Once you master the technique, linocutting is easy and is ideal for cards and gift wrap.
You Will Need
- Design templates and tracing paper
- A pencil with rubber on top
- Lino (two 70 x 70mm; one 70 x 30mm) and lino cutting tools
- A tray/piece of glass, a hard roller and a foam roller
- Block-printing ink (green, red and white)
- Cards (100 x 100mm and 150 x 150mm)
- Optional: wooden blocks, hot-glue gun
Transfer the design
Print your design template. Place tracing paper over it. With a medium pencil, trace the design. Turn the tracing paper over so you’re working on the back and retrace the design. Then turn it face down, lie it on the lino and retrace the design again. Remove the tracing paper, and you should find the pattern transferred to the lino.
Cut out the Lino
If you’ve not cut lino before, try cutting a design on a spare piece to see how much pressure is needed. (Note: it’s the areas you leave uncut that create your print. Lino tools are sharp, so take care and supervise children.) To cut a line, drive the tool away from you, chiselling the lino out. To remove larger areas, use a wider tool. Turn the block so you’re always cutting away from you. To make the lino easier to hold when printing, cut a wooden block to the size of the lino then attach it using a hot-glue gun.
Apply the Ink
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the glass. Take the hard roller and spread it across the surface thinly and evenly. Roll the foam roller over the glass to pick up a supply of ink then apply the ink to your lino block by running the foam roller over it a few times. Now you’re ready to print.
Print Your Card
Hold the lino by the edges and gently place it ink-side down onto the first card. Press down firmly all over the back of the lino. With practise you’ll work out how much ink and pressure to use to get the best results.
For the small cards (100 x 100mm), position the leaf design to leave space for the ‘NOËL’ message. For the large cards (150 x 150mm), print the leaf design four times.
When the ink is dry, dip the pencil’s rubber into the red or white ink, then dab it
on the cards to create the berries.