I was roaming the aisles of Deserres as one does when they want to waste both time and money, and I found myself in the linocut printing section. Now, I’ve always wanted to try this (who doesn’t want to take sharp carving tools to something?), and I knew it would be perfect to make the wrapping paper I’ve been thinking about! I have a lot of birthdays coming up, plus holidays, and I am a big fan of making the outside of the present as fun as whatever’s inside.
What you need:
- A large piece of paper, like wrapping or craft paper.
- A carving tool or exacto knife.
- A pencil.
- A piece of linoleum block or a large eraser.
- An image you want to carve (I used the hand image found here)
- An ink pad or paint and a brush.
Find an image online that fits inside your linoleum block. Trace your lines in pencil.
Flip your image over onto your block and tape it in place.
Scribble over the lines with your pencil, this will transfer the image onto the rubber.
Tadaa! Crisp image, ready for carving.
Using your carving tool, carve your lines out. I wanted all the bones to be separated so I carved right on top of my pencil lines.
It’s easier to use extra straighter lines than to try and go around the curves. You’re going to be cutting out all that blank space anyway so don’t worry about having extra slashes around.
Once your outline is done start taking out the negative space. I only had the one small carving tool, so I did most of the work with my exacto and left the small detail work to the carver. I also trimmed off a lot of the extra on the edges so I’d be able to see where I was stamping easier.
Test your stamp; flip it over to see if you need to take out anything else. As you can see there’s black spots at the finger tips that weren’t deep enough, so I carved those out more. If you’re using paint instead, brush the paint on in a thin layer (or use a roller, they make them specially for this with linocut paints).
Once it looks good, test your stamp on a piece of paper so you can make sure the image is looking good, and so you get the hang of how much pressure to use. Try to use an even pressure over the whole thing.
Now it’s time to get to work filling up your paper. I am using the back side of some wrapping paper I had on hand because my ink wouldn’t dry properly on the gold side.
It does look pretty cool though, you can see where it was stamped on the back! It’d probably look pretty cool wrapped this way as well with all the ghost-like handprints.
And there you are. Find a present that needs wrapping, and go to it! You could spruce these up even more with glittery spiders, a big bow, or some Halloween themed ribbon.
Oooohhh I love this! Haven’t touched linoleum in like 5 years. Super easy to use!
Almost too easy! I found the stuff I bought really soft, I might try a different block next time.