Handmade Linoleum-Printed Memory Box
Make your own unique linoleum print, hand-painted paper souvenir box.
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Grace Dobush from Kent, Ohio, makes a box with a fitted top to fill with souvenirs from her trip to London. Here she will demonstrate how to design and make your own treasure box.
Materials and Tools:
2-ply bookbinder's board
PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue
triangle or something with a right angle
20" x 30" sheet off-white Somerset book-weight paper
3" x 4" linoleum block
vellum or tracing paper
water-based block printing ink
Plexiglas or glass sheet for rolling out ink
black construction paper
vegetable-based glue and separate glue brush
1. Cut the following pieces of bookbinding board with a utility knife: two 4" x 6" for the bases; two each of 4-1/4" x 1-1/2", 4-1/4" x 1", 6" x 1-1/2", 6" x 1" for the sides; and two each of 3-3/4" x 2" and 5-3/4" x 2" for the inside lips.
2. Create the bases by using PVA glue on the edges. One base will use the four 1-1/2-inch-high pieces; this will be the bottom part. The top part will use the four 1-inch-high pieces. Trim edges down as necessary. Use the triangle to make sure the pieces are glued straight up.
3. Set these two open boxes aside to dry.
4. Mix watercolors to your liking and artfully paint words on book-weight art paper. Let the paper dry, and then put it under something large and flat, like a cutting mat, to keep it from curling.
5. While all that is drying, draw a design on the vellum or tracing paper. Flip it over and trace the lines with the pen. Cover the first side with graphite and press that side down on the linoleum block. Trace hard along the design with the pen to transfer the image. Remember the design will have to be backwards when you see it on the block, because the final print will be reversed.
6. When you have a clear transfer of the image on the block, begin carving out the white space with the linoleum cutter. When finished, brush away all linoleum crumbs before printing.
7. Mix a color of ink complimentary to the watercolor, and roll out on the Plexiglas with the brayer.
8. Roll ink onto the linoleum block with the brayer, and print on another piece of book-weight art paper. It may take a few prints to get one you like. Set prints aside to dry.
9. Set the open boxes on the painted paper and cut out squares of paper large enough to wrap around the insides of each box. Glue the bottom of each open box to a square of paper. Cut the corners so paper flaps can be glued around the edges inside to the box.
10. Cut squares to fit inside the base and hide the board.
11. Take the four remaining 2-inch-high pieces of bookbinding board and glue them to the painted piece of paper with enough space around the edges to wrap it around the edges and hide the board.
12. Fit those four pieces inside the base box to create a ledge that fits just inside the edges. They should fit tight enough not to fall down but not so tight that the top wouldn't fit. Glue the pieces in with PVA glue and set the base aside to dry.
13. Trim a linoleum print, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges, and cut a piece of black construction paper a little larger than it. It should show about 1/4 inch on all sides when the print is over it.
14. Glue the print to the construction paper with a vegetable-based glue (doesn't make the paper curl). NOTE: Make sure to use a separate glue brush, because mixing PVA and vegetable-based glue causes a weird chemical reaction that makes the glue curdle.
15. Glue the print and construction paper square onto the top of the box lid.