Tools and Materials:
Fabric or paper or other material for your stamping surface
Acrylic paints (choose your colors)
Art gum eraser
Pencil with an eraser
Pen or marker
paint brush or cotton swab
Craft knife (for adult use)
Flat plates for each color of paint (paper or ceramic)
Brayer or roller to smooth the paint
(optional, the bottom bowl of a spoon can also be used)
Needle and thread (optional)
Embroidery hoop (optional)
1) Prepare your “stamps”. Cut an apple in half. It can be in either direction. It makes a great stamp when cut vertically as shown above. When cut horizontally, you get the effect of a star in the center when you stamp. Take an art gum eraser and use a pen or marker to draw a simple leaf shape on one side of the eraser. Use a craft knife to cut around the leaf shape and allow the leaf to be raised while cutting away all of the area around it. Carve in some veins if you like. Use the craft knife to slightly carve the shape of a pencil eraser so that it looks like an apple seed. You can also use a cotton swab or paintbrush to paint the seeds.
2) Set up paper or fabric to be stamped. Cover the table or counter top with newspaper, plastic trash bags or a disposable plastic tablecloth to protect the surface from paint.
3) Spread one color of paint on a plate and roll it out so that the painted area is large enough to get paint on the apple half. You can spread it out with a roller, brayer or the bottom part of a spoon. Press the cut side of the apple in the paint and then press it onto the fabric, paper or other surface to be decorated. Repeat with another color (on a different plate) for apples of a different colors or the leaf shape. Put a bit of paint on a pencil eraser, a paintbrush or a cotton swab. Dab it in place to make seeds. Create your own design with placement, colors and use of different apple pieces, leaves, etc. Allow one color to dry before printing a second color on top of it unless you want the colors to mix.
4) You can go back with a brush and add stems, seeds, or other decorative items, details in the leaves or you can even press actual fall leaves into the paint and make leaf prints along with your apple prints. There is no limit to the imagination on this project.
5) Depending on what item you have printed, you might want to hem the edges of the fabric, bind them with seam binding, or use pinking shears to trim the fabric. If it is on paper, you can add a frame. For the example shown above, we put a layer of quilt batting under our print with a piece of plain fabric under that and held it securely in an embroidery or quilting hoop. Then we used a needle and thread and quilted around our apple shapes. Finally, we sewed binding around the edges and made a potholder.
If you use fabric, you can make placemats, pot holders, or decorate napkins a table runner or a piece of felt to hang as a fall banner. Stamping on paper can make placemats, note cards, stationery, place cards for a special dinner, or simply prints to hang on the wall, bulletin board or refrigerator door as fall decorations.