Lino Printmaking at Home

Printmaking at home can be lots of fun and there are many ways to do it. Here is what you will need and a step by step guide for creating your own prints. Additionally, I made sure to include tips and tricks as well as recommended brands for first time or veteran printmakers.

What you will need

  • Lino (you can purchase lino blocks at your local art store or here online:

  • A soft rubber brayer (I use the brand Speedball)

  • An X-Acto knife

  • Plexiglass or equivalent surface for inks (non-porous)

  • An assortment of linoleum cutters (I have a set from Lee Valley but Speedball also has a handy set that all of the attachments can be stored inside the handle)

  • Ink (I use water-soluble ink from Speedball but again you can use other brands) Make sure to pick out the main colours of the colour wheel. At Michael's, there isn't a wide selection of inks but like paint, you can mix them together to get the colours you desire.

  • A workspace that can get dirty

  • Vegetable oil

  • Rags that can be ruined

  • The paper you would like to print on (in my case I will be demonstrating on cards)

  • Optional: Transfer paper (I use this to transfer my drawings onto the lino surface. This allows me to save time drawing)

  • Optional: Cutting matt

Step by Step

1. The Image:

Your first step is to decide on what you would like to print. Coming up with a drawing of what you would like to see is a crucial step in the process. This will also help you hammer out the size of your print, what you want to use it for, and what you will be printing on.

Make sure to sketch out your full image because you will also need to decide what you are carving away. Take your time and don't be afraid to make mistakes. This is the time to experiment.

2. Transfer

Your next step will be to transfer the drawing to your lino block. This can be done by either drawing the image again freehand; but, I prefer to use graphite paper.

Place the dark side of the g