Traditionally, we make our Christmas cards with a block printed design. Now that our kids are older, they are making our cards this year. My son drew a Santa and my husband made the "color separations". I found a softer material than linoleum for the kids to carve. This design will be three colors when finished - white, red, and black on green craft paper.
Step 1: Draw and Carve
1. Draw your design and transfer it in reverse onto your printing block material like linoleum, balsa, foam. We used a material called Soft-Kut from Blick.
If your design is going to be more than one color, use the same size block for each color. Transfer the art for each color in the same spot on each block so it lines up when you print all colors. For example, our card is three colors: white - beard and trim on hat; red - hat, nose and shirt; black - outline.
2. Using a Speedball linoleum cutter, carve away what ever you don't want to print.
Step 2: Roll and Press
Now you are ready to roll.
3. To print your first color, squeeze out the ink on to a flat surface (like a glass palette) and roll it out with brayer on to your carved block. We used Speedball water-based ink and brayer.
4. Pick up the block with the ink on it and press it down on to your paper (folded note card) and press. Try to line up the edge of the block with the edge of the paper if you are printing more than one color, so each color will line up. Let the ink dry on your card before printing the next color.
Our design has a thick black outline that over laps the areas of color inside the other shapes. We printed this color last.
First Prize in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Card Contest