Make It: Hand-Stamped Paper Napkins


You know you have control issues when you find yourself buying white napkins to hand stamp for your sister’s baby shower. You want to be crazy and follow my lead? Take my hand and let me show you how.


  • Caffeine or Crazy Pills
  • Lino Block
  • Speedball Lino Carving Kit
  • Permanent Ink Pad (or ink with roller, brayer etc)
  • Paper Napkins
  • Flat surface (I used a larger lino block since my table is wonky)
  • Sharpie
Optional: Use a potato and a knife instead of lino if you need a basic shape. Lino printing is good for scratchy details.


  1. With a sharpie, begin drawing a design on to the lino block. Keep in mind that your design will print the oposite direction – so if you plan to incorporate text you must write backwards.
  2. Carve out all of the areas that should not take ink. I wanted to print a rain boot so I had to carve all that negative space out – you’ll notice I decided to enlarge the boot. Be careful when carving, knives have a funny way of shooting in crazy directions when you are highly caffeinated.
  3. With the smaller blades carve out tiny details like polka dots, text or stripes.
  4. Blow off debris. Prepare a flat surface for pressing block to backing (paper/napkins).
  5. Dip the lino block on your ink pad (or apply pigment with brayer). Test print by pressing block down on paper or similarly textured final paper. Make corrections to design if necessary. I carved the rest of my negative space out and tried to more evenly press the block on subsequent printings.
  6. Print onto the final surface. Repeat until exhausted or you run out of things to stamp. Allow to air dry.
and before you know it your table is covered…

What are your favorite ideas for personalizing baby showers?

For more information, feel free to read up on lino relief printing at my number one source for basic and¬†occasionally¬†reliable information, Wikipedia! If you’re a print-maker, I’m sorry for the crude instructional. Please share your own tips!

Oh, and the boot was inspired by the invitation that I designed at Paperless Post. This is one of the paid, coin designs, but when you sign up they give you some free coins to work with.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 3:09 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.