Scarves are one of my favorite accessories. I wear them year round, but especially enjoy cozying up in a great scarf during the winter. A few weeks ago I noticed my boys’ necks looked cold, so I whipped up a couple of these simple hand-stamped scarves for them. It’s super easy to carve an original design with just an eraser and an exacto knife, so naturally I carved mine into a reindeer.
The stamping part of this project is fun and easy, so it’s a great one to do with school-aged kids (mine are a bit too young still). It’s also inexpensive (each scarf ringing in around $3, if you buy your knit at JoAnn’s), so it makes a great handmade Christmas gift.
You’ll need: some lengths of stretchy fabric (mine are all between 10-12″ wide and about 30-60″ long), a rubber eraser, a sharpie, and exacto knife (or carving tool), and some fabric paint (I used all different colors of Jacquard Lumiere.)
First, draw a simple deer head on your stamp with a sharpie. Carefully slice around the edges of your design with the exacto knife. Go around the design again, this time with the knife at the opposite angle, cutting a v-shaped chunk from the eraser. Continue to gently carve away the eraser around the design.
If you have a set of carving tools, you probably know how to use them. Carve all away around the design and out to all four edges, leaving just the reindeer head elevated.
Pour some paint onto a flat surface. I use an old plastic plate. If you have a brayer, use that to flatten the paint out into an thin, even pool. I just gravity help even it out by rolling it from one side to the other. Dip your stamp into the paint as if it were a stamp pad, then stamp onto a test piece of fabric to see if there are any parts that need to be carved down further. Mine had one little corner, so I carved it down and tried again. When the tester comes out clean, you’re ready to roll.
The perfect amount of paint will vary depending on your design and how thick your paint is. This is what my stamp looked like with a perfect amount for a clean stamp. Pretty, right? I love the subtle shimmer of the Lumiere paints.
The perfect stamp feels like a kiss. Be gentle and just kiss the fabric with the paint. Continue stamping randomly all over the fabric, changing the orientation of the stamp. Let the paint dry completely. (If you want to learn more about hand stamping, Mim has some great tips!)
On some of my scarves, I repeated the reindeer stamp on the back side. On others, I got creative with stripes and polka dots. The knit fabric won’t fray, so it’s super easy to leave the edges unfinished. To make the scarf an infinity scarf, twist one end, so the front side is against the back side, then stitch with a zig zag stitch across the edge, closing the loop.