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It's block-printing but without the carving.

Quickly and at little cost, linoleum-block printing lets you put a personal stamp on your Christmas cards. This version of the craft eliminates time-consuming carving; the block is made of cut-out linoleum pieces on a vinyl-covered backing.

Only the linoleum relief raised above the backing will register on your card. The vinyl surface on the cardboard base makes it easy to wipe off excess ink and to re-ink for multicolored printings.

It should take you less than an hour to make the block and less than a minute to make each printing. We suggest water-base printing ink: it's easy to clean up and it dries overnight.

Materials you'll need include paper towels; an 8-inch square of scrap fabric; a rubber band; a good grade of stationery or paper, such as watercolor or bristol paper, for the cards; scissors; same-size pieces of heavyweight cardboard and self-adhesive vinyl shelf paper (sold by the yard at grocery, hardware, or wallpaper stores); a soft pencil; tracing paper; a ballpoint pen; a 9- by 12-inch sheet of self-adhesive craft linoleum (aviable at craft knife and blades; water-base block-printing ink (it comes in tubes and is available at crafts stores); one or more paper plates; a small rubber brayer; and a few sheets of scrap paper.

Begin by forming a burnisher bag to use for pressing your paper to the block when printing. Crumple paper towels into a ball about 2 inches in diameter, enclose it in a fabric scrap, and fasten a rubber band tightly around the fabric where it comes together above the ball.

Next, cut each sheet of paper to desired size and fold in two. Measure the front of one card and cut your cardboard and shelf paper to the same dimensions, Adhere the sticky back of the shelf paper to one side of the cardboard.

With a soft pencil, trace your own design or one copied from a book onto the tracing paper, making sure that it will fit on the card front. Now follow steps in pictures. The second or third print you make will register more clearly than the first, so make a trial print or two on scrap paper. Later on, if an individual print looks messy around the edges, simply cut around its outlines and glue it onto a blank card front.

To change ink colors, wash the block surface with a wet sponge. Pat it dry with paper towels and apply new ink. You can superimpose one color over another or print several times on the same card without drying between printings.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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