Swedish Dala Horse Block Print (Tutorial & Download)

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

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.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
I decided on a simple image to use on both paper products and clothing:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
To make a block print, you’ll need:
Speedy-carve block
Basic carving tool set
Brayer
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)

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: Print off your image in reverse and make sure it fits onto your carving block:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
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.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
The transferred image will be fairly light but you can see it more clearly by tilting it in different light.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Use a pen or pencil to draw in your image more clearly:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

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

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Carefully carve out the area around the image:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
And finally, cut out around the image as shown below:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
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:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Using the brayer, apply a thin, even coat of ink to the block carving:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Place the carving face down on fabric or paper and press firmly. Carefull lift up to reveal the printed image.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
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:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

With a little practice you will get a perfect print:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
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.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
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!

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

Download my Swedish Dala Horse Print to make your own project!

Copyright © 2010 by Ashley Hackshaw/Lil Blue Boo. All rights reserved. This dala horse image is for personal and home use only. Please email me at ashley (at) lilblueboo.com for more information. Thank you for respecting my copyright! View copyright information here:

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Comments

  1. 1
    KJ@letsgoflyakite says:

    Ashley, this is amazing. It will have so many applications. Thank you!

  2. 2
    Soren Lorensen Design says:

    FAB! Love it and I hope you use that for a christmas card or something this year cause i want one ;)

  3. 3
    Vanessa says:

    I love your dala horse! Thanks for the great tip about transferring the image with the iron! I'll have to try it.

  4. 4
    Lily's Laundry Boutique says:

    I love this!!!

  5. 5
    MooBeeTees says:

    Way too cool – thanks for sharing :0)

  6. 6
    Mary Beth says:

    Wow! That is so great! I LOVE it!
    So much could be done with that. I would have that all over EVERYTHING!!! haha
    Love it!

  7. 7
    zeshuregi says:

    this is lovely…smart tutorial

  8. 8
    Michelle L. says:

    Hi, Ashley! That is so pretty, and you made such a great tutorial for it. Tanks so much for the wonderful pattern, I love it! (And need it, 'cause my drawing skill stopped at about kindergarten level!)

  9. 9
    Belichek says:

    It's amazing. You are my hero =)))
    Thank you very much

  10. 10
    OnePerfectDay says:

    This is a great tutorial!!

  11. 11
    Becky C says:

    have you ever tried it with a fiber reactive dye (like from Dharma T.Co). I’ve had a wooden elephant block print for years, that I’ve never used, I might give it a try!

  12. 12

    We are hosting an Around the World in 12 Dishes and Crafts and this would be perfect for our Sweden Activities. We’d love for you to link it up! Here’s the linkhttp://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/04/around-world-in-12-dishes-activities.html

  13. 13

    Hey Ashley, just ran across this post after our interview today. Hurray for Sweden!
    Michael

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  1. [...] There is a great tutorial here: Swedish Dala Horse Block Print Tutorial [...]

  2. [...] direction, take a look at this block print pocket guide over at Ciara Elend’s Blog, and great Swedish Dala Horse block print tutorial at lil blue [...]