Block Print Valentines
A Valentine's Day card is even more special when it's handmade, and there are a number of techniques you can employ to create your own cards at home. One especially distinctive method is block printing. Dating back to ninth-century China, block printing involves transferring an ink impression of a design carved in wood, linoleum, or other engravable medium to another surface. Once a design is chosen and then carved, it can be used to make an unlimited number of prints. If you're creating multiple cards, reapply ink to the block after each print, and wash the block with warm water, drying it with a lint-free cloth after every three prints.
- Designs of your choice
- Tracing paper
- Speedy Stamp
- Large spoon
- Linoleum cutter
- Various linoleum cutter blades
- Block-printing ink
- Wax-coated paper plates
- Soft rubber brayer
- Card stock
Choose a design to use on your card, such as a heart, a photograph, a favorite pattern, a leaf, etc. Using tracing paper, trace design with a pencil. Center tracing paper facedown onto Speedy Stamp, and rub the entire surface of the tracing paper with the back of a spoon to transfer your design.
Using linoleum cutter, carefully carve out design. The blades come in different sizes for more and less detailed work. Alternate between blades as needed until your design is fully carved.
Squeeze out a small dollop of block-printing ink onto a wax-coated paper plate. Roll brayer over ink to spread it. The brayer should be thoroughly covered with a thin, even layer of ink before it's rolled over the block. Roll brayer over stamp, coating the raised areas.
Place your card stock facedown onto stamp, and lightly rub the surface with the back of a spoon. Gently pull paper away. You may also place the block facedown on the paper, pressing gently and evenly.