Making Linoleum Block Prints

Category How To
A fun unique way to decorate paper or fabric is making print blocks. This is a page about making linoleum block prints.


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How to Create a Linoleum Block

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


Creating Your Drawing

  1. First you draw the image you want on a piece of tissue paper the size of your block.
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  3. 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)
  4. Then turn it right way up and tape it to your block and trace your image again.
  5. 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.
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  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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)

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