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Block-Printed Holiday Linens

A festive trail of hand-printed holly branches transforms plain linens into a welcome gift for someone who loves to entertain. The leaves are made with a custom-carved block, and the berries (which also appear on the cocktail napkins) are created using a pencil eraser.




  • Plain linens
  • Holly Template
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Soft-carve block (available online or at crafts stores)
  • Bone folder
  • Linoleum cutter
  • Paintbrush
  • Fabric paint
  • Spoon
  • Unused pencil eraser
  • Fabric ink pad


  1. Step 1

    Enlarge or reduce the template to desired size on a photocopier, and cut out. Lay a sheet of tracing paper over the template.

  2. Step 2


    Trace the design with a pencil. Shade the areas you'll carve out. Arrange soft-carve block on a flat surface, and position tracing paper, design side down, on top of it.

  3. Step 3

    Secure the paper to the block with tape. Use a bone folder to rub the entire surface of the tracing paper against the block. Remove the paper and tape.

  4. Step 4

    Holding a linoleum cutter with the hollow side of the blade facing up, carve the marked areas. Use your other hand as a guide, keeping it clear of the blade's path.

  5. Step 5

    Working slowly, begin with shallow cuts; if you dig the cutter down into the block, it could cut all the way through.With a paintbrush, apply fabric paint to coat the uncarved surface of the block.

  6. Step 6

    Place the fabric facedown over the paint-coated block. Lightly rub the back of the fabric with the back of a spoon, then gently pull away. To make holly berries, press the tip of a clean, unused pencil eraser into a fabric ink pad, then stamp over holly leaves.

  7. Step 7

    Set paint and ink according to manufacturers' instructions.



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