I’ve received a few requests recently on the printing I keep posting about, so decided to snap a couple of photos this morning. Hopefully it will show you how easy it is – and addictive! The temptation to start printing everything you own is great..
But anyway, the first photo shows all you need to start lino printing (and something to print on, of course):
- A piece of lino
- Cutting board
- Lino cutter
- Craft knife
- Paint (suitable for the medium you are printing on)
This fabric paint above is black and I have used it for most printing so far. I find it really easy to apply and it gives a good effect. Just iron for five minutes after it’s dried and you can wash the fabric normally.
I couldn’t find the pebeo paint locally when I needed brown for a new project, so opted for this other brand. Not so good in my opinion..the colour is a bit weak and it smells terrible, but still does the job. Again, you can iron after drying to make the fabric washable. I’ve used this on paper too which gave a stronger print actually.
Take your pencil..
And draw around your template onto the lino piece. I drew my own shape, but you could trace or print it from the computer. I wouldn’t go more complicated than this reindeer because it is fiddly reapplying the paint during the printing process.
Once you have drawn the outline, you need to take your tools and start carving out excess lino. Before this though, cut down the lino piece to close to your design. It stops wasting the lino and also helps with laying out your print design later.
Lino cutters (on the right) are pretty cheap to buy and you can get a nicer one than this (!) Be careful when using it to always push it away from you and to keep your hand out of the way. Take small layers of the lino away each time – if you are feeling resistance, you are digging too hard. Trust me, it will slip and that’s not good.
You don’t need to take a deep layer away from around your shape, a couple of millimetres is fine. Then use a sharp craft knife to cut around the shape you want and slice away extra lino from that area, it just gives a crisper edge. Again, be very careful when using this tool as it slips easily. I did cut up my thumb the first time which wasn’t a pleasant experience.
Take your time in this stage and it will show later on.
Here’s the finished cut lino (I’ve been printing with this one, which is why there is paint on it). Now you are ready to start printing!
I definitely recommend having a practice run first, as there is no way of explaining exactly how much paint to apply – and you want to be happy with your design. Just grab some scrap fabric (or whatever you plan to print on) and go for it. Try a thin layer and adjust from there. It needs to completely cover the surface and not be given time to dry out. Oh, and you will need to reapply another layer of paint after each time – it’s not a quick process but definitely a rewarding one :) I find washing your lino piece quite regularly helps keep the prints crisp too (maybe every half hour/full hour).
When setting out your design, use a pencil to mark where you want to place the print. This is especially helpful for repeat prints.
When you’re feeling confident, move onto your real fabric and start printing. Don’t forget to lay down a flat, wipeable surface underneath first though! Sometimes the paint seeps through and you don’t want that on your carpet (-_-)
Ok, hope this has been helpful – if you have any questions feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email: email@example.com. Most of all, just have fun and be original!