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Give the Gift of Handmade Cards

Give the gift of handmade cards: Step-by-step instructions on how to create one-of-a-kind relief-printed holiday cards.

Print your own cards

With our step-by-step instructions, you can easily create one-of-a-kind relief-printed holiday cards. Clear off the kitchen table, grab the kids and have some fun!

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A. Create Your Design

1. Draw your picture on a sheet of paper using a soft lead pencil. Keep in mind the size of the cards you plan to print on. Safety Kut blocks can easily be cut to size with a craft or utility knife.

2. Place your drawing on top of the block, pencil side down, and burnish with the bowl of a spoon. The image will appear reversed on the block, but will print as originally drawn.

3. With the drawing transferred, blacken all the lines and areas in the image that will not be removed in the cutting. These areas will be in relief and print when inked and stamped.

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B. Carve the Block

4. First, outline all areas to be removed with the smallest V-gouge in the Speedball Linoleum Cutter Set. Work slowly and carefully. Generally, it's best to cut away from your image and fingers. For good, sharp printing results, cut deep.

5. To remove large areas which will not print, use the #5 V-gouge.

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C. Print the Block

6. Squeeze Daniel Smith Relief Ink onto a hard, flat surface such as a glass palette. Roll the ink out with the brayer into a thin film of paint, then transfer the ink to the carved block with the inked brayer, just like inking a stamp.

7. At this point, it's best to test your inking and transferring skills. Print on a piece of paper and learn how to adjust your ink film and how much pressure you'll need to create a good print transfer. Check your design, correct any cuts. Now you're ready to go into production-this is where the kids come in handy. Have your cards ready, in a clean working space, take your inked block, center it to the card, press it down firmly and lift.

7. Try multi-colored designs and over-prints. Add metallic paints and pens to your design or glue papers and appliques.
Relief inks dry quickly, so after printing, promptly clean your brayer, block and hands with soap and water. Dried ink scrapes easily off your glass with a single-edged razor blade.

8. Allow your prints to dry thoroughly before writing in your cards or placing them in envelopes.

Materials List