Swedish Dala Horse Block Print

I love dala horses. My grandfather's family originated from Sweden and when I was little I received these Swedish handcrafted wooden horses as gifts. I thought a block print of a dala horse would be so cute to use for notecards, clothing and garland.

Shopping list:

Let's get started!


I decided on a simple image to use on both paper products and clothing:

Finished print on paper

To make a block print, you'll need:
Speedy-carve block
Basic carving tool set
Screen printing ink or fabric paint for printing on fabric or craft paints if printing on paper
Small piece of glass (I took mine from an discarded photo frame)

Everything you'll need

Step 1: Print off your image in reverse and make sure it fits onto your carving block:

Reverse print your image and line it up

Step 2: Transferring the image to the block. Use a warm iron to transfer your image from a freshly printed laser or ink jet image. Just press firmly, make sure not to melt your block and burnish the back of the paper periodically until you start to see the image left behind on the block.

Iron on the outline

The transferred image will be fairly light but you can see it more clearly by tilting it in different light.

Light but enough to see

Use a pen or pencil to draw in your image more clearly:

Outline in pen or pencil if needed

Step 3: Carving out the image. Using your carving tools carefully carve out the outline of the image and all the "negative" areas:

Begin carving

Carefully carve out the area around the image:

Cut the outline

And finally, cut out around the image as shown below:

The the area surrounding

Step 4: Applying ink to your print. Apply a small amount of ink or paint to your piece of glass. Using the brayer, roll a small area out to a thin even layer:

Use a brayer and spread your ink

Using the brayer, apply a thin, even coat of ink to the block carving:

Apply a thin coat to the stamp

Place the carving face down on fabric or paper and press firmly. Careful lift up to reveal the printed image.

Press firmly and in all areas

Your first print will be a test to see which areas of the block you still need to carve out....you can tell in the image below that some areas were left outside of the horse image that needed to be carved out:

First prints are tests to see what you missed

With a little practice you will get a perfect print:


I used this particular Dala horse print as an applique for a shirt. Make sure to heat set your prints if you are printing on fabric.

Be sure to heat-set

Some ideas? You could print a pillow, a t-shirt or the bottom border of a dress. You could also print on paper to make some simple artwork, notecards, garland, or a notebook cover for a gift!

Giddy up!

Customer Comments
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