Monday, June 17, 2013

162) Hand Stamped Portrait Tie

The Bee and Bean are pretty luck to have a really awesome dad! They love to climb on him, play outside with him and tell him countless stories. He is always happy to lay on the floor and play in the dollhouse or even dance with them in their latest performance. He is the best reader of bedtime stories and is always happy to sit and snuggle. So this year I wanted to make sure we gave him something  extra special for Father's Day. Of course the tie is the classic Father's day gift, and while he doesn't have to wear a tie to work everyday he does have to wear them sometime, so I thought we would make him an extra special one. One made just for him.

We started by buying a nice, but pretty inexpensive tie at Target. The Bean picked a nice silver gray one. I then cut a piece of paper that fit on the bottom of the tie and asked the Bee to draw a picture of her dad. She is really into drawing people right now so she was more then happy to do so.

Her portrait was a perfect four year old drawing, which I loved. I then took her drawing and shaded the back of her picture with a pencil. Next I took some pink, easy to carve rubber (you can get this in any arts and craft store, usually in the printmaking section) and laid the paper drawing side up on the pink rubber. I then traced right over the lines of her drawing, not picking up the paper until I was done. Once I pulled up the paper, I could see her drawing faintly traced onto the rubber. If you have never used this trick it is very handy anytime you need to trace something! I then carefully carved out the negative space of the drawing with a linoleum cutter. If you have never made your own stamp before, it is much easier then you would think. I highly recommend this book Making An Impression by Geninne Zlatkis it is a great guide to making stamps.

Once I had finished carving, which honestly took about 10 minutes, we were ready to stamp. We used a Versa ink pad, which is good for stamping on fabric, wood and pretty much any surface. You can find them in lots of craft store or even online. We had a black Versa stamp pad which was perfect for the gray tie, just enough contrast to see the image without being too much. Originally I had thought that we would just stamp the image once but it looked so good on the tie that I stamped it repeatedly to make a pattern.

The finished tie turned out awesome! The Bee loved seeing her design on there and her dad loved the present made just for him. The tie is a perfect kid made present but still subtle enough that he could wear anywhere.


  1. That is so awesome. I will definitely be stealing this idea sometime. Hubby has a gazillion ties though, and no longer wears them for work, so I'm thinking a fabric painted portrait on cotton handkerchieves might be the way forward.

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