Linocut Valentines

Bull City Craft Lino Cut Card

Tell your valentine they’re special with a hand printed card. Linocut is a form of relief printing. The negative space is carved away, leaving the image in relief. The raised image is easy to ink and print by hand.

SIZE: Lino block: 2.75 x 4.5 inches

MATERIALS:

Speedball Speedy-Cut block, 2.75 x 4.5 inches
Speedball lino cutter handle and blades, #1 and #5
Pencils, #2/HB and 4B or softer
Tracing or drawing paper
Blank greeting cards and envelopes
Speedball water based block printing ink (Shown in White and pink mixed from Red, White and Blue)
Rubber brayer
Inking plate, or glass
Baren

NOTES:

Speedy-cut blocks are easier to use and cut than traditional linoleum blocks. Use caution when carving image. Always keep both hands behind blade at all times.

INSTRUCTIONS:

BCC Lino Cut Image

Design

Draw your design on a piece of paper or tracing paper with a #2/HB pencil. Trace over the keep design elements with a 4B or softer pencil.

Lino Valentine 2

Transfer

Turn paper over on top of Speedy-Cut block and rub lightly with your finger or bone folder to transfer image.

Lino Valentine 3

Cut Outlines and Details

With #1 cutter, cut the outlines, then cut details. Work from foreground to background.

Lino Valentine 4

Clear Background

Using #5 cutter in big spaces and #1 cutter in small spaces, clear background. Work from center of area to be cleared toward the edges. Be careful not to over cut outlines.

Lino Valentine 5

Print

Use brayer to ink up linocut block. Ink should have the texture of fine grain leather on ink plate. Too little ink will make the image faint. Too much will fill in fine details and make the image blurry.

With inked block face up, carefully lay card on top.

Using the baren (or another tool such as: finger, second brayer, large spoon, bone folder) gently press the paper onto the wet ink.

Pay close attention to large solid areas which often do not print fully.

Shifting paper or squishing the block will distort the image.

Carefully lift printed card off of block, and set aside to dry. Re-ink and repeat for additional cards.

Helpful Tips

Ink should have the texture of fine grain leather on ink plate. Too little ink will make the image faint. Too much will fill in fine details and make the image blurry.

Pay close attention to large solid areas which often do not print fully. Shifting paper or squishing the block will distort the image.

Clean Up

Wipe ink plate and brayer with paper towel, then wash with water, and towel dry.

To remove ink from block, hold under running water or dab with wet paper towel, then blot dry. Rubbing block may cause small pieces to break off.

Printable pdf file: BCC Lino Cut Valentines

Eraser Stamps

Bull City Craft: Eraser Stamp Gift Tags Small details make a big difference. Make your gifts even more special with hand made gift tags.

SIZE:
Small stamp 1 x 1 inch
Large stamp 1 x 2 inches

MATERIALS:
Artgum Eraser in small or large size
Pencil#2/HB, and 4B or softer
X-acto knife
Bone folder (opt)
Canson Pure White Drawing Paper
Metal ruler
Cutting mat
String or ribbon
Scissors
Hole punch or awl
Stamp pad

GIFT TAG PREP:

Cut paper into gift tags using cutting mat, ruler, and x-acto knife. Sizes shown are 1.5 x 3 in, 1.5 x 4 in, 2 x 3 in, and 2 x 4 in.
Punch hole in top of tag and attach ribbon or string.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bull City Craft: Eraser Stamp Sketch

Design

Draw your design on paper with a #2/HB pencil. Then trace over image with a soft lead pencil, 4B or softer.

Bull City Craft: Eraser Stamp Transfer

Transfer

Turn paper over on top of eraser and rub lightly with your finger or bone folder to transfer image.

Bull City Craft: Cut Eraser Stamp

Cut Outline

Hold knife so that cut is angled away from image.

Bull City Craft: Cut Eraser Stamp

Cut Off Excess

Cut under area to be removed, being careful not to cut under design.

Bull City Craft: Cut Eraser Stamp Details

Cut Details

Cut away details in same manner, angling knife toward area to be removed. Lift excess out with knife.

Bull City Craft: Print Eraser Stamp

Print

Use an ink pad to print your design onto the gift tags.

Printable pdf: BCC Eraser Stamps Instructions

 

 

Paper Ornaments

Make these brightly colored paper ornaments to adorn your tree or window. They are quick and easy to create with paper, pencil, scissors, and glue.

Mi-Teintes Paper Ornaments

SIZE:
Onion Ornament: 3 1/2 x 4 1/4” h
Ogee Ornament: 3 1/2 x 5” h
Small Ornament: 1 3/4 x 2” h (not pictured)

MATERIALS:
Canson Mi-Teintes Colored Artist Paper, 19.5 x 25.5 inches.
(One sheet makes 27 pieces of the Onion or the Ogee. Shown in Champagne, Red Earth & Royal Blue)
Pencil
Scissors
Glue Stick
String or Ribbon
White Charcoal Pencil (optional)

NOTES:

First cut out the larger patterns; save the onion shaped center scraps, then use them to make the smaller patterns. Carefully cutting the center from the larger ornament will ensure a smooth edge for the outside of the smaller ornament.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mi-Teintes Paper Ornament

Fold

Mark longest edge of Mi-Teintes paper with a small pencil mark at 2 1/2 inch intervals.

Fold into an accordion at markings.

Cut out Paper ornament patterns.

Mi-Teintes Paper Ornament Trace

Lay straight edge of pattern along each folded edge and trace three times along edge.

Alternate patterns along each folded edge.

paper ornament 3

Cut

Cut out each pattern, cutting through one fold (two layers) at a time.

Use 4 to 12 pieces to assemble each ornament. Ornaments pictured have 10-11 pieces.

Use white charcoal pencil to draw on inside if desired.

paper ornament 4Glue

Keeping ornament pieces folded in half (with any drawing on inside) apply glue stick to one side.

paper ornament 5

Place second piece on top of glue, line up folded edges, press firmly.

paper ornament 6 Assemble

Repeat last two steps until desired number of pieces have been glued together.

Keep each new piece flush with the others along folded edge.

paper ornament 7

Join last piece to first piece.

Open ornament and lay flat with first and last (unjoined) pieces facing up.

Apply glue to one side. Fold one layer over the other, and press firmly to attach.

paper ornament 8 Finish

Allow to dry under a book to keep paper flat. Protect book with scrap paper.

When dry, open and refold ornament along each section to return to rounded shape.

Pass a length of string or ribbon through opening in center and tie to hang.

Printable pdf  instructions: BCC Paper Ornament Pattern

 

Free Paper Craft Download: Truck!

We designed this truck for the Junior League’s Touch a Truck event. Just color and cut out! We made them with moveable wheels by cutting out card stock wheels with a 2″ circle punch and attaching with brads. You could also simply trace circles to make wheels.

BullCityCraftTruck

Bull City Craft Paper Craft Truck

Easy Projects for Using Painted Papers

Bull City Craft: Painted Paper

At Bull City Craft, painted papers pile up. Frances paints a lot, and other children leave behind paintings from Preschool Playcraft. Sometimes the colors are so beautiful, especially the ones with liquid watercolor, that I hate to throw them away, so I’ve come up with a few fun uses for them. Of course, you can also paint papers yourself with these projects in mind. These projects can be made for the holidays, birthdays, or just for fun!

Bull City Craft: Painted Paper LabelsJar Labels

A 2″ circle punch, a hole punch, and some pens can turn painted paper into labels and gift tags. A 2″ paper circle fits perfectly on the top of mason jar lids to dress up gifts of candy or nuts. I used a white Sharpie paint pen to write the labels. A small hole punch turns the circles into pretty gift tags.

Bull City Craft: Paper BannerPaper Banner

Paper banners are so easy and festive. We use them at our birthday parties, but you could also make them in holiday colors and hang them on your mantel or in a doorway. We made one for Frances’ birthday with paper she decorated with washi tape.

Bull City Craft: Making Banners

For a 9″x12″ sheet of paper, cut it in half, and then you can cut three triangles out of each piece (two facing one way and one the other way in between them). A paper trimmer makes for quick work because you can cut several at a time. Punch holes in the corner of each and tie with ribbon or yarn.

Bull City Craft: Paper LanternPaper Lanterns

I got this idea from Frances’ preschool teacher at Appleseeds Home Nursery. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, but once you get the hang of it, they are quite addictive. The folding is too difficult for young children, but older children can do it, or at least help with the first few folds. You will need a square paper, and 12″x12″ makes a good size for small jam jar candles. Rub the paper with coconut oil, or warm the oil and brush it on. Wipe off the excess with a towel. This will make the paper translucent. Then follow instructions here for folding.

Paper Penguin Craft

Bull City Craft Paper Penguins

Penguin2014

Who doesn’t like penguins? Especially when you can give them polka-dotted wings and bow ties! Download our penguin paper craft, color as desired, and cut out. Then punch holes and attach wings with paper fasteners. Penguins are fun to pose!

Halloween Treat

Pumpkin Craft

Free download of pumpkin jack-o-lantern craft from Bull City Craft

Free download! Print the pumpkin (we used orange paper, but you can use white paper and color it). Cut out the pumpkin, the semi-circle inside the pumpkin, and the circle. Punch a hole in the center of the circle and on the edge of the semi-circle and attach the two pieces with a paper fastener. The circle will spin to reveal the different eyes for the jack-o-lantern. For extra fun, flip the pumpkin over and draw your own mouth and eyes, or add a body made from scraps!

Frances’ Favorite Crafts

Kinderstil, an online retailer of children’s apparel and gifts based in Raleigh, recently invited me to write a guest post for their blog. I wrote about some of Frances’ favorite craft materials and activities during her first three years. Here’s a quick rundown of the list. You can read the full post here.

1. Rainbow Rice

Bull City Craft Rainbow Rice2. Paint with Water

Bull City Craft DIY Paint with Water3. Felt Shapes

Bull CIty Craft Felt Shapes

4. Paint Glue

Bull City Craft glue paint

5. Tape

Bull City Craft washi tape

Art Table Makeover

Over the holidays, Franklin and I had a little time to do some projects around the house. He had a great idea to up-fit Frances’ old rescued -from-the-curb, beat up, sad looking art table with a hand-me-down easel (thanks Kelly from LabourLove Gallery!) and some fresh paint.

First, he painted the table with some blue paint we had on hand.

painting the table

Then he disassembled the easel. He took the whiteboard side of the easel and the two rulers and attached them to the top of the table. Ta-da! Now Frances has a whiteboard tabletop with built in rulers! It looks a lot cuter, too.

up-cycled art table

 

Painted Pumpkins

Last week I had the pleasure of appearing on My Carolina Today to decorate pumpkins with the hosts Valonda and Mike. It was a lot of fun! Mike was very warm and funny, and Valonda was gorgeous and absolutely sparkled in person.

Bull City Craft on My Carolina TodayWe have also been decorating pumpkins at the store for a family craft event and drop in crafts. I wanted to give a bit more detail on how I made each pumpkin. I used papier maché pumpkins, which are great because you can save them and use them again. They are also very lightweight. You could easily use these techniques on real pumpkins.

Bull City Craft pumpkins

The first pumpkin I did is a monster pumpkin, inspired by our monster doll kits. I painted the pumpkin black and painted a neon green oval for the face. I also added a little black glitter paint around the face.

Bull City Craft monster pumpkinThen for the fun part! I cut out a felt mouth and felt circles, then I popped googly eyes on top.

Bull City Craft monster pumpkin

For the next one, I realized I needed something really quick and easy that could be completed on a very short TV segment. I prepped the pumpkin with neon orange paint and a neon green stem. I found that the neon paint was not very opaque, so I used 2-3 coats and mixed it with a little white. I sprinkled some superfine glitter onto the stem. Then for my genius idea–skull and crossbones duct tape! I cut the tape into triangles encircled the pumpkin with a banner of tape, similar to a cute pumpkin I had seen on Pinterest. For the final touch, I added green jewels reminiscent of leaves.

We use Platypus Designer Duct Tape, which is from a local company in Raleigh. They have great designs and the tape has a nicer feel, almost like fabric. Plus the guys who started the company are super nice! They taught us the parchment paper trick–  I put strips of tape onto parchment paper and then cut them into any shape I want. It makes it much easier to work with.

Platypus Designer Duct Tape

For the last pumpkin, I painted it white and used wood grain duct tape for the stem. For a Raleigh “City of Oaks” theme, I drew and painted oak leaves of different sizes using neon pink and orange.

I was really happy with the combination of traditional and unusual elements. When we let the kids make pumpkins with these same materials, they came up with some really fun ideas!