16 Mar 2013

Hand-Printed Napkins

I've been meaning to create more of the arty side of this blog since I first launched in January.  Art is my first love, but having suffered from a severe creative block recently, I have found it difficult to finish any of the projects that I've started.  I don't want to tempt fate, but I think I may be coming out of it now as I was able to finish a project that I have been wanting to do for ages!

Since I moved in with my boyfriend I have been gradually collecting  items for our home together.  What I have especially wanted to do is create personalised items.  These printed napkins are really beautiful and what is lovely about them is that because of the hand printing process, every single one will always be different from the next.

What you will need:
A4 sheet of lino (soft cut for preference)
Lino cutting tool
Paint brush
Acrylic paint
Mini roller
Cotton napkins

Fabric medium
Sheet of paper

For these simpler designs, my preferred method of transferring an image onto the lino is simply by drawing it on with a soft pencil.  Just remember that whatever you draw will be reversed when printed, so if you want text make sure you write it backwards first.
Once you have drawn your image, start cutting with your lino tool.  Whatever you leave uncut is the image that will transfer to your napkin.

Once you have cut your design to your liking, cut around it with scissors to make it easier to print.  Paint your desired colours onto the lino cut and if you like you can first test it on a piece of paper to see what your print will look like.

When you are happy, make sure your napkin is on a clean surface and not folded over as the paint may transfer through the fabric and then apply the paint to the lino cut.  
You can mix a little bit of fabric medium with your acrylic at this point as this makes the paint more permanent, but it does need to be set with heat afterwards.
Confidently place your painted lino face down onto your napkin (you don't want to smudge it), then carefully roll your mini roller over the back of it to push the paint into the fabric.  Repeat this process to create the desired pattern or final image of your choice and leave to dry.

I hope you like this tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it!  I will be making a lot more of these sorts of posts in the future.  Also, if you like items like these but aren't keen on making them yourself, some similar hand crafted items made by myself may also be popping up in my shop soon too, so keep your eyes peeled!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


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