Carve Your Own Wooden Block to Print Napkins and More

I’ve been wanting to experiment with making my own wood block stamps, and what better an application than a new set of springtime cloth napkins for dinners on the patio?

Printmaking is an art that I’d love to explore more, so this was a nice test run that helped me get a better understanding of how to make wooden stamps, and how to get comfortable using the tools involved.

Make a wood block stamp for at home printmaking, DIY style.

If you’re interested in either DIY napkin designs or, like me, enjoy creative ways to use routers for creative tasks like block printing, keep on reading. This project will be right up your alley.

Looking for more inspiration with DIY napkins? Check out this tutorial on how to sew your own cloth dinner napkins (fun pattern alert!), and learn how to carve stamps using high-density rubber, craft foam and ordinary pink erasers.

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Step 1

 Open GalleryClamp your wood stamp to the work surface and draw your desired block printing design.Draw your design onto a piece of 2×4 scrap lumber that is at least 12″ in length. Attach the board with clamps to your work surface with enough room to maneuver the router comfortably in between the clamps. Draw your desired design using a pencil, making note of the areas from which you will want to carve away.

Step 2

 Open GalleryUse the router to remove 1/2Set your straight router bit so that it is exposed by 1/2″. This means that when the router is in operation, it will carve negative space that is 1/2″ deep into your block.

Step 3

 Open GalleryCarve away wood to create negative space in your block stamp.Allowing the router bit to do the carving, carefully maneuver the tool around your design and clear away the negative space on your stamp. If you are going to create negative space that cannot be reached from the edge of your board, bore a pilot hole using a drill and bit, drop the router bit into that hole, and turn on the router to carve away surrounding material.

Step 4

 Open GalleryRoute until your DIY wood block stamp design is fully revealed.Continue until your stamp design is fully revealed! Sun shiny-shine.

Step 5

 Open GallerySand your stamp to remove wood fragments.Use sand paper to eliminate any rough edges and splinters from the finished design.

Step 6

 Open GalleryTrim away excess wood using the chop saw.Using the chop saw, remove excess material from your finished block.

Step 7

 Open GalleryUse fabric paint to create your own napkin design.Prepare your block for printmaking by coating the raised area with fabric paint (the kind that won’t wash clean in the laundry). I used a paint brush to apply a thick coat of paint evenly to the stamp, rather than dip the wood into a tray of paint. It was just a little neater and more consistent this way.

Step 8

 Open GalleryStamp your wood block onto your napkin for a pretty, customized, DIY design.Apply the block firmly to your napkin, and remove for a crisp imprint of your design.

Step 9

 Open GalleryDIY sunshine napkins using fabric paint and a homemade wooden stamp.Allow the paint to dry, launder once, and get ready to serve!

Materials

  • Cloth napkins
  • 2×4 board (minimum 12″ in length)
  • Fabric paint
  • Sandpaper

Tools

  • Router
  • 1/2″ straight router bit (or assorted sizes based on your design)
  • Chop saw
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Paint brush
About Emily Fazio 

190Posts

I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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One Response

  1. Knock On Wood says:

    This tutorial is really great. Its a great craft idea for children. You get them to design the stencil and you cut it and voila painting time with the kids.
    https://www.knockonwoodtoys.com.au/index.php/prod

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