Young Designers: At Home. Activity #13
- 16th June 2020
- Posted by: Ami Lowman
- Category: Get Involved
Hello Young Designers…. I have something a bit different for you to try this week… In addition to the design element, there’s also a practical element, of course, if you can’t do that… you can still have a go at the design side of things…We’re going to be looking at and trying our hands at printing with a motif! So grab those plain forgotten garments from the back of your wardrobe and give them a new lease of life!
What you’ll need:
We’ve included links to all the materials needed in case you don’t have them at home and need to purchase some. Please note – by making a purchase through the links below, Making Space will receive a small commission, so you will be helping raise funds us as well!
*Stack of magazines
*Garment from your wardrobe that could do with a new lease of life (always ask parents permission first) or a Plain white Top
*Potato and normal kitchen knife to cut/ carve
*Newspaper, cardboard or plastic sheeting (to protect your table)
Ok, to make it easy to follow along, I’m going to break this activity down into stages as it’s more of a mini project then one activity…
Step 1: Moodboard
The first thing you want to do is create a moodboard… Use images ripped out of old fashion magazines that inspire you… Think colour, pattern, shapes, objects, prints etc. Cut them out, arrange them on a smaller bit of paper and glue down… The moodboard is what will inspire your final design.
In my examples I’ve collated everything onto an A3 sheet… if you’re doing the same don’t forget to make sure your moodboard will fit! (i.e., approx A5 in size)
Step 2: Motif Design
Next you want to come up with your motif… think of it as one element of your print… If you decide to print multiple times, it will become a repeat print. Think of what shape it might be, look to your moodboard for inspiration. What kind of pattern might you use, or style of lines… your motif can be whatever you want it to be. Do some sketches first before you fine tune your final design. Once you have it redraw it out clearly the correct size. You will use this as a template when you make your stencil!
Step 3: Fashion Illustration/Garment Selection
At this stage you may want to do a fashion illustration of what you think your finished piece will look like! Choose what garment you want to up-cycle (always check with a parent first if you have permission to do so) and then use the template below to sketch out what you think your design will look like. Think where your printed motif will go… what colour might you use, what orientation will they go, will you repeat the print? All of these decisions are you as a designer making those choices!! I always recommend sketching the design in pencil first, then adding colour and finally an outline. This too can be stuck on your A3 sheet if you’re doing that!
Step 4: Making the Stencil
Now this is where you have 3 options, you can make a choice depending on what you have access to / your personal preference… I’ll explain all 3 but I do recommend watching this video of polystyrene printing as it talks your through the whole process (I was just printing paper not fabric, but the technique is the same so will be very useful!)
For this you will need to buy some polystyrene sheets (or you can use pizza bases if they’re polystyrene) You will want to draw your design onto the sheet and cut it out. You can then add the details and decoration. Press down hard using a pencil to indent the polystyrene, this will create your stencil. Remember everything pushed down WON’T print, all area’s remaining raised up will be printed.
Lino is the same technique as polystyrene but the stencil will last forever… You will need to buy the lino and the lino cutting tools but these can be tricky and potentially dangerous to use so always make sure an adult is with you / helps. The process is the same though, draw your motif onto the surface of the lino and use lino tools to carve away any parts of the design that you don’t want to be printed.
Now we likely all did this as kids, but the process is basically the same, and the bonus is, you don’t need to buy any materials and the waste is more biodegradable! Get a potato that is big enough for your design (again, as you’ll need to use a knife you’ll want adult supervision) cut the potato in half and blot it dry using paper towels. Then draw your design onto the surface and then use a sharp knife to cut away any parts of the design that you don’t want printed… This rule remains the same for all 3 options!
Step 5: Printing
Now you want to make sure your table top is covered as it could get messy, you might also want to put on old clothes/an apron.
Squirt out a little fabric paint onto a scrap bit of paper / palette and then apply the colour to your stencil (the carved side) You can blend the colours and how you apply the colour is again up to you, you can use a brush, a sponge or a roller… Once you have a nice even coverage you can print it! I’d always suggest doing a text print first either on a sheet of plain paper or a scarp of plain fabric (this can be added to your A3 sheet)
To make the print carefully turn over the stencil, position where you want it to go and the lay it down. Press firmly on the back to ensure good contact! You can just use your hands, or the back of a wooden spoon or even a spare roller if you have one! Once you’re sure all bits have been pushed down, carefully lift off and admire your finished print. If something needs tweaking, nows your time, but if you’re happy with the results you can repeat the process and print onto your garment!
Lay your garment out flat on the table top and pop some plain sheets of paper inside to protect it incase it prints through to the other side.
Have fun with it and enjoy letting your creativity free!! This is a really fun little project to try at home and something which you will feel a real sense of pride from!! If you do have a go PRETTY PLEASE send me some photos of your creations! I would LOVE to see them!