That’s how we roll!

Neon-print nap­kins from Lena Cor­win turn the sim­plest meal into a fancy-pants oc­ca­sion!

Mollie Makes (US) - - CONTENTS -

Ma­te­ri­als

■ Metal hole punch, with ¼" hole or larger ■ ¼"-thick foam sheet, ap­prox 8½ x 11" ■ Multi-sur­face wa­ter­proof glue ■ 18" wooden rolling pin (not ta­pered) ■ Paper cup (op­tional) ■ Small paint­brush (op­tional) ■ 1' muslin, for test print­ing ■ 4' light-or medium-weight cot­ton ■ Fab­ric scis­sors ■ 18 x 24" pad newsprint paper ■ Plas­tic artist’s pal­ette, at least 18 x 15" ■ Wa­ter-based acrylic fab­ric ink ■ Old spoon ■ Foam brayer ■ Rag or paper towel ■ Thread in match­ing color

“While plan­ning my book, I be­came es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in the con­cept of ro­tary print­ing,” says Lena Cor­win, au­thor of Made

by Hand. “I won­dered if I could make a small-scale ro­tat­ing stamp to print an all-over pat­tern. I ad­hered foam pieces to a rolling pin, and it worked!”

A sim­ple idea yield­ing great re­sults – just what we like to see. One yard of fab­ric makes four nap­kins, and the newsprint used while print­ing can be re­cy­cled as giftwrap. You’ll need a work sur­face of around 5 x 3 feet. While wa­ter­based ink is non-toxic, it’s best to work in a well-ven­ti­lated area. An apron might be handy!

01 To make the ro­tary stamp, cre­ate holes in the foam sheet us­ing the hole punch. Keep the small foam cir­cles you punch out and set them aside. Tip: If you’re hav­ing a hard time fit­ting the foam into the hole punch, try punch­ing close to the edge of the foam, push­ing back and forth. If you’d rather, you can cut out shapes us­ing some small scis­sors.

02 Lay the rolling pin on your work sur­face and care­fully glue each foam dot (or other shape) to the rolling pin. Use the glue di­rectly from the bot­tle, or you can pour it into a paper cup and use a paint­brush to dab it on the un­der­side of each foam piece.

Cre­ate a ran­dom pat­tern on the rolling pin, glu­ing some dots close to­gether in clus­ters and oth­ers far­ther apart. Al­low the glue to dry be­fore you ro­tate the rolling pin to add more foam dots.

03 Con­tinue glu­ing dots or shapes un­til the en­tire rolling pin is cov­ered. Al­low the glue to dry for sev­eral hours or overnight.

04 Ei­ther iron the muslin and nap­kin fab­ric or pull the (still warm) fab­ric from the dryer and press out any wrin­kles with your hands. Cut both the muslin and nap­kin fab­ric into 18” square pieces.

05 To per­form a print test, place two pieces of newsprint side by side on your work sur­face. Lay the muslin test fab­ric on top of the newsprint, smooth­ing out the fab­ric with your hands. Next, stir the ink care­fully be­fore you use it to check its con­sis­tency – it should ideally be a bit like melted ice cream. If it’s too thick, add a small amount (ap­prox­i­mately one tea­spoon) of wa­ter and stir. Add more if needed. If your ink is too thin, leave it un­cov­ered and ex­posed to air un­til it nat­u­rally thick­ens.

06 With your spoon, scoop out ap­prox­i­mately two ta­ble­spoons of ink onto the pal­ette. Spread it out with the spoon, cre­at­ing a line across the width of the pal­ette. Spread the ink fur­ther with your foam brayer, cre­at­ing a rec­tan­gle of ink ap­prox­i­mately 16” wide and 10” long .

07 Slowly roll the pin back and forth through the ink. Some­times it’s bet­ter to hold the pin it­self, rather than the han­dles, by plac­ing your fin­gers be­tween the foam dots, to give you more con­trol while rolling.

08 Lift the rolling pin and stand it up­right, rest­ing the han­dle on your work sur­face. Check to see if any ink has man­aged to get on the rolling pin, and if so, wipe those ar­eas with a paper towel or rag.

09 Place the rolling pin on the edge of the test fab­ric and slowly roll the pin away from you. Note that for the first ro­ta­tion of the rolling pin, the ink is heav­ily coated on the

foam and only a lit­tle pres­sure is needed. As you fin­ish one ro­ta­tion of the rolling pin, the printed ink will start to ap­pear lighter, so you will need to ap­ply in­creas­ing pres­sure as you ap­proach the sec­ond ro­ta­tion. With prac­tice you will be able to achieve two ro­ta­tions of the rolling pin with nice, even prints. If your print has globs of ex­cess ink, you are press­ing too hard. If your print is faded, you are press­ing too lightly.

10 Af­ter two ro­ta­tions of the rolling pin, stop to roll the foam brayer on the pal­ette to re­dis­tribute the ink, and reap­ply the ink to the rolling pin. Add more ink to the pal­ette as needed. Lay down fresh sheets of newsprint for each piece of fab­ric, and prac­tice print­ing on the test fab­ric un­til you are happy with the ap­pear­ance of your prints.

11 To make your nap­kin, lay down fresh newsprint on your work sur­face and place a piece of nap­kin fab­ric on top. Print as you did with the test fab­ric, rolling the foam brayer on the pal­ette to re­dis­tribute the ink, ap­ply­ing the ink to the rolling pin, and check­ing for stray ink. Roll the pin over the fab­ric, adding pres­sure as you fin­ish the first ro­ta­tion. Place the printed nap­kin fab­ric in a place where it can dry com­pletely.

12 To switch to a dif­fer­ent color, make sure your pal­ette, foam brayer, and rolling pin are washed thor­oughly (but not in hot wa­ter). Press the brayer and rolling pin with a rag or towel and wipe the pal­ette to speed up the dry­ing time. If you want to roll a sec­ond color on the same fab­ric, wait un­til the first layer of ink is dry. When the fab­ric is com­pletely dry, iron the pieces on a high heat or dry them in a ma­chine dryer on a high heat for 15 min­utes. This will make the ink per­ma­nent and wash­able.

13 Hem the edges by fold­ing the fab­ric un­der a scant ¼ ” seam – “scant” means a cou­ple of threads short of the mea­sure­ment. Sew with a straight stitch in a thread to match the fab­ric.

Meals lack­ing that cer­tain some­thing? Neon-dot nap­kins are the an­swer.

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