How to Design and Print a Straight Repeating Pattern

Here’s an easy way to design a repeat pattern (without using a computer) and to block print it on to fabric. We used MasterCut for our block because it’s an easy to cut stamping material that prints beautifully.

Draw around your block onto a piece of paper.

Draw part of your design in the centre of your template.

Cut out your template and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Number your pieces 1 – 4 as seen below:

Switch pieces 1 and 2 with 3 and 4 so that the top half is swapped with the bottom. Your design should look like this:

Now switch 1 and 3 with 4 and 2 so that the left side is swapped with the right side. Your design should look like this: (check your numbers to make sure the pieces are in the right order)

Tape the pieces together on the back. Draw the rest of your design over the middle to fill the space.

When you are happy with your design, use a soft pencil to trace it onto tracing paper. Try to be accurate around the edges in particular as this is where your prints will need to match up.

Transfer your tracing onto your block by turning it over and scribbling on the back.

You can now use your lino tools to start carving out the white areas of your block.

Use thinner tools for the edges and detail, and wider, flatter tools to clear the large spaces.

Ink up your block. We are using a VersaCraft Ink Pad in Poppy Red. Press your ink pad all over the back of your block.

If you are printing onto fabric, pin the fabric onto a slightly padded surface. Place your block in the top left corner of your fabric and press down all over with the flat of your hand.

This is a straight repeat pattern, so line up each print to the right of the last until you have a row. For the second row, line up your block directly below the first.

Repeat this until you have covered your fabric. When the prints are dry, iron the fabric on the hottest setting appropriate for the fabric until the prints are too hot to comfortably touch. This will set the ink so it is washable.

To block print a repeat pattern you will need:

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