Block Printing on Fabric: Decorate Your Walls! | Danielle Broder | Skillshare

Block Printing on Fabric: Decorate Your Walls!

Danielle Broder, Designer

Block Printing on Fabric: Decorate Your Walls!

Danielle Broder, Designer

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10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Part 1: Tools

    • 3. Part 2: Trace

    • 4. Part 3: Transfer

    • 5. Part 4: Carve

    • 6. Part 5: Test Prints

    • 7. Part 6: Test Prints Pt. 2

    • 8. Part 7: Final Prints

    • 9. Part 8: Frame

    • 10. Part 9: Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Are you always looking for art for your walls, but can't find anything you like? Now you can make your own! 

Block printing is unique because you can apply it to so many different types of projects. This class will teach you how to take a fun design, carve it into a stamp, and create a beautiful fabric conversation piece for your walls by mounting it into a frame.

Block printing has been around for thousands of years, yet it's still a great modern way to create unique handmade designs on anything from your holiday cards to that sweet fanny pack you scored at the thrift store.  In this class you will get down and dirty with learning the various methods of rubber block printing onto fabric.

Meet Your Teacher

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Danielle Broder



Hey! I'm Danielle, and I’m the one woman show behind everything here at The Recoverie.

I’m here to inspire, motivate, and give you a general swift kick in the ass when it comes to pursuing your crafty dreams.

A native California girl, I was brought up creating.

Whether it was beading my own jewelry, building stick forts on the beach in Malibu, or learning how to crochet on a road trip to Santa Cruz, I was lucky to have people around me who always encouraged me to keep making stuff as a kid.

By a swift chance of fate, I ended up earning a double bachelors in illustration and interior design, which led me to my booming interior design career....


Mostly that just taught me that I didn't want to work for someone else &... See full profile

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1. Trailer: Hey, guys, I'm Danielle. Welcome to San Francisco. In my lovely art studio today we're gonna be doing a real simple making project using this digital download that I provided for you in your project section. You're gonna end up with some great framed custom artwork and can't wait to get started. So let's jump right in. First, we're gonna take the digital download I've provided for you. We're gonna trace the images. Next will grab carving tools and will car About 3 to 4 different blocks will go on to create our custom color palette colors and then finally dollar signs together with 2. Part 1: Tools: Okay, so we're ready to jump into the tools. First things first. I have provided a little leaf template for you guys. This is the image that I'm gonna be working on this project today. I gave you some options here. You can use any and or all of these some ideas, maybe to take, like, maybe two of them and layer them. You could use all of them. And you want each. You could just use one and use multiple colors. But basically, sky's the limit. Sky's the limit on this one. You can just kind of do it or you feel like doing so. That's in your Donald section. Next, we have our standard rubber blocks. I have 24 by six soft cut grey rubber blocks. You can get these on Amazon. Link is in the project section. A pair of regular old scissors, 35 cent crappy brushes for scooping paints, water, a screen printing ink. I like to keep them in gelato containers because that way I have really screw tops and a teacher. Soft rubber, rare. This is a foreign shop forever rarely what I've been using it. Most of my other still share classes. Steve. All brand also speak ball brand. We have our just standard carbon tools. Just the standard set pencil and eraser. I have a bone folder for transfer later. We have eight by 10 plexi glass sheet for rolling out our paints. And last but not least, I'm going to be framing my final artwork into this elopement 14 inch frame. So lonesome don't actually printing my fabric. I'm going to just mount it into here, and then I'll have my artwork in a frame level. It's gonna be awesome. So the next thing we're gonna do is now that we have all the tools ready, I'm going to grab my tablet and we're gonna trace over this, and we're going to start transfer. 3. Part 2: Trace: Okay, so we're ready to go. I have my black and white template. My pencil away, My pencil In my racer, I always say that. So I have a couple different options here. I have kind of a larger leaf. I have some smaller leaves. I don't have to use all of these. I can just see some of them. I think I want to start out with two or three different ones and then just from there, carve them out. And then, you know, if I want to go back later on and grab another one for more, like, different, like Larry Effects, Maybe I really do want that larger one in the end. Then you know, it's come back and carved that. The nice thing is that I'm gonna be taking each of these pieces, and it's going to be an individual bloc rather than one giant block. Since I have multiple pieces of rubber, so later on, I'll be able to kind of rotate them and layer them as I want. And I'm gonna have a whole lot of freedom when it comes to it's actually actually creating the composition. So right now I'm just taking my mechanical pencil, and I'm just going to add a little extra layer graphite on here. This does not have to be perfect. I like to tell people that when they're working on the design or pencil drawing, whether that is from a template and tracing situation or if it's an actual sketch that they're drawing, this is just kind of a guideline. They don't put too much pressure on yourself for this because it should be the fun part, you know. And because these because these drawings are just black and white, it makes it really, really easy and very straightforward when it comes to turning your design into an actual book. Because you can look at this Milic Okay, well, don't like wherever the black is is where the ink will be, so that will be raised. So that's not Let's get it getting cut out. And wherever the white is, what I'm going to end up taking out. So that makes this really, really straightforward and simple and really easy for me to trace and even easier to car. So if I if I create a sketch, sometimes I'll even put it into illustrator and then make it into a black and white template. Maybe scale it. That's like, above and beyond what you need to do in this class. But it's kind of like a nice way Teoh make things really, really easy for yourself and kind of see how things are gonna turn out at the end. So if you have the skills, it's kind of a nice quick thing to Dio with these designs. I was just kind of looking for something like leafy that would have some cool, negative space and that wasn't and that all the designs weren't exactly the same. So I grabbed a bunch of, like, different kind of leaf shapes from the Internets. And then I traced them an illustrator, and then it just kind of stuck him on sheet, scale them. And now I have really, really nice template to work from. So I'm not gonna do this entire thing right now in front of you because you're gonna be bored of your pants. So I would have finished up maybe a couple of these and then I'll meet you back here for the transfer 4. Part 3: Transfer: Okay, so now I have actually traced off four of these. I'm not going to do all of these for you guys today. I'm just going to do one, but it's exact same processes you're going to use for the rest of the images. What I did, I had ah, larger size block. And then I chopped it the other one into two pieces. So now I have, like about, like, a two by three inch block. I did that because it's just gonna easier to work with for these two little ones. I could definitely fit both of them. This is how they check it, kind of put it on top, and they just see the entire image disappears. So that should be fine for that. When I move on to these larger ones are probably not want to cut the block on a larger size . So But right now I'm just gonna work with this little guy in the corner. And sure, you had a transfer, this one. So it doesn't matter what side of the block you're going to be using. I usually sometimes they come and they have, like, little like wrinkles on them or something. So I just choose the flatter side The first thing when the dew's I'm gonna take my block and I'm going to put it directly on to my traced image. Just kind of check all around the edges and make sure the whole thing's covered. Okay? And then I'm gonna take my bone folder, which is not bone, just these plastic. And I'm going to grab both the paper and my block and carefully turn it over, and then I can It's nice about using this black and white template is that I can see really easily through the paper and see if any everything is kind of on here so I can see that it moved slightly. Pull it up this way just to make sure I'm still a little bit Pull it this bit. Besides that, I don't Okay, so I can see that's very clearly all the way on top of the block. Now, someone to keep one hand in place. I'm gonna hold me both folder on the edge. You can do it like this. You can use the whole side if you want. I like to use kind of tip. Well, I'm just gonna apply some really good pressure while holding my hands and place pretty carefully. And as I'm working, it can lift it up. And Oh, look, there's this. Make sure it's working. Move my hand over here. Same thing. I just got to be real careful not to move your hand during this part. If you move it, you're gonna get double lines. Events No one. Okay, looks pretty good. OK, that's good enough for what I needed to be. So now I have my design on here. If I need Teoh, I could go back in with my pencil, maybe dark in some of these edges. It's OK, doesn't look pretty. This point enough. None of that business matters. You just kind of want, like a medium line here because what happens is if it's not dark enough and you go to start carving your hand will kind of like brush up against the lines, and it will start actually erasing it, which isn't not something you want if you're design is real complicated or you have a lot of small lines. In this case, it's not to difficulty just kind of faking it, because it's the real simple, straightforward design But you're doing something a little more complicated. It could be a problem. I'm just gonna finish upon some weasel edges. You just want to be careful not to dent it. Um, but make it a little bit darker, so that looks pretty good. That's all I really need. Cool. So now we can move on to the carving section. 5. Part 4: Carve: All right, we're ready to carve. I have my carving tools. I'm going to untwist the bata of my blades. I'm going to re attacks this bottom guy. I am now going to We're gonna go over these blades too much since this is a detail class. And if you want to get more detailed information on the blades, you can go ahead and take my printmaking party class Seem out of it. But there are five blades that come with it. If you flip them over, they'll be 1235 and six. I normally go five to the two to the one maybe, but today I'm just gonna probably stick with the five and then scoot on over to the to and leave it at that is gonna put my blade in here. I'm gonna work with the larger areas of my block. I'm always carving horizontally when they get to the end of where I want a car, just kind of pop it up. Things that I kind of need to watch out for are keeping these two tips above the rubber at all times. If they go down like this, it's gonna create pressure and it'll actually start ripping your lover so you don't want that. So I'm gonna go pretty close to the pencil line. I'm not gonna worry too much about getting right up on the edges cause I'm gonna go back in later with the two and do some of that detail work. I also worked quite a bit with my fingers. Like, if I don't get something all the way, Uh, if I don't cut the piece all the way off will just rip it or like, use my finger nose to, like, grab something real quickly because usually we're fairly fast in. It's, ah, easier just to do that. Sometimes getting your blade in there, things like that. I accidentally went a little bit too deep. And again, I'm also not gonna worry too much about carving the stuff on the very edges because what I'm gonna do later is once I've gotten all the detail work done and I'm basically done with my carving tools, going to go back in with my scissors and I'm going to just chop all that extra stuff up. So I'm going to continue working around here around the edges, getting all the big stuff could be a little hard to get right up on the edges sometimes. So just remember you're gonna end up cutting most of that step up anyways, - so that looks pretty good. As far as using the five. And I'm gonna swap over to the to Now, I'm going to get into some of the detail work I'd like to start from kind of the inside of my block and work outwards, so that way I'm never carving towards my block towards me design. Okay, so that looks pretty good. As far as basic outline. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna grab me scissors. I'm gonna chop off some of these edges. Like I said, I don't want to many of these lines showing up like little pieces catching my EQ. So I'm gonna cut off quite a lot of it's, and I'm going to get pretty close to these edges. If there's something that I need to cut off later, I can always go back in and edit some of the bigger sections. I'm actually gonna cut in belief, - so that looks pretty good. Some of these little guys might shop leader, but Okay, so we can always carbonell That looks good for now. 6. Part 5: Test Prints: I actually went ahead and tested all of these ahead of time, so they're a little bit dirty now, but you get the idea. Um, I did the same exact transfer process we used on the 1st 1 I did the trace, the transfer, and then I just carved it out real quickly. These are real, real, simple blocks to carve, so it didn't take too long. So I look at it, worry about thes at the moment right now. Then it kind of swap over to my plexi glass, and I'm gonna start kind of thinking about what colors I want to use in my design. We're going to do some color selection, and then we're going to decide how many colors we're gonna be using. And if I'm gonna be layering them if there's going to be, like an accent color or anything like that. So I'm thinking I'm gonna start out with some so lighter colors, and I always print the lighter colors on the bottom because that way they're not competing with anything, and then you can kind of build up darker from there. I started out probably with, like, a lighter, like a lighter blue green. I think so. To get that, I'm gonna need a little bit of why. A little bit of blue and then a little smidge of yellow. Well, makes that and see how that goes. You can always add word paints. I don't add too much paint. Like I said, we're going to be using the water based screen printing ink, and we're gonna be lifting up as we go. We don't need too much pain. Something. Hey, that's a little greener than I wanted a little bit more white and then a little bit more blue, really Just guessing here. But how? Go sometimes. So mix it up until I kind of get where I want. It looks OK, Well, greener, but plane, you do a quick test print, so I'm just gonna carefully rule this. It's not so carefully. Just gonna cover the whole block to make sure it's clean. And there's nothing else that I want to fix. So it looks pretty sharp to meet so that I could do like a quick test print. I would like to keep some white paper around what it looks like on the papers since super important. But you can kind of get an idea. It's more important what it will look like on the fabric, cause it'll be a lot more solid and it will have a better It will be a better example to look at. Okay, so we can see that. That looks OK. It looks like I moved a little bit, but that's OK. I think I said that. Parts and important. 7. Part 6: Test Prints Pt. 2: right with the darker version of that didn't go that. So let's try another shape. Let's try the larger one. See this school quickly, cover it. You don't need to use any pressure here. You're just placing the ink onto the block. So the block A looks really nice. There wasn't much to it, so I didn't really need to worry much about that. And I will go ahead, ends carefully placed that down lips and me move that. It's a little bit slippery on the paper. Just peel it up. Great. So I really like this color. You can see there's, like, a slight difference. So it'll give you some interest there. And now finally get try and make my way back to the blue. The third color. So now I'm going to start with the blue and in a little bit of white When you bend the yellow, let's see where we go this time call. This is much more turquoise E, which is kind of where I wanted to go first place. But sometimes you never know what you're gonna get, so I'm just mixing it until I can't see any of the other color showing through a little yellow in there being stubborn. Okay, Got most of it. I really like that. Blew the nice one. So I'm gonna grab my third block. This over place may block on the table. Just make sure you give it a good first coding with E. After you coat it for the first time. It's not such a big deal, but the 1st 1 tends to be a little bit light. So I like to advise people to kind of at a little bit extra ink on those first prints. Okay. Well, let up. Okay, so I moved that one a little bit, but that's OK. I get the idea. Probably if I printed again. Won't have as much ink. So it will be less slippery so you can push harder and it won't smudge around. Awesome. That's looking really nice. Really clean. More importantly, I'm looking at the block to see if there's anything wrong with it. Not so much concerned about this. They're just gonna getting some ideas for, like, layering when it comes down to it. Because next thing we need to do is kind of come up with, like, composition and placement 8. Part 7: Final Prints: Okay, so I have a little piece of linen cut out. You can use any kind of fabric on this you can use. Um, I like to use, like, a lighter color Fabrics like, um, cotton linen. Like white ivory off. Why? You can definitely use a darker color, but if you're going to do that, make sure you're using opaque ink rather than translucent anchor transparent because it won't show on top of the color. In this case, I'm using kind of a mix of both, so I just tend. I just tend to like using a lighter colors. So I have just placed it on top of white. He's a paper because, as you can see, my desk is a little crazy and you can't just getting a lot of conflict visual conflict there. Something's gonna make sure it's nice and white. So I have my three colors of Remix Inc because it was getting a little dry. And now I'm just going to kind of look at that paper that I had worked on previously and just kind of use it as a guideline. Just, I don't know. I'm just gonna kind of fake it to be honest. I never really planned this stuff out. I'm just gonna come it, go with what I'm feeling. There's no difference in between printing on the fabric versus the paper, except it will be easier when you print on the paper tends to be a little bit more slippery . And when you stick but ink onto the fabric, it just kind of stick so I can push it. I don't have to worry about it slipping, inciting and moving around, and then I could just peel it up. Perfect. All right, so now I have to start thinking switch colors. I'm not gonna look actually too much of that guy lying because I'm already going in a different direction. I don't want to make it to overcrowded with with ink, but I definitely want some overlap. Also, when I cut out this fabric, I needed a little bit larger than the matted area. So that way I could kind of mount it down so I wouldn't have to worry about having ominous extra fabric space left over to actually tape it so that take home show. But I'll show you how to do that little bit, really liking his colors together. Okay, Here comes. Have to overlap. Well, we got the pressure. OK, Um well, I don't know. So you can't do this too long because the paint starts drying out. Problem. I can't do it. I can't do it just yet. Can't commit for came out really nice. Can I can also mix these colors later if I would like a little bit more blue. Mm. So I'm just trying to get some kind of like, asymmetrical composition happening here, Not really thinking too much about it. But this is another area where I can kind of like this is a good time to kind of start thinking about, um maybe like, doing some, like, playing up the texture. So if I didn't want you can see him getting a little bit of texture here where I didn't actually push down so hard on making inks trying out a little bit, which I kind of like. So if I want to play that up, I'm gonna use a little bit less eq. Maybe not pushed so hard. So, for example, let's see. Gonna turn it this way. Um I don't know which way so hard, so maybe I won't push so hard here I get a little more blotchy. Nous not that didn't work. Maybe I need to try it with the blue. It's more obvious, Mr. So now I'm kind of looking at the thing is a hole. Um, I might put in one or two more, but basically, I think I'm good. So from there, I'm just gonna go ahead, and I'm going to let it completely dry that I'm gonna hit it with an iron afterwards. So, um, when add in one or two more and then I will meet you in the next section. 9. Part 8: Frame: right now, I'm kind of deconstructed my 11 by 14 inch frame. I have the glass actual wood frame over here. I have the mats and the back part right here. And then I have my fabric over here. Now, all I've done with the fabric since the last section was I ended up not adding any more prints, but I did hit it with an iron. So since then, I have I basically all he did was I flipped it over, I turned off the steam and I put it on. Lenin said, because this is Lyndon fabric. If you printed on cotton, you just put it on cotton, whatever you used. And then I just hit it for about a minute, just kind of constantly moving till it was nice and flats and pretty And I got all the wrinkles out, and the only other thing I've done here was I took a little bit of tape and it takes the inside of the mats to join the inside of the backing. So that way I could easily just kind of pull my map down and everything's lined up. This is an extra step, but just something you might want to do if you want it. It's a lie, no easily. And the last thing I did was actually, since my fabric is a little bit see through. If I put it on just directly on top of this brown kind of MDF backing, it will kind of show through, and it will be like a little darker. I definitely wanted it to be kind of like bright and vibrant, so I just took a little bit of basically Super 77. It's this one's like a generic photo mount. Just it's basically spray glue. You can get it in most parts stores, and I just spray a little bit. Make sure you do this outside. Super toxic but a little bit of spray glue. And then it took an 8.5 by 11 sheet of white paper and just kind of like carefully, uh, pressed it down onto here until it was dry. And so now I have a nice, clean white background, So let my fabric shame for it. So the only thing we need to do now is just take our fabric kind of side. Well, you got one of two directions we could do little testing here. I just want to make sure it's covering that hole. White area. And then when I pull my Matt down, I couldn't see how it's gonna look. So things that I'm kind of looking at right now are kind of just like composition and negative space. And do I like it? I feel like that's like meeting not a little too much white space. Maybe if I pull it up a bit will be better. Take the other direction. This is just gives you a little bit of rooms playing here. But you don't have to be so picky is me. Okay. I kinda like that direction a little bit better. I like how this leaf is facing down. You would see moving up or down. We're to decided if if it will matter at all. Yeah, kind of like that center. You know, this is all kind of subjective. Just okay, put it how you like it. There's no right or wrong answer. Kind of like how about ISS? So okay, now, But I know where I want it. I'm just gonna grab some regular old tape. I'm sugars about a way to do this. They have nice, like archival tapes, which basically means it's not been a yellow. It's not gonna get ruins after son's been on it for a really long time if you're hanging this in sunny area, which I wouldn't recommend it anyways. But since this is just kind of slapstick right now, this is how we do things. Uh, something just regular old take, just as long as it's in place. That's all I care about. Not worried about the longevity of this case. Take the bottom. Make sure there's no bubbles. Are Rickles or anything? Do this. Hurt me. Pull it taut. Slightly. So there we go. We have our finished custom. Handmade are work ready to hang? 10. Part 9: Final Thoughts: cool guy. So thanks so much for coming and taking that class super stoked on what we made today. And I cannot wait to put this guy on my wall. And if you have any questions about any of the things that I went over or any of the techniques or paint or whatever feel free to holler at me. I'm on Instagram. All the information is in my profile email. I would love to see pictures of what you're working on on all the good social Please let me know what you're working on and tell me you're making so make so much you minutes