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Oct 1, 2013

Letterpress Fun

I've always loved the look of letterpress... and now I am able to have my own "print shop" here at home!  Letterpress involves printing designs by pressing inked plates into soft paper.  It results in a debossed, elegant print that is just gorgeous!

Studio Calico has teamed up with Lifestyle crafts & has created some really trendy designs to work with.  There are lots of plates available now, with more designs in the works.

You'll need a manual die cutting machine such as a Cuttlebug, Big Shot, etc. (Make sure to check out Lifestyle's website to see a list of compatible machines.)  I'm using the Big Kick & it works perfectly!  This works as the "press" for your printing.

You'll also want to have this Letterpress Starter kit.  It comes with the large grid plates that the plates sit in, along with other basic supplies.  The kit comes with a tiny brayer, but you might also want to pick up one that's a little larger.  It's been nice having 2 brayers on hand to work with multiple colors during one print.

The Letterpress inks are also available in the store.  I would suggest picking up a variety of your favorite shades + some neutrals (such as black or white for blending.)  There's also thin & thick letterpress paper in the shop.

Here's a video from Studio Calico's blog that helps explain the process:

Here's a sample I made with of the letterpress plates pressed onto thick letterpress paper.  It's hard to pick up on camera, but I wanted to try to show you the debossing effect it creates.

But... you can also print onto other types of paper.  Here is a sample I made just by printing on a basic white envelope.  You don't get the deep impression like you would with letterpress paper, but it's really cute, none the less.

And here I've letterpressed onto a thin sheet of cork.  The inks are oil based & leave a beautiful, crisp impression!  I simply finished the card off with some paper from the new Magical collection & this holiday card came together in a breeze!

My son is running cross country this year & I wanted to make a Project Life card with his school colors to put beside some of his photos & ribbons.

I printed the plate again onto one of the plain canvas shipping bags that Studio Calico sends out.  The inks don't bleed at all & I love how easy it was to customize fabric accents.

You can find all of the letterpress supplies here in the store.

The process is actually so much easier than I expected & is a ton of fun!  I hope you give it a try!

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