Block printing nature motifs

Hi Messians, it’s Ashley here! Block printing is a popular printmaking technique that I absolutely adore. Artists often carve wood or linoleum creating stamps to print on paper and fabric. Today, for the Season of Nature, we’ll be creating our own nature motifs, or patterns, simply using wood blocks and craft foam.

Materials:

  • Wooden blocks (If you don’t have wooden blocks, you could also use scrap cardboard or foam board)
  • Craft foam (If you don’t have craft foam, consider using every day items you have around the house like buttons, bottle caps, or even string)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam brush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Adhesive

Steps:

After you read through these steps, enjoy the process video below. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!

  • Use a stencil or found object and trace the shape with your pencil on the craft foam. Note: If you have adhesive craft foam, it is easier to trace your shape on the back where the paper is smooth.
  • Cut out your shape, peel back the adhesive, and adhere it to the wooden block. Press firmly. Now you have a stamp!
  • Use a foam brush to apply a thin coat of paint to the stamp. Press the stamp on your paper with a bit of pressure and lift it off the page carefully. Reapply paint as needed to make multiple prints.
  • Continue printing until you fill the page.
  • Experiment using a combination of stamps and try overlapping them for a different effect.

More Pattern Play

Here, I used a hand-drawn leaf shape and cut it in half. I painted one side light green and the other side dark green for a two-tone effect.
Play with the different shapes and create a variety of patterns. Soon you’ll have a handful of new collage papers to add to your stash.

You can even print directly in your art journal!

Thanks so much for following this tutorial, and be sure to share anything you create with me! There are no words to express how much I’ve enjoyed being a Creative Team member for Get Messy this year. It’s been such a great pleasure. You all are the absolute best!

Block Printing Nature Motifs

Action Step:

Create your own stamps for block printing and practice making patterns inspired by nature.

Ashley

Ashley is just an artsy-craftsy kinda girl trying to make it in the world. She loves everything from scrapbooking to sewing and art journaling to jewelry making. Her motto is “Make it ’til you make it. And then make some more.”

5 Comments

  1. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    I love the leaves that also look like hoof prints! This is great Ashley, thanks!

  2. Marsha Smusz

    Im thinking this will combine with the tides project. Lovly, idea pot is simmering.

  3. AntyPam

    This gave me a great idea – use my metal dies to cut shapes out of sticky back foam sheets, adhere them to wood blocks, and turn those dies into stamps! Thanks for this creative lesson.