens! Let me know what you think though!

BLOG_STRIP_SILK SCREEN PRINTING  webAs you can see in the photos below, each and everyone of us had such a great time busying ourselves over our designs and prints! So much so I don’t think anyone of us cared to leave Zeena’s studio to grab a quick bite for lunch! Now there’s dedication for you! :D Seriously though, I think when you’re in your element and having so much fun creating pretty things I dont think you care much about your tummy or anything else for that matter! As part of the workshop, we were provided with a tote bag and a tea-towel to print on. If you wanted any more you could just buy them off Zeena or you could bring extra fabric or t-shirts yourself. I managed to squeeze in 3-t-shirts, two tote bags and one tea towel……and trust me, I would’ve happily sat there and printed away the entire day! It really was sooo much fun and the immediacy of the printing process especially on fabric is so SO rewarding!

BLOG_STRIP_SILK SCREEN PRINTING 2 webI got the chance to meet some lovely and super creative ladies too that day;  from graphic designers to crafters to a vintage furniture restorer! I couldn’t believe that some of them travelled quite the distance just for this event…unlike me who was literally just round the corner! Just goes to show you how popular these classes are!! Anyway, I’ve added a few images of the works of my fellow screen-printing peers just so you can see for yourself how fabulous there were! I’m hoping this will tempt you into signing up to screen-printing classes – whether it’s Zeena’s or some place near you. Zeena has added more workshops that run til September so go check her website out for more details!

BLOG_STRIP_SILK SCREEN PRINTING 3 webThanks again Zeena for this awesome workshop – you’re were totally inspirational and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I left your awesome studio totally buzzing from all the creativity and excitement! As a huge fan of all things ‘printing’ related (from lino printing, to letterpress) I think I may have found my new-found art medium!! ;) I just LOVE how you can transfer all your illustrations and typology onto fabric! I’m hoping to look up some pre-made screens to invest in so I can start churning away more designs from home! It may be a while before I do that but I’ll keep you all posted nonetheless. :D I will follow this post with another to showcase the final products I made…..still dithering on whether to give them away as gifts, sell them or just KEEP them all to myself! :D Hope you enjoyed this xx

Silk Screen Printing Workshop booked!

So I finally went for it!! I’ve been wanting to try screen printing for aaaaaaages but wanted to wait and save a bit before splashing out on a workshop. But thanks to my lovely hubby, I’ve been treated to this workshop run by Zeena Shah…..”see it as an investment” he said! :D Anyway, i’m totally chuffed and even more delighted to be working with Zeena again (she is one talented lady!). I did her lino-printing workshop back in January (click here to see my post) which I thoroughly enjoyed….so as you can imagine….i’m eager to be back in her awesome East London studio and experience the same design process that goes behind her amazing work! So………roll on May!!!! I’m totally itching to start looking at drawing up a few design options already in preparation for this! Eeeeeek  I cannot wait!!!!! xxSCREENPRINTINGworkshop




[Workshop Shenanigans]: Lino block printing!

As you all probably know by now, I am completely obsessed with all forms of stamping and printing. And so, when I came across an email notification about a Lino block printing workshop run by Zeena Shah in her East London studio, I signed up without any hesitation! I do believe the last time I did any lino cutting or block printing was back in high school (a very VERY long time ago!) so I really did look forward to revisiting those days back in school. The class consisted of just 8 lovely ladies and Zeena herself….all grouped around one big workstation covered in Lino cutting equipment and copious amounts of stationery goodies and refreshments! We were given a quick intro and then left to carve out our own little creations!

We used Speedy-Carve Blocks (by Speedball) instead of the traditional linoleum. These are high-density rubber blocks, pink in colour, that are quick and easy to carve….not to mention really flexible that doesn’t crack or crumble….so it really was well suited for beginners or for quick block making tasks. Once we decided on our designs we transferred it onto the 8x10cm rubber block provided (you can either free-hand draw these straight onto the rubber blocks or use tracing paper to transfer your designs) you start carving using lino-cutting tools that come with various sized blades/nibs.

BLOG STRIP_lino printing web As you can see above, I opted for Easter themed illustrations and got busy carving out my little chick and wee bunny! If you are rather ‘particular’ like me, the carving can take a little bit longer in order to try and achieve as much detail as possible particularly at a smaller scale. When you’re satisfied with your cuts then the fun of stamping and printing begins! Water-based pigment ink pads were mainly used for stationery and we even gave fabric printing a go with our cut out blocks by simply using fabric paints….it’s as easy as that! (see below).

BLOG STRIP_lino printing 2 webAs you can see from the photos, it really was a lovely, fun-fuelled evening of crafty-ness. There were some seriously cool and really creative stamps made by all the girls that evening and we even posed for a couple of cute cheesey group photos taken at the end by Zeena’s photographer friend Michelle…..who was there to take photos to feature in the next Mollie Makes issue! :) So do you fancy trying this out yourself? If you are based in the east end of London then Zeena does carry out various printing workshops – click here to keep an eye our for future dates. It’s a good opportunity for some therapeutic crafty frolics as well as meeting many creative folk. However, if you aren’t able to sign up to workshops near you then do not fret as there are plenty of tutorials out there on YouTube and that combined with the right tools……you are on your way to making some fabulous handmade stamps/blocks. I for one have just ordered some materials and now patiently waiting to receive them through the post so I can start some printing!!! Thanks again Zeena for the lovely class….thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!! :)  xxx

[Saturday Snapshot] ‘East London Design Show’

So we went along to the East London Design Show held at the Shoreditch Town Hall which not only gave us the opportunity to explore that part of London but gave us an excuse to check out more of London’s finest designer-makers and their work (possibly even some last-minute Christmas shopping!)…..and boy did they exceeded our expectations! Here’s a wee look at five fabulous designers we met that day who I must thank for letting me take photos of their fabulous work! :)  There’s some SERIOUS amount of work, detail and commitment behind a lot of their work and I must applaud them all for that!!

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Designer-makers that caught our attention:

Katy & June – if you have a thing for stationery, like i do, then you’re bound to feel like you’ve stepped into stationery heaven when you come across these beautifully designed stationery and gift products which have been carefully sourced (as they are all about quality!) all the way from Korea. Set up back in 2007, this lovely duo have been doing exceptionally well selling fun and practical products that include notebooks, cool sticky memo pads, cards, calendars, badges, gift wrap, decorations, totebags……you name it, they’ve got it! And they are all pretty darn reasonably priced too…so be warned, you may actually struggle to restrain yourself from buying EVERYTHING off them!  Nevertheless, do have a look at their online store and see what tickles your fancy! ;) ELDS_katy+june low res

Ros Shiers is a London-based illustrator (with an impressive portfolio of clients!) who creates some fantastic prints and homeware that incorporate inspirational quotes and lyrics using a mix of beautiful typology as well as her detailed hand-drawn illustrations which were my personal favourites. She had ones with a series ‘afternoon-tea’ delights, vintage cameras, perfume bottles, lipsticks etc. Being a keen photographer, I couldn’t resist buying a print of the vintage cameras which I’m now looking for a suitable frame to put into! So if you would like to check any of her work yourself, then visit her website or follow her facebook pageELDS_ros shiers low res

Noodoll – well where do I even begin with these lot?! Lets begin with a little about them before I start raving about how much I LOVE their stuff! (I was even impressed by their business card that was 10times the size of a standard one! :P) Created by designer YiYing Wang from Taiwan, Noodoll was born from what was once her Masters project at Central St. Martins that came about from wanting to fuse both eastern and western cultures into a truly unique medium…….and this she delivered ever so successfully! Not only has she made a lucrative business out of her cute, fun and charismatic characters, she is also an established author with a few published books…..not a bad CV, eh? So as for her products – well, they range from stationery and toys, to  gadget holders and books…and there really is plenty more!! She’s even collaborated with other like-minded designers and illustrators here in London to create her ‘Noodoll’s Friends’ range. So there you have it! You can see why I (like so many other folk) have fallen in love with these fun and fuzzy creatures! I highly recommend you checking out her website and if you fancy buying something you will be pleased to know that they deliver pretty much anywhere around the world or you can find them stocked at a few different places on this planet – click here to see whats nearest to you. If you would like to read a bit more about her here’s an interview featured in or simply follow her on either facebook or twitter. Enjoy! ELDS_Noodoll low res

Snowden Flood is a interiors accessories designer (who by the way, now has a studio and shop at the OXO Tower in London) with a range of wonderful homeware products that depict rural scenes and urban landscapes not to mention the idea of souvenirs and keepsakes being the main source of inspiration. You may have seen some of her lovely products, mainly the fine bone china mugs, cups and plates with iconic london landmarks (the Battersea Station is a popular one i’ve been told!), stocked in places like Paperchase, British Museum in London and The Lighthouse Shop in Glasgow. So if you want to browse through some of her products visit her website, or follow her on facebook , twitter or even pop along to her new riverside shop if you’re in London! ELDS_snowdon flood lowres

Zeena Shah is a lovely, charming and talented textiles designer based in the East End of London who, after working in the fashion and interior design industries, decided to launch her brand ‘Zeena’ that specialise in hand-printed textiles and homeware. As you can see in the photos I took below, a lot of her products have a lovely warm, homely and Scandinavian folklore vibe to them. Her products range from cushion covers and home accessories to gift wrap and tape bearing a lot of her delightful designs! All her work are designed and handmade with love from her East London Studio (and home) where I’ve been told she holds workshops to encourage the art of making lovely things to all like-minded creative folk. Have a look at her stuff on her online store or follow all her antics on her blog. ELDS_Zeena Shah low resWell I hope that’s given you all a good glimpse into the world of awesome designer-makers. Enjoy browsing through their websites, blogs, what not and hopefully you’ll find something or two to spruce up your homes or even find some last-minute christmas pressies. xx