DIY: Printmaking With Rolling Pins

Rolling pins: perfect for pie crusts and original pieces of graphic art.

Printmaking is simply the process of transferring a pattern or piece of art with inks onto paper. Every time you transfer the ink, however, it is considered an original piece of art since it will have it’s own unique qualities, making you (the roller pin swiller) a master of tarts and art. A very DIY nerd thing to say, yes; but true.

You can use many items for this exercise: a carved block, a Styrofoam plate, fruits, erasers, potatoes – anything that will transfer ink. As far as the rolling pin goes, use rubber bands and craft foam to create pure awesomeness. The advantage of using this particular implement is that you can print a large swathe very quickly.

This is going to get messy. Be sure to cover your work area and wear an apron.

What you need:

Break your supply list up into the stores you’ll need to visit.

Craft store:

  • craft foam
  • spray glue
  • paper
  • tape
  • block printing ink
  • rubber bands
  • scissors

Thrift store:

  • rolling pins
  • glass or acrylic from frames*

*If you find more than one frame, purchase it so you can have a few colors of ink out at the same time. If you only have one piece of glass or acrylic, you will have to wash it to switch colors. More than one rolling pin is handy, too.

Other options: use an old mouse pad instead of craft foam. They make excellent DIY stamps.  Look for a flat baking pan instead of using glass or acrylic.

Step 1. Cover your rolling pins with paper and tape it on. On my first attempt, I used plastic wrap. It worked but some of the plastic picked up the ink. Paper works better.

Step 2. Cut out the craft foam in your own one-of-a-kind design and attach it to the covered rolling pin with spray glue.  If you don’t care how messy your rolling pin gets, you can adhere the foam directly to the wood. Some craft foam has a sticky back., in which case you can skip the spray glue. Alternatively, instead of using craft foam wrap the rolling pin with rubber bands. Now your rolling pin is ready to go.

Step 3. Squeeze out some ink on the glass. Block printing ink is water-soluble and non toxic. It’s thick and sticky and doesn’t dry too fast. It will even wash off your rolling pin handle.

Step 4. Spread the ink with a brush.

Step 5. Roll the pin in the ink so it covers the craft foam or rubber bands. You can go back and forth and side to side to make sure it is completely inked up.

Step 6. Now, the exciting part. Tape down your paper and roll on your design. You can add layers by rolling the stamp out more than once on the paper or by adding additional colors.

It’s the perfect project for custom-made wrapping paper.

You can make tags and cards. Even wallpaper. You can frame the prints for custom art. Experiment on wood, cork or metal, too. This project has endless possibilities.

We hope you find them.