Making Linoleum Block Prints

How to Create a Linoleum Block

Linoleum blocks can be used to print cards, make your own wrapping paper, or simply for art.

Supplies:

  • linoleum block of your chosen size (should be able to obtain these at you local craft store)
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  • linoleum cutting tools
  • paper to print on
  • linoleum block paint
  • roller
  • plate for paint
  • tracing paper
  • pencil

Creating Your Drawing

  1. First you draw the image you want on a piece of tissue paper the size of your block.
  2. When you think the image is perfect turn it over and make the entire back black with a pencil (essentially you are making your own carbon paper by doing this)
  3. Then turn it right way up and tape it to your block and trace your image again.
  4. You can skip all these steps by just directly drawing the image on the block, but that does not allow for mistakes.

Carving Your Block

  1. When the image is on the block you can start to carve.
  2. You have two choices; you can carve each line on the block...
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  4. Or you can carve around your image...
  5. Carving around the image as shown above can be harder and takes longer, but I like the outcome better.

Printing Using Your Linoleum Block

  1. When you have finished carving, you can start to print. You can make corrections after you have made a print.
  2. To make a print you want to put a pea-sized blob on paint on a plate and roll it out with the roller. When it gets tacky you can roll it on your block.
  3. Roll on an even coat of paint. Then place it on the paper you want to print on, press hard then carefully turn it over and rub on the back of the paper to make sure the image transfers well.
  4. Let your print dry. Now you can glue it on to another piece of paper to make a card, frame it, or print the same image multiple times on a large piece of paper and use it as wrapping paper.

Making Stamps with Insulating Foam

Another form of stamp you can make is with insulating foam. You can get this at your local hardware store. It is the insulating foam you can put around your door to keep cold air from coming in; it has tape on one side.

You will want to use foam that is fairly thick, so you will have room to cut out bigger shapes.

Cut out what shape you want, take off the paper stripping and place the foam on a block of wood.

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Do the same steps as before for printing your image. This form of stamp does not last as long as the linoleum block but does not take nearly as much time to make. (Originally Published 12/28/2004)

January 11, 20050 found this helpful

(sent in by email)

I like your clear and easy instructions for linoleum block printing. I want to get started in it but don't know exactly what to buy. One website said you need to make a wooden frame to hold your linoleum block, but I see you don't use one. Also, I recall when I was a teenager (many years ago!) doing this, I had to soften the linoleum with an iron. Do you have to do that with today's materials? Thanks for a reply.

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January 11, 20050 found this helpful

(Answer: sent in by email)

Hello,

I have never used or seen a wooden frame to secure the block in and do

not know it's advantages but you do not need it to create a linoleum

block like mine. With the blocks I have used I did not need to soften

it. One thing I did not make clear in my article is that you must use

block printing paint. I recently tried some acrylic paint and it did not

work. I tried to find these items at JoAnn fabrics and they did not

carry them but possibly Michael's craft store? Please feel free to ask

more questions, I'll try to answer them the best I can.

Stella

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April 11, 20070 found this helpful

Great Tutorial,

Thanks for sharing your tips & ideas with the rest of us. I certainly like your creative idea about "Making Stamps with Insulating Foam". Do you ever have a problem with the insulating foam's adhesive eventually failing to stick?

I'm a relief print artist myself and always look through the internet to find unique and creative ideas.

You have been a great inspiration.

Thanks Much,

Sassafrass Winter Solstice

SassafrassWinter.com

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October 3, 20070 found this helpful

Could you give me some good ideas of a drawing to put on one of these

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May 14, 20080 found this helpful

I learn lino printing at school and have to do an evaluation could I use some of your photos in it?

Marianna age 13

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November 29, 20080 found this helpful

This is real helpful thanks a lot.

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