Lino cut printing is great for making personalised stationary and cards! I’ll be making some printed notebooks soon but first here’s my tutorial for using simple patterns to make cards that are really bright and lovely. I love getting letters and notes in the post and this would make a lovely little card to send to someone just to say hi or as a handmade postcard. So here’s how you do it!
If you want to have a go you will need:
block printing ink
a lino cutting tool kit
soft cut lino
a brayer (block print roller)
a marker pen
a plain card
Firstly cut your lino to be about 0.5cm smaller around than your card so it looks neat once it’s printed. Then draw your pattern or design onto the lino with the marker pen. I decided to do a simple design; I think it looks like trees in winter.
Carve out your design. You can either carve away everything except the lines you drew or you can carve out only the lines you drew, like I have done below. The latter is quicker but it all depends on what you’d like it to look like. Once you’re finished you’ll have your print block!
Once you’re happy with your print block it’s time to get the ink ready to print. This is a great part because you get to play with colours and decide which will suit your project best. I went for blue and red doing mono-prints (one colour) of each.
When you’ve decided on colour, take your inking surface, usually a smooth plastic surface or an inking tray and use your brayer to spread the ink evenly. Your brayer should now also be coated with a smooth, even layer of ink without peaks that could go into the carved space and mess up the print.
Take your brayer and firmly, again making sure the print block has an even coverage, you can see a theme developing can’t you! Even coverage really is the key to a good print. This will also highlight the design so you have a better idea of what it’ll look like. Now all that’s left to do is print!
Make sure your hands are clean before picking up your card so that you don’t get marks on it. Place the print block onto the card as accurately and neatly as you can making sure not to move it around or it’ll smudge. If you have a spare brayer or even a rolling pin you don’t mind getting ink on, it can help the transfer of the image if you roll over it (taking care to keep it still).
Then taking the top corner of your printing block carefully peel it off to reveal your finished card! Once you’ve got the hang of it you can make 20 cards really quickly and in any colour you like!