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How to block print on fabric

Block printing is a fun and affordable way to create your own unique fabrics using nothing more than your own printing blocks and paint. If you use matt acrylic paints your designs are washable and you can design an unlimited selection of fabrics.



The Shabby Creek Cottage shows us how easy it is to make a printing block. Take a smallish piece of pine and draw out your image. I drew a leaf freehand. You’ll also need just a little knobby bit for a handle (we’ll attach that later).

After you cut out the shape, sand the edges to get off any rough bits. Next I drew on the veins free handed, then took a Dremel MultiTool and lightly carved them into the wood. Just slight lines are all you need. Oh, then attach the little handle to the other side with a small wire nail and some wood glue.

Now you’re ready to get printing!

Use a block printing or rubber roller to apply fabric paint to your printing blocks (buy at craft and hobby stores). Use the roller to spread your fabric paint onto a smooth surface. Then just press your new printing block into it, then onto your fabric.


Over on Prudent Baby, they used a chevron design block to create custom fabric for an outdoor bench. There's no limit to the designs that you can create for block printing your own fabric. The more experienced you become with your Dremel MultiTool, the more fun you can have.

On unworn, you can use printing blocks to make your own custom fabric for fashion accessories. Nidhi comments that the blocks were too thin and broke several times during the process, so use wood that is at least 12mm thick.

You can use printing blocks to create custom fabrics for tablecloths, napkins and serviettes, bedding and fabric for curtains. And don't forget to try out our technique for using Rust-Oleum satin spray paints to create your own custom fabrics.


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