Gallery of past work

Monday, 5 December 2016

Printing Cards together

We've been hand making our Christmas cards in one way or another for almost twenty years and it's a task I really enjoy. Generally I've made them mostly without my husband's help because I was using textiles and he doesn't stitch. However, from time to time printing on paper has been the medium of choice and we've worked together. One year early on, we screen printed which was very successful and on a couple of other occasions we hand printed from a simple wood cut which also worked well. I've been wondering this year why we hadn't repeated the fun as it's a lovely thing to do together. This year seemed a good moment.

However, because of still on-going moth treatment, access to my workroom (and indeed much of the rest of the house) has been limited so we had to think of a simple printing method that could be done at the kitchen table without many resources. We decided on relief prints to be printed in only one colour for ease and speed of production.

I drew up a couple of designs, dug in the resources I could reach for appropriate printing medium and card stock (A5 folded) and cut up the paper to take the print. Meanwhile, my husband made up two print blocks to give a choice. For this, he used Fab Foam (which cuts with scissors and prints really easily) and MDF which he cut to size, and a register plate jig the same size as the paper. This was well worth doing even though we were only using one colour as it ensured that the images were always correctly placed on the paper and margins were the right size. To keep mess to a minimum, we avoided oil based printing ink and printed using silver or gold acrylic paint which is water-based and washes off easily.

The acrylic paint seemed to work surprisingly well despite its rapid drying qualities which meant that we had to get organised before we began printing, work quickly with short print runs and clean off all equipment straight after each print run. We found that the Galeria range by Windsor and Newton worked best, even though it was slightly transparent especially in the silver. This suited the images we were printing. It may well be that their Extender Medium would have improved this if it had troubled us as it claims to increase the volume of the paint and to maintain opacity.

Some useful tips on all types of print making can be found here and here and on a wealth of other websites!


  1. Anxiously await the reveal! What fun working together too!

    1. The reveal, such as it is, will be in the week before Christmas ... along with something else ...!


Hello and thank you very much for taking the time to leave a message on my blog. Every comment is welcome and I will try to answer you as soon I can.