Having some experience carving linoleum blocks from my days doing letterpress, I knew that I needed to keep the image simple and classic for the best results. Since silhouettes are everywhere these days, it is pretty easy to find some basic shapes to suit your fancy.
First, you should start with basic solid cloth napkins. You could sew your own or to save time purchase some inexpensive linen napkins. For those of you in Europe, H&M Home has the perfect simple linen napkins available in four colors. West Elm also has a set of four basic napkins for $16 in an array of gorgeous colors.
The tool set that you will need includes the following:
Speedball carving tool
If you have never printed before, a great kit to get that has most of the tools you need is the Speedball Block Printing Starter's Kit
Once you have a carved block that you are happy with, it is time to start printing!
Place some of the fabric paint onto the paint tray. Roll it out into a thin layer and roll the paint onto your block.
I found that for the best results and ink permeation, laying the fabric on top of the block and using the baren plate to press the fabric into the block works the best. If you have some scrap fabric lying around, test out some different methods to figure out what you prefer.
Last step before use is to heat set the ink into the fabric using an iron. Now you are ready to dine with friends and show off your creative handy work.
Images: Claire Bock and Phillip Stoup