Make A Lino Cut Paw Print [A DIY Tutorial]

Here’s a fun idea for a simple lino cutting project – perfect for welcoming a new four legged friend into your home. You’ll start by taking your cat or dog’s paw print and then transfer the print onto lino before carving away the negative space, leaving your pet’s unique signature! You’ll end up with a beautiful keepsake that you can frame – and a lino cut that you can use to make more prints, sign holiday greetings, print onto fabric and more.

I have included instructions for printing with real printing ink as this yields the best result but if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge just yet, you can print your lino cutting with the same ink pad that you’ll use to take the initial paw print (and could always re-visit the printing process at a later time when you’re ready).

Those who follow me on Instagram may know that we welcomed Finnbar to our family 9 weeks ago – as he’s a German Shepherd/Boxer mix I knew his delightfully small, puppy-sized paw wouldn’t last for long so I really wanted to capture it, in all it’s cuteness and so, this project was born. Im going to make another print in a years time and am looking forward to seeing how much he’s grown!

Materials and Equipment:

  1. Soft rubber brayer
  2. Printing ink in black – I used Caligo safe wash relief ink
  3. Palette knife
  4. Wooden Spoon
  5. Ink pad
  6. Soft pencil (8B is ideal)
  7. Sharpie or any chunky marker with a rounded end
  8. Small piece of unmounted linoleum – size will vary depending on your pet
  9. Carving tool
  10. And of course, a four legged friend!

Not pictured here (well actually the first one is pictured, it just didn’t show up in the photo) printmaking paper (I use this one) and a smooth, flat surface for spreading your printing ink onto if using.

Step 1: Print

Start by taking your pets paw print, then washing it gently in soapy water to remove all the ink. Notice how there are some areas of the paw pads that haven’t transferred the ink so well and there are also a few tufty bits of hair in between – it’s these details that will give your finished print it’s unique characteristics!

Step 2: Draw

Carefully draw around the paw print, staying true to the shape of each pad to make sure the print is as accurate as can be. Then shade the areas that will appear solid and shade over any additional markings such as tufts of hair or claws.

Step 3: Transfer

Place your paper face down onto you lino and hold carefully in place while you rub the back of the paper firmly with the butt of your marker. When you remove the paper, your pencil marks should have transferred to the lino.

Step 4: Carve

Carve out your design using your tool of choice. If you’re new to lino carving it can take a moment to get into the right frame of mind as you have to remember that you’re ‘drawing’ with the lino that is left untouched, not the lino that you carve away. So for example, to make the little tufts of hair in the print below, I had to plan ahead and leave these delicate lines of lino untouched whilst carving away the surrounding areas, rather than making these marks on the lino with my carving tool. You can use the ink pad to take test prints at various stages of the carving process which will help to keep you on the right track and can be especially useful for making sure that you have carved out the background area sufficiently.

Step 6: Print

If you already own printing ink and equipment then you probably don’t need me to tell you how this is done but I will aim to break down the process here for anyone trying this for the first time.

You’ll take a little ink on your palette knife and spread it onto a smooth, flat surface. Work the ink back and forth with the palette knife to warm it up then take your brayer and roll it back and forth until it is evenly coated. Roll the brayer back and forth across your lino, varying the angle with each stroke to make sure that it is evenly coated. Place your paper on top and hold in place while you firmly rub the back of the paper with a wooden spoon. Peel the paper away and experience the thrill of seeing your design in print form for the first time!

Check out the quick video I made below to see the process from start to finish.

What do you think? Are you tempted to give this project a try? Let me know in the comments. If you try it I hope you’ll come and share the results over on Instagram (don’t forget to tag me!). And as always, if you need any help or words of encouragement along the way I am only a DM away.

HOW TO MAKE A BOW SCRUNCHIE [DIY TUTORIAL]

This quick-to-make bow scrunchie is the perfect sewing project for using up fabric scraps or up-cycling a favourite garment that’s on it’s last legs. You could rock a different one every day of the week or make one to match all your favourite outfits. This DIY bow scrunchie also makes the perfect present – you could give them as holiday gifts for your entire class, make matching ones for your #girlsquad bachelourette party or use them as stocking fillers!

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HOW TO MAKE A QUILTED HOT WATER BOTTLE COVER [DIY TUTORIAL]

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Winter where I live can be pretty brutal – grey skies day after day, freezing temperatures (but seldom snow to make it pretty), rain, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark…

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I can think of two things though that help make Winter better wherever you are – hot pyjamas straight off the radiator and going to bed with a hot water bottle! The pyjamas you can probably figure out for yourself but I’m excited to share my new and improved  Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cover sewing tutorial today! Continue reading

HOW TO MAKE: A HEATED EYE MASK [DIY TUTORIAL]

Most of my DIY projects are born out of necessity. When my optometrist advised me to spend 20 minutes lying down with a heated eye mask every few days I didn’t need much convincing. Later that day I had my finger poised to order a £12 rice filled eye bag from Amazon when I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I could totally make it myself!

I decided to make a tutorial as I think everyone should experience the delight of a warm eye compress. This tutorial is simple to follow and contains a free template that you can download as a PDF. The finished eye mask is generously sized and just the right weight – it even doubles as a warm neck/shoulder compress too! A heated eye mask is really good for the various ducts and glands in your eyes as well as being super relaxing. I like to take mine to bed and pretend it’s a spa treatment…

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HOW TO MAKE: ROLLED BEESWAX CANDLES [DIY TUTORIAL]

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Beeswax candles have some pretty amazing properties – did you know they clean the air as they burn? They also smell amazing and best of all, are easy to make at home! Round about this time every year I make a pot of tea, dust off the record player and spend an evening making a big old batch of these DIY candles to see us through winter. There’s no hot wax involved so you can even do it with one eye on the TV! They’re easy to make at home and I’m going to show you how in today’s tutorial…

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A RECIPE FOR INDIGO DYE [DIY TUTORIAL]

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A few weeks ago my Aunty (the very creative and inspiring hand weaver, spinner and textile designer Madeleine Jude) very kindly spent the day giving me a little glimpse into the alchemy of indigo dying. Working with natural dyes is quite daunting – I’m so glad I had someone to show me rather than trying to figure it out for myself from a book. Today I’m sharing some photos of the dye making process along with the recipe we used for our indigo vat. I chose to dye a stack of muslin squares which I folded using some simple shibori folding techniques which I learnt mostly from YouTube.

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HOW TO MAKE A NEEDLE FELTED ROBIN CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT [DIY TUTORIAL]

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Here’s an easy DIY that’s perfect to kick off the festive season! For those not already familiar with it, needle felting is the art of jabbing wool repeatedly with a tiny, barbed needle. As the little needle works it’s way in and out of the fibres, it gradually compresses and tangles them together so the wool becomes more and more compact. It’s suprisingly easy to mould the squishy wool into whatever shape you would like and oh so satisfying to do because it fuses together really easily – you can layer up the colours as much as you like and attach one shape to another with a few jabs of the needle. I’ve gone for a round robin here because it’s an easy shape to start with and cute too!

You will need…

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  1. A handful of white wool
  2. A small bit of brown wool
  3. A smaller bit of red wool
  4. Needle felting needle
  5. Two black beads for eyes
  6. Needle for hand sewing
  7. Black thread to sew the eyes on with
  8. Fancy thread to make a loop

Step 1…

Roll the white wool around into your hand, working it into a rough ball. It will still feel fairly loose but as you jab it all over with the needle, it will gradually become a solid ball (really!). Just remember to rotate the wool regularly in your hand so that it felts evenly all over.

Step 2…

Grab your brown wool and tease one end into a point. Use your left hand to place it on the white ball and hold it in position while you jab it a few times with the needle to secure. This point will be the robin’s beak.

Step 3…

Shape the brown wool up in an arch either side of the beak and felt into position. You can leave the remainder of the yarn at the back as a fluffy tail! Felt the brown wool across the robin’s back, head and beak, making sure all the edges are felted securely and neatly.

 

Step 4…

Take your red yarn (you’ll only need a tiny bit) and tease it out so it’s fluffy with no big lumps in the middle. Place it on the breast of your robin and felt into position. Try to make the edges of the red wool quite diffused so blends nicely.

Step 5…

Sew on the eyes and watch your round robin come to life!DSC_0639_edited-3

 

Finished! You can trim the tail fibres if need be then your robin is all ready to rock on the tree!