Printed Seashell Pillows
Photography: Krause, Johansen
Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2009
The scallop shell's iconic shape turns pillows into inspired accessories. The linen covers can be store-bought or hand-sewn.
If you are making them, print onto the fabric before cutting it, so the pattern will continue to the edges. Be playful in the design, with a mix of light and dark impressions, or go for a stylized row of narrow Vs, made by inking only part of a large shell.
Use this technique on pillowcases, shirts, and sarongs. Print with rubber forms or beach finds (such as shells). Mix paints to find a shade that suits the fabric.
Tips: Test on scrap fabric. For a sarong, cut fabric to size (ours was 44 by 66 inches). Finish with a rolled hem: Turn edge over, and secure with tiny stitches. Wash objects with warm water and dishwashing liquid after printing.
44 by 66 inches of fabric
Shells and sea stars
Cover your work surface with a few layers of old towels (for shells and sea stars) or with paper (for forms).
Brush fabric paint onto part or all of object using a sponge brush.
Print shells and sea stars: Lay fabric flat; press object as if it were a rubber stamp. (Towels allow for some give, yielding a detailed impression.)
Print forms: Lay fabric on form; press with fingers. Remove fabric.
Let set according to paint manufacturer's instructions.