craft kit · workshop

Block Printing

You may remember that last year I was very excited to attend The Handmade Festival in September and that whilst I was there I bought lots of craft kits. Well, they are still keeping me going even now and I’ve been doing one of them to get back into the crafty swing after new year (and being a bit poorly again)!

One of the workshops I attended at the festival was Indian Block Printing and afterwards I went along to their stall and bought my own starter kit so I could do some more at home as it was so fun! Included in the kit was:

  • Foam mat
  • Paint tray
  • Sponges
  • £15 worth of printing blocks
  • Three fabric paints
  • Tea towel
  • Cotton tote bag

I tried to pick small blocks but they are more expensive than you would expect them to be so I ended up spending extra to get the ones I wanted. As I spent more the very kind lady who served me threw in a fourth fabric paint for me, yay! 

I was a bit worried that I might have forgotten how to do it as it was quite a while ago now, but luckily it all came back to me once I’d got all the equipment out. I was a bit naughty as I did it without an apron on, but next time I will make the effort to go and get it from my studio down the garden as I was a bit worried about getting the paint on my clothes.

I started with the tea towel, positioning the foam mat under the places where I was going to print. I decided to do a repeating pattern with the pineapple stamp, applying two different colours to the block; green for the leaves and yellow for the fruit. 

Moving on to the tote bag I placed the foam mat inside the bag, between the layers of material. This is because some of the paint can go through the fabric and you don’t want it to transfer to the other side of the bag. I noticed this especially with the green paint. One one side of the bag I did a random pattern with the leaves, acorn and dragonfly blocks. On the other I did a little scene with the acorns at the top as though they were on the tree, the oak leaves falling down and the dragonfly and a couple of bees buzzing around.

The last thing I had to do was heat seal them by ironing on the reverse. This means the painted fabric can be washed without ruining the design.

This was a really nice way to spend the afternoon and it got me thinking if I could incorporate some printing into my own work. The Arty Crafty Place ( who sell the kits do an amazing range of blocks, which they are adding designs to all the time, so I might have to have a look at their website and expand my collection!

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