DIYdiy projects

diy project: block-printed chevron fabric

by Kate Pruitt

A while back, we received an awesome before & after — in video form, no less — from Jaime Morrison Curtis of Prudent Baby. Jaime transformed her empty porch into a stylish, eclectic gathering spot by creatively revamping salvaged items and throwing in a few well-chosen accessories. If anyone is interested in creating a similar look, you’re in luck! Jaime has created tutorials for several of the furniture and decor pieces on her porch, including this awesome chevron printed fabric bench. The greatest part of printing your own fabrics is how inexpensive and simple it is, and the irregularity of hand-cut prints works perfectly with patterns like this chunky chevron. I can’t wait to use this idea to print some fabric for new fall pillows. Thanks for sharing, Jaime! — Kate

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Read the full how-to after the jump!



1. Determine your design. You can draw it right on the block like I did (remember, it will be reversed when you print), or you can draw it on paper, use a pencil to shade in the back of the paper, then put the shaded side down on your block and trace the design to transfer it. If you transfer it, use a Sharpie to go over your design on the block so it doesn’t smudge. Then use your cutting tool to cut out the white space from your design.

2. Squeeze a small amount of ink into your tray. Wear gloves, as it gets everywhere and is hard to get off your hands. Use your roller to evenly distribute the ink. Even distribution is key.

3. Use the roller to roll the ink onto your block. Go back and forth a few times to distribute it as evenly as possible.

4. I did a practice stamp on a piece of paper, and it was just what I wanted! You can get it more even, but I liked this look. I also wanted to ensure my print would line up so I could make any necessary adjustments, but it was lining up just fine.

5. Lay your fabric on a flat surface. Put a piece of cardboard under the fabric for an even, clean working surface. Stamp away, reapplying ink to the block after each stamp.

6. Continue until you’re all stamped up. This would also be great if you wanted to do a pretty design, like a flower, that didn’t need to line up and didn’t require as many stamps.

7. Hang to dry. It takes about three to four days before you can touch it without getting ink on your hands, then another week or ten days to be sure that it is fully cured. After that, you can wash it and use it on your project!

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  • This is a wonderful idea! I have actually been wanting to paint/stamp chevron stripes on panel curtains to create a room divider for our living room/storage…but I do have a question. Is it neccessary to wash the fabric after stamping and before use? I ask because we bought panel curtains from Ikea and they have specific instructions on them saying not to wash. Thank you!

  • Love it! Block printing my own fabric has become a hobby of mine. Love the chevron and the black and white.

    If you’d like some more inspiration, stop by and check out my “printing your own fabric” guest post with Sometimes Sweet! http://wp.me/p1gPuk-h9

  • What a blast… we did this with an image of our favorite place for our wedding indentations and dissevered it was backward when we printed it! Thanks for the memories.

  • I love the handmade quality of this, beautiful. Just FYI, it seems the big designer fabric houses are behind on the chevron trend…so hard to find one at the showrooms.

  • i’m not super familiar with block printing ink, but i bet you could use fabric screenprinting ink and it should dry much sooner. and if you heat set it (iron it), you can launder it without it fading.

  • This is a beautiful project…but I think I’m finally growing tired of chevron. Is chevron meant to be as timeless as a plain horizontal stripe? Maybe if people toyed with the size and spacing of the lines as much as they do with horizontals I could enjoy it again..it has always felt like a fad design. Chevron is the new put a bird on it.

  • Oh gosh, this gets my printing juices flowing! That design is SO GREAT; the imperfections are what make it extra lovely & graphic.

    I’ve always wondered what paints are best for fabric, so I will check out your ink-supplies-link, thanks. :^)

    As for the Chevron just being trendy…..it’s a Pre-Antiquity graphic symbol! Been around for hundreds of thousands of years, symbolizing birds, water, and the Sacred Female. And also looks wicked on a couch! *hehe*

  • This is such a great idea! I love that the look is both graphic and handmade/rough.

    I’ve done printmaking in the past, and I have two suggestions:
    One, spray your piece of cardboard with spray adhesive and allow to dry before you lay the fabric on top. That will make the cardboard just tacky enough so the fabric won’t slide around while you print, but will still be easy to reposition.

    Two, Natalie G is so right! If you heat set it the ink will stay and you don’t need to launder. Pick a piece of scrap fabric that’s a similar color to your ink and put it between your iron (medium heat) and the print.

  • Both Brianne and Natalie G provide good advice. I am textile printer, so here are two additional points:
    -definitely use a water based ink (oil is NOT ideal for fabric), either for screen-printing or block printing. The only added benefit of block printing ink is its thickness which makes it a big easier to use with a roller.
    -after your fabric has air dried (sometimes as fast as 30 mins) throw your fabric in the dryer on high for 20 mins or so and this will heat-set the ink. Then you can launder the fabric as usual.

  • I love your project!! I just featured it on my blog! I’m a new follower!

  • Love chevron and this how to is excellent! I am going to feature this on my blog post about chevron chic! Such a great idea