Bueno! My name is Kelly, I am a graphic designer and half of the mucho mucho bueno bueno duo. Fall is my absolute favorite for many reasons, but most of all, I love seeing all the creative holiday projects that go on. Lately, I've been trying to take a break from the computer so I started playing with lino printing. With Halloween right around the corner, I wanted to make sure my nephew had something rad to collect his treats in, so I made printed treat sacks. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be...

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Here is a look at all the tools you will need for this project
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1. fabric scissors
2. needle & thread or sewing machine (hot glue would work temporarily, but I don't recommend it) pins are optional
3. #2 and #4 Speedball Linoleum cutters & handle (you don't need those two sizes specifically, but you will need a narrow one for tight corners and a wide one for clearing out large chunks) 
4. a Linoleum block or Speed-Carve rubber block. I am using the Speedball (pink) Speedy-Carve because it's a lot easier to work with.
5. Water soluble block printing ink
6. hard rubber brayer  
7. Inking plate. (You can use a sheet of plexiglass if you already have it, but you can use a piece of cardboard if it's just this once)
8. Fabric of choice - Burlap

Now we are ready to make something awesome


STEP ONE: Make the bag/buy the bag. I quickly made two drawstring style bags of varying sizes, by first pinning the edges and then sending them through the sewing machine. I sewed the two edges where the drawstring would go and then sewed the sides of the bag and last flipped the bag inside out to have all the raw edges on the inside.


STEP TWO: Decide what image you want to print on the bag and evaluate how large/small you want to print it. Knowing that I wanted to print a pacman-esque ghost, I cut down the speedy-carve rubber block, using scissors, to fit within the boundaries of the bag. 


STEP THREE: Place print design on rubber block. Here is where you have options: 1. print out a design you made and with a warm Iron, transfer the freshly printed image onto rubber block (great for detailed design)  2. draw design directly on the block (fun if you are doing this with young kids)  3. Make a stencil of your design by cutting up paper (good for simple designs, like a ghost). 

I chose to create my design by cutting paper into the shape of a Pacman ghost and then tracing it onto the rubber block using a water soluble maker. 


STEP FOUR: Cut away negative space in your design. First you will decide which parts of the design you want to be fabric (cut away areas) and which areas you want printed with ink (the remaining raised surfaces). I start cutting with the #2 cutter or the most narrow linoleum cutter available along the traced lines on the rubber stamp. Next I switch to the #4 or the wider linoleum cutter and cutaway the areas that I don't want to be inked/where I want the fabric to show through. Please don't rush and never push the cutter in the direction of your hand. 

Throw away all scraps of rubber

STEP FIVE: Prep ink. Start with a glob line at the top of your ink tray and and start (little by little) rolling the ink down the tray, getting ink on the whole roller. Avoid using too much.
 
6a00d8358081ff69e20133f56c3ab9970b-800wiSTEP SIX: Ink the rubber block and do a few test prints with extra fabric. Use an extra brayer or a rolling pin while the inked block is face down on your fabric to even disperse ink. If you use a rolling pin for this, place another sheet of paper or fabric between rolling pin and stamp (you don't want to eat ink). Here's the point where you figure out how much ink is a good amount for the final print.

*if the test prints turn out cute save them to be framed for gifts.

STEP SEVEN
Do your final prints on the actual surface of the bag you either made or bought. Let it dry for a few hours. I always let it sit overnight just to be safe.

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STEP EIGHT
(if you chose to make a drawstring bag) Place you stings/straps in their sewn loop you made earlier and  you are done!
 
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Not only do you have some cute bags, but you also have a new stamp that you can use on many surfaces (wood, fabric, paper, etc) for all your future projects. Happy Halloween! Kelly

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