My crafty inspiration board on pinterest is an eclectic mix … lately I have been interesting in collection stamping and printing ideas …


Steph is the founder/managing editor of Modern Parents Messy Kids and mom to a 2 year old son and 1 year old daughter. She started MPMK as a resource for helping parents to engage their kids, organize their life, and add a little style to their home. For more inspiration on things to make and do, check out MPMK’s newest feature – The Make & Play Vault.

Hello there Whip Up readers, thank so much for having me today! I’m excited to be here sharing with you a new technique I recently discovered via (where else) pinterest. Once I discovered this method, I was immediately drawn to it.

It’s a very easy way to produce the type of modern prints you might find in my favorite stores (West Elm, Anthropolgie, Crate and Barrel, etc.). When done on paper and mounted in a frame, these prints make fabulous wall art for a variety of room styles.

Check out the example above here (also seen on the set of the Nate Berkus Show).

Options really start to open up when you apply this method to fabric. I’m considering a table runner, cloth napkins, or some tea towels in fall colors. And the pattern on a large throw pillow would add a great pop of color to a neutral chair or couch.

What I love most about this project is that it can be easily adapted to kids of all ages. To illustrate this, I’ll be sharing with you how I made a print for our play space as well as how I let my 2 year old experiment with the process. Ready to get started? All you need is some yarn, paint and brushes, and a few blocks.

I began by wrapping a small wooden block with yarn. Then I knotted the end and used some tape to secure it in place. If you don’t have a block, not to worry. All you really need is anything “wrappable” in a shape of your choosing. We made Easter prints earlier this year by cutting egg shapes out of cereal box cardboard and wrapping them with yarn.

Once your printing block is ready, take a brush and apply your paint. The yarn can be pretty absorbent at first so you’ll need to experiment with how much paint to apply on a practice sheet of paper. It’s also a good idea to brush on the paint in only one direction so the yarn fibers lay flat.

Once you have your technique perfected, start stamping. I made my pattern by stamping, turning my block 90 degrees and stamping, returning it to the original position and stamping, back to 90 degrees and so on and so forth. The process is a surprisingly cathartic way to spend nap time.

To add interest, I layered on some orange paint for a few of the squares. It’s a little difficult to see the effect here but it gives the print some nice depth in real life.

Here’s the finished product. I like the look of the pattern running off the borders so I made my print larger then the matte of my frame. A grouping with an odd number of prints made in the same way but in different colors would be a nice solution for a large empty wall.

This project is a great introduction to printmaking for school aged children because it’s simple enough for them to have success. You can also do a more free-form version with toddlers. One of my mantras over at Modern Parents Messy Kids is that beginning art is all about the process, not the product. With that in mind, I wrapped a circular block in yarn for my son and let him loose with a large sheet of craft paper.

At first he used so much paint that the yarn acted more as a relief. Eventually he refined his technique applying the paint and was able to make his own version of a block print.

That’s it, thanks again to Kathreen for having me! I hope you enjoyed this project and that you’ll try it soon. Please also stop by Modern Parents Messy Kids and say hi!


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Karen Barbé is a textile designer and lives in Santiago, Chile. Her passion for crafting, textiles and everything nostalgic finds its space on her blog where she shows her works in progress and what currently inspires her. Her textile creations can be found on the her online shop.

Hi there! I’m Karen, I’m a textile designer and I’m happy to be guest blogging here on

I chose to hand print this piece of fabric because it’s been a long while since I had last tried it and I had in my mind these images of cross-stitch patterns, grids and textile structures I wanted to play with.

For making my stamp I used a clear polycarbonate sheet and small squares (5 mm / 2.5inch) of EVA foam [hard foam – comes in blocks – is used quite a bit in packaging too].

What I like about using small squares is that you can easily build a nice motif without having to carve or cut complex shapes. Just choose your favorite cross-stitch pattern and start gluing the squares (or “stitches”) on the surface.

I printed a piece of roughly 1 x 1 mt (a bit more than a yard) of natural cotton muslin with three rows of my design. It’s best to use clear bases for the stamp for easier registration (instead of wood or matte plastic).

I must confess I was going to cut the final cloth and sew a bag but when I saw it finished I changed my mind. I can now use it as a small tablecloth, a wall hanging or small curtain, a cloth for sitting on the grass or for wrapping your stuff you have to carry around (like returning the books to the library).

Can you think of any other ideas?


Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin and published by Melanie Falick Books, is a practical handbook for beginner printmakers and those wanting to venture into different aspects of printing for practical purposes.

This useful spiral bound book with templates in a handy sleeve, takes you through the steps to get started with various printing methods – such as stamping, stencilling and screen printing. Each section includes several cute projects and there is a getting ready section too. There are some very stylish and simple projects useful for home decor and more personal projects – such as stamped traveller pouches, stenciled lamp shades and screen printed baby quilts. Quite an assortment of lovely projects. Plus each project has clear photo steps explaining how to do it. A super stylish design and how-to book.

Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing by Mike Perry is published by Princeton Architectural books – so you know from the get go its going to be great.

Mike Perry previously wrote Over and Over and Hand Job – both super gorgeous detailed books. Pulled is similar in style to his two previous books – it is a compendium of amazing illustrations and designs – all screen printed. This book is both a survey of styles and artists working in this medium and a bit of a how-to as well as a collection of just amazing work.

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Great prints by Lil Fish Studios. Link.