Written by: Valerie Musser
Block Printing dates back thousands of years and has origins in China, before becoming increasingly popular in Asia, making India, the epicenter of block printing popularity. Nowadays, it is seen on everything! Go to your local home store and you will see this art style on pillows, napkins, lamp shades, tablecloths, and other textiles.
As far as difficulty goes, it depends on your desired outcome. You can go with a simplistic design like shown above, or add an all over pattern of different colors, like shown below. It is up to you and your artistic comfort level.
- 1 Shuttle pk. of Rockit™ Apples – These miniature apples are the perfect size for this project
- Paring Knife
- Cutting Board
- Drop cloth or large piece of cardboard to protect your workspace
- 100% Cotton Tea Towels (We found that the lighter colors work best)
- Permanent Soft Fabric Paint (Heat free, washable)
- Paint Brushes (Fine to ¼ inch)
This is a great project for adults and older children. Fabric paint is permanent and will stain, so if you are going to attempt this with younger children, use caution, drop cloths, aprons and “play clothes”. If you would like an easy to do art project for younger children, try this with kraft paper and tempura paint. It makes wonderful gift-wrapping paper as well!
- Lay out your drop cloth or other protective surface on your workspace and arrange your art materials so everything is easily within reach.
- Wash and iron your tea towels if they have wrinkles (not necessary but it does make it easier to stamp). Lay them out in a way to expose the areas you would like to stamp. The paint can bleed through so do not fold the towel under the part you plan to paint.
- Take your paring knife, cut a Rockit™ Apple in half exposing the core of the apple. I pick out the seeds with a toothpick if they do not fall out right away. Keep the half with the stem still attached and snack on the other! Rockit™ are the perfect size to make tiny prints of your towels and snacking while you are working on the project.
- With your paint brush, select your color and coat the cut apple stem and all. Fabric paint is very vibrant, and you don’t need a thick coat, just enough to cover the exposed fruit and stem.
- Firmly press the cut apple and stem onto the fabric, hold for a few seconds and remove.
- If you find that there are some areas where the paint did not transfer enough for your liking, use the paint brush to fill them in.
Congratulations! You have successfully made your first Rockit™ Apple Block Print! From here, you can cut more apples for different colors and different shapes! The shapes that we like to use are:
- Apple cut in half vertically with stem on
- Apple cut half horizontally with star pattern exposed
- Apples cut in quarters with core removed for a “moon” shape.
Once you have stamped all your tea towels, hang them somewhere to dry overnight. After they have dried overnight, you can wash and dry them on a regular setting for immediate use. If you plan to gift them, leave them as is, and pass along a “care sheet”.
We repurposed our Rockit™ Apple Shuttle as a gift box. With a few sheets of tissue paper, hand stamped tea towels and a couple Rockit™ Apples, it just looked great! The perfect handmade gift for just about anyone.