HOW TO MAKE… WOODEN PLANTERS
10 x 100cm (4 x 393/ 8") balsa wood board, 3mm ( 1 /8") thick (ours was from www.greatart.co.uk) Craft knife Metal ruler Cutting mat Strong wood glue Lino Lino cutter Tracing paper Ink tray Roller Printing inks or acrylic paint in yellow, pink and blue Ink stamp pad Woodwork that you won’t need a toolbox for? Yep – say hello to your new favourite planters.
To create this pair, you’ll learn how to lino print, carve your own stamp and get handy with balsa wood, all with the aim of satisfying your inner crazy plant lady. It’s way easier than you might think, and they double up as impressive new home gifts, too.
01 Using the templates on page 99, trace a triangle and a semicircle onto a sheet of tracing paper. Cut each element out leaving some space around the shape, as shown.
02 Transfer trace the shapes onto the lino block using a pencil. Lift a corner of the tracing paper up to check the pencil line has transferred onto the lino block before removing it completely.
03 Using a lino cutter, carefully carve away the negative space around the outside of the design, leaving only the area you’d like to show in the print raised. Gouge away the surface of the lino slowly and steadily. The key is to build up the depth gradually, keeping the lino cutter as parallel to the surface of the lino block as you can.
04 Keep carving the block until you have removed 3mm ( 1 /8") in depth of the lino surface and it begins to look even. Repeat for the other shapes in the chosen pattern design so you have a triangle and a semicircle to work with.
05 Test the lino block print using a sheet of scrap paper and an ink stamp pad. Press the inkpad on top of the lino block to cover it in ink. Turn the stamp over onto the paper, pressing firmly to transfer the ink. Lift to reveal the print. Carve away any additional areas of the lino if needed and test again until you are happy with the print.
06 Using a pencil, mark, measure and cut the balsa wood into 10 10 x 10cm (4 x 4") squares on the cutting mat, carefully using a craft knife and a metal ruler.
07 Next, prepare for printing by laying some scrap paper down to cover the work surface. Squeeze some paint or ink into the ink tray and roll it out across the tray to form a thin layer – a little paint can go a long way. Roll the paint out repeatedly to create a thin layer to coat the stamp, for a neat print.
08 Roll the ink onto the stamp, making sure to coat it evenly before flipping it over and onto the balsa wood pieces. Press firmly to make sure the ink transfers onto the wood. Use the base of your hand to add an even pressure, then lift off the stamp to reveal the print. Repeat this process for the remaining panels of the planter.
09 Continue in this way, using the other stamp and the main image as a guide to build up the designs, working with one colour at a time. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
10 When the print is dry, glue the sides together using a strong wood glue. Glue one side at a time and hold them together firmly for a few minutes until the glue has set before moving onto the next side. Repeat using the same technique for both of the planters.
11 Next, attach the base panels to both of the planters by gluing around all four edges and slotting the base into the centre. Hold them carefully in place for a few minutes until the glue has set.
12 Leave the planters to dry for 24 hours before placing potted plants of your choice inside them. The planters need to be kept dry, so remember to remove the plants before watering.