With the school summer holidays right around the corner, one way to keep kids occupied is to dabble in arts and crafts, block-print style!
Block-printing on textiles is believed to have originated in China, in the early 3rd century, and eventually spread to other Asian countries including India. Hand block-printing is common in several regions of India. Fabrics typically used are silks and cottons. These wooden blocks are often made from seasoned teak and Indian sheesham wood. Artisans carve intricate patterns onto the wood, and those are then soaked for 15 or so days in oil to soften.
Here are some examples of beautiful carved wooden print blocks sold at Harabu House. While these wood blocks have been retired from block-printing due to wear and tear, these vintage, one-of-a-kind carved pieces can be repurposed as statement pieces for your bookshelf or coffee table.
Block-Printing on Aprons:
We decided to try our hand at a little block-printing at home, by printing on to kid-sized aprons. We used Martha Stewart multi-surface satin paints, along with a Martha Stewart fabric medium. After following the instructions provided with the fabric medium, we mixed the medium along with the paints and applied the paint in a thin layer directly on to the print block. The kids were quite anxious to jump right in and stamp away, but the best results were achieved with a very steady hand. Still, there was much fun to be had (despite the enormous mess!) with the added bonus of kids feeling quite proud of their artwork.
Block-Printing on Cardstock:
In this example we first put the cardstock through the salad-spinner treatment.
Here is a link to the step-by-step tutorial we found. We proceeded with the block printing (well, in this case, rubber stamping) on top of the spin art cardstock. The result was a beautiful card juxtaposing both abstract and geometric art.
Block-Printing on Paper:
Another great project for my son is to complement the card created he had created, by creating his own wrapping paper by rubber stamping his favorite designs randomly on paper. In this example, we used the same rubber stamp from the cardstock example and created a pattern. The stamping continued until the desired size of wrapping paper was stamped. This is a great way to personalize your gifts and cards to your friends and family. They will especially appreciate the results, when your kids are involved in creating such beautiful and meaningful artwork.
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