Make custom stamps from inexpensive materials, and then decorate plain fabrics with colors that match your dining room decor.
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You can also use the stamps and techniques shown here to decorate white curtains with similar designs.
To make the stamp that creates a floral design (Stamp B), cut a roughly 6-inch piece of 2-inch dowel and sand both ends smooth to provide a solid surface for the tape. Cut two pieces of double-sided mounting tape about 1-1/2 inches long, and apply them to the back of the 1-1/2-inch ornamental floret. Then press the floret centered on the end of the dowel.
One advantage of these stamps is that you can use rolls of tape you already have or buy rolls of tape that can be used for other projects when you're finished.
To make the stamp that creates roughly 1-inch circles (Stamp A), use double-sided tape to attach a 3/8-inch (7/8-inch diameter) washer centered on the end of another 6-inch piece of 2-inch dowel. Apply spray adhesive to one side of two washers the same size and stack them on the first washer. The extra washers help keep the edges of the dowel from accidentally touching the fabric.
To build stamps that create a ring of dots (Stamps C, D, and F), decide how many evenly-spaced wooden buttons you can fit around a circular object, such as a roll of tape. Cut a piece of double-sided tape for each button, and then attach them in a circle.
For small stamps, cut two pieces of 2-inch dowel about 6 inches long. Then tape 3/8-inch buttons in a ring around one dowel (Stamp F) and a 1-inch button centered on the other (Stamp E).
Wash, dry, and iron the drop cloth. Cut the seam off one long edge and trim the drop cloth to width. (We made this one 21 inches wide.) Take extra care to keep the edges straight and parallel. Trim and hem the drop cloth to length so that it hangs over the ends of your table or leave it 9 feet long with the original seams intact.
On one edge of the drop cloth, unravel the long threads and remove them to create a fringe about 1/2 inch long. Repeat for the opposite long edge.
Measure, mark, and tape straight lines 5 inches from both long edges of the cloth. Then paint roughly 2-inch strips in from both long edges. (We used Sensual Jade.)
After brushing the fabric parallel with the tape, brush perpendicular to the edge to help the paint straighten the fringe and keep the fabric from unraveling.
While these strips are drying, brush a complementary color (Twilight Meadow) from the darker color to the tape to create a gradual transition between colors. Let both colors dry. Using a separate brush for each color, paint a 1-foot strip of the dark color followed immediately by a 1-foot strip of the light color for a soft transition between shades. Repeat down the length of the runner on both sides.
Remove the existing tape and apply fresh strips covering up the inside edges of the painted strips. Beginning with the large-dot stamp (C), use a small foam roller to load the stamp with paint. Press the stamp firmly against the fabric and lift. Reload the stamp after each pressing to scatter these large patterns randomly along the runner. You can also use the downloadable pattern as a guide.
To load a stamp with paint, cover the roller lightly with paint. Then roll paint onto the face (not the edges or cavities) of the stamp. Practice your stamping technique on scrap fabric or paper.
Repeat with the medium-size (Stamp D) and smaller circles (Stamp F) of dots to fill the spaces inside the large ring of dots and blank spaces along the runner. Use the tape to bring the patterns right up to the edge of the borders. You can also add individual dots (Stamp F) and flowers (Stamp B) at random.
Remove the tape and use the flower pattern stamp (B) to create a row of shapes where the two border colors merge. (We used Pineapple Mousse.) Allow the runner to dry overnight before using.