Credit: Jim Cooper

Tools and Materials

Clip-art book, or image of your choice

Plain cards

Ink block

Tracing paper


Linoleum-cutting tool

Block-printing ink

Paper plate


Ink-Block Thank You Note How-To

1. Choose an image and photocopy it, reducing or enlarging to fit your card. Cut an ink block to approximate size of the card, allowing for a border if desired. Lay tracing paper over the design, and trace with a pencil. Transfer the image to an ink block by placing paper facedown onto the block and rubbing gently with a fingernail.

2. Carve the design into the block using a linoleum-cutting tool, with the hollow side facing up. Remember the carving will be a mirror image of the finished print, and only uncarved areas will pick up ink -- not the image itself. (If you want the image to pick up the ink, cut away the background, so the image is raised. This technique doesn't require that the ink block's size correspond to that of the card.)

3. Squeeze a dollop of block-printing ink onto a paper plate. Roll the brayer over the ink until covered with a thin, even layer. Use the brayer to coat the block thoroughly with ink. Place the card facedown on the block, and rub card gently (test it with a piece of scrap paper first). Reapply ink for each print. After three prints, wash block with warm, soapy water, and dry it with a lint-free cloth.


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