Block Printed Wrapping Paper

Last year we enjoyed printing Christmas & thank you cards with my eldest daughter’s designs, so this year we had a go at printing wrapping paper. This was a great project that we could all get involved with. My four year old did the design this time; a sweet reindeer drawing that made a great print.

 
Materials

1 roll of Plain wrapping paper

Block printing ink

Ink tray

Lino cutter

Ink roller /brayer 

Lino sheet

Paper

Pencil

Marker pen

Wooden block (cut to size of design)

Strong craft glue

1. Draw out a design. Using a thick marker pen on the lino.

2. Cut out the areas around the marked section. Trimming off excess lino. Glue to wooden block.

3. Roll out some ink and apply a very thin layer to the lino. 

4. Do some test prints for positioning and ink density.


5. Apply a very thin layer of ink after each print for an even finish.

6. Print the red noses. We used a flat crayon dipped lightly in ink but fingertip will do too.

7. Leave to dry.

8. Ready to wrap gifts!

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Make a cushion cover

Cushions are an easy way to update a room by adding colour, texture and reflecting the changing seasons or celebrations throughout the year. 

They are simple to make and a luxurious and professional finish can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of a retail equivalent.

We have a nearby shop that sells the scraps from a high end furniture upholstery workshop. The fabric for the cushions I made here cost £4. It’s always worth having a root around in a remnants box.

MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT

Fabric (medium weight)

Fabric scissors

Pins

Pattern paper

Ruler with set square 

Pencil

Matching strong cotton thread

50cm invisible zip

Sewing machine

Overlocker (or alternative seam finishing materials)

METHOD

I’ve run out of pattern paper so I used some baking paper to draw the pattern. This makes a 50x50cm cushion cover. Each piece, as shown below, has a 1cm seam allowance. 

(Adjust measurements to your requirements – always remember to add 1cm seam allowance).

   

Use a set square to get the right angles straight. Double check all the measurements, cut the templates and pin in place on fabric. 

If you are using fabric with a pattern, remember to pin template according to pattern. If using velvet, be sure that the grain flows in the same direction for all the pieces.

I made two cushions so folded fabric to cut x2 pieces at the same time.

 

 
Cut fabric and overlock the edges. If you don’t have an overlocker, fabric glue will seal edges or iron on webbing, binding or zig zag stitch.
 
Machine stitch the open zip in place with an invisible zip foot. 

It should like this from the back (picture above)

And like this from the front (pic below)  

Change machine invisible zip foot to a zip foot (looks like a regular machine foot that’s been cut in half).

Next, with the zip open, sew 8cm in from the sides of cover to close the openings on both ends of the zip (sew as close to the zip as possible – you’ll be able to feel the zip through the fabric). 

The gap shown in the above picture should now be sewn together so there should be a neat finish when opening and closing the zip.

Pin front and back pieces together with the wrong side showing (making sure grain and pattern is matched) **Leave zip open halfway -so cushion can be turned the right way after stitching edges.

Sew all edges leaving 1cm seam. 

Turn the cover the right way through the open zip and gently push the corners out with a blunt intrument such as a knitting needle.

Insert a duck feather cushion pad. 

I’ve used a 56cm cushion pad but one up to 60-70cm can be used for extra plumpness.

   

Hand printed Christmas Cards

To make lino print Christmas cards you will need –

  • Soft Lino block sheet (grey)
  • 4″ brayer / roller
  • Lino cutting tool set
  • A4 sheet acrylic perspex (3mm thick)
  • A6 cards
  • C5 envelopes
  • Pencil
  • Lino printing ink
  • Baren
  • Greeting message stamp and ink pad

*there are different types of starter kits available too.
You will need a good sized surface to work on and make sure to protect table if necessary. 

Pencil sketch design onto lino sheet. Images and text need to be in reverse. Once happy with design, carve out all the areas that will be blank. You may want to practice on spare lino first to get used to the right pressure needed to cut and size of tools needed. *Always cut away from body and other hand*

  
Using a small amount of ink, roll out onto acrylic perspex sheet making sure there is only a fine and even layer on roller. 

Roll the ink evenly onto lino design. 

Place lino block on a test sheet, use baren to give an even print. 

Carefully peel away lino and if happy reapply thin layer of ink to roller and print onto card. Each time reapplying ink and using baren for even print.  

Keep an eye on paint on fingers, being careful not to get fingerprints on cards.

  

When cards are dry, stamp in greeting massage. 

  

My cards are available at http://www.etsy.com/shop/thechrissiewhiteshop