The Swedish Dala Horse dress is back for the holidays and ready to ship! Wear it alone or over a long leeve tee for colder months.
Make this easy Swedish Dala Horse Block Print in just a few easy steps!
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.
To make a block print, you’ll need:
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)
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.
Step 3: Carving out the image. Using your carving tools carefully carve out the outline of the image and all the “negative” 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:
With a little practice you will get a perfect print:
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:
The inspiration for this chicken came from lunch in a cafe. Sienna and I were on the way back from Tractor Supply one day and we stopped for lunch at the Blue Rooster in Waynesville, NC. Not only does the Blue Rooster have great food, but the entire restaurant is filled with chicken art. Above our booth was a rooster painted in front of a lavender geometric design that reminded me of wallpaper and a few days later I painted this:
Sitting at my window drinking coffee I watched the birds at the bird feeder one morning and thought “I should paint ALL the birds that eat from this feeder into one painting.” I could only fit four though:
Sitting at my blank canvas I randomly thought I wonder when the idea of using the mockingbird came to Harper Lee for her book. I decided to paint a mockingbird that morning:
I went fly fishing one day and this was a result:
I like how the rainbow trout turned out so I started sketching another animal…the animal that comes most natural to me to paint:
I finished it up the next day:
I recently watched the show Shetland on Netflix. It takes place on the Shetland Islands, part of Scotland, northeast of Great Britain. I was sucked in by the wide open spaces and the simplicity of the houses. I’m pretty sure that’s where this came from:
I’ve been collecting old tins for my Knothole boxes and this was one that I came across:
I painted this the same day (even though it’s not a daily painting)…a vintage Jello box:
Week 22’s daily paintings:
I had painted a floral painting that I wasn’t quite happy with so I made it into a background for a quote. I added a few layers of paint, sanded it down, added a few more, and then finally added a “happiness” quote:
When in doubt paint another dala horse:
I saw the Emerson quote first and then thought simple watercolor trees would go great with it:
Sometimes I just get out the watercolors and start pooling them into designs. Then I’ll find a quote that really speaks to me and I’ll use black sumi ink to paint it on top:
This might have been the day that Basquiat painting sold for $110 million dollars. I thought maybe if I start painting in the style of Basquiat I could sell more paintings and adopt more animals.
My aunt gave me a little bell that used to hang in her garden. Every day a cardinal comes and rings it right outside the window where I work. I don’t even have to see the cardinal to know it’s there. Yes cardinal I will paint you today:
Oh, and I’m still working on my quilted deer these days too….if it would stop raining and cool off enough. I’m a fair weather outdoor painter:
I do list some of my artwork for sale. You can find it on Etsy here.
All my daily paintings can be found indexed here!
Catching up today on cataloging my daily art project. Weeks 19 and 20 came and went and now I’m almost into week 22 with my paintings.
A Swedish Dala horse:
I edged it with tin when I was finished painting:
If I had a cow I’d name her Buttercup…even if she was a boy:
A tiny fox painting…with more tin:
A red hen:
A folk art farm scene on a large piece of Hemlock:
A small deer:
And week 20:
A small painting with some words I found in my journal:
A bright landscape:
An abstract textured landscape:
A lively landscape:
First thing I do every single morning is make scrambled eggs and whip my coffee. I love this drink: coffee, ghee, MCT coconut oil, flaxseed milk, a tiny bit of blue agave, cinnamon and a dash of sea salt. I blend it with my hand mixer until it’s nice and frothy. It feels decadent that way. Then I start to paint with the windows open so I can hear what’s going on outside:
A few floral paintings in the works:
This was a commissioned painting:
Sienna is out of school and she brought home this awesome pinch pot of a dragon. I need to go back to elementary level art…I think that would be very good for the soul.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Picasso
I prefer to paint upstairs but sometimes I do paint downstairs in the basement. This is the less often seen side of my basement studio. Up until a week ago it was just a huge jumbled stack of mess but one morning Brett helped me make that rack with 2×4’s. We didn’t even bother with shelves, just attached the planks to the ceiling and floor. Then we added the horizontal pieces. Eight pieces total. The bins and canvases just slide right in. I feel much more organized now:
I do list some of my artwork for sale. You can find it on Etsy here.
All my daily paintings can be found indexed here!
When we moved into our house two years ago I was so excited to have these concrete deer as a potential project. I immediately saw painted concrete deer as an upcycling project:
Below is what they looked like before. I knew that I needed to at least give them a new coat of paint because they were started to really be affected by the elements…they are over 50 years old. You could use any old garden sculpture for the project….and people are always listing these things on Craigslist:
I see old concrete yard art all over the place and I always think about what designs could be painted on them. This poor little deer is looking a little worse for wear. His rebar skeleton is showing:
I finally got around to starting to paint ours now that the weather is warming up. I used Deco Art’s Outdoor Living Exterior / Interior Paint available at Michaels and other craft supply stores:
My grandfather was Swedish and we grew up with an appreciation for Dala Horses and other Scandinavian art so that’s the theme I decided to use for the first deer.
A dala horse just for reference:
First, I painted the deer with with a flat white spray paint primer. Then I sketched different designs on using willow charcoal. Willow charcoal is a painter’s best friend! It can be easily painted over and easily wiped off. One box will last for years…I’ve had mine for at least 20:
I changed my mind a few times on the design and I just painted over the area I wanted to change with a layer of white paint. I love how it finally turned out:
I think the key for the Scandinavian design is to pick a theme and just a handful of colors to stick with for the whole project. It looks more cohesive that way:
Have you ever seen those statues in different cities that are painted different themes? We have bears nearby in Cherokee and there were Big Horned Sheep in Palm Desert. That’s what this reminds me of:
The back of the deer:
When completely finished with the deer I coated it with two thick coats of marine varnish which expands and contracts and basically is durable enough for a ship at sea:
It will protect this from harsh outdoor elements:
It will protect it from the elements for a long time to come!
Stay tuned for the second deer soon….it’s quilted!
A Li’l List of new and favorite things to share!
Anna from Noodleheads made this adorable peasant dress with one of my favorite patterns from Leila and Ben. She used the Lil Blue Boo Li’l Leggings pattern for the cute striped pants! Love this outfit!
I just got some goodies in the mail….one package was from a favorite upcycled clothing store: Dress Me. Check out Boo’s newest t-shirt! Pieced and blocked from recycled knits!
I’ve been trying to add more upcycled items of my own for boys…..here are some silk screened appliques from recycled t-shirts I made this week…..aren’t they cute?
I love Zazzle! I added my Swedish Dala horse graphic to some shoes for Boo:
Finally, next week is Lil Blue Boo’s Two Weeks of Photography! Photography has come a long way. Years and years ago my father worked for Photo Corporation of America….he and a few friends left and started a photo company called American Studios which put photo studios into WalMart. As a baby I was used in many of their ads…..these are from around 1977/1978….check out the sitting fees and prices…..this was before digital too!
I grew up around photography….but it was all now antiquated studio photography. I’m so excited about the next two weeks and ready to update my photography skills! Lisa has put together an amazing two weeks of posts…..and it all starts on Monday! Guest bloggers, tutorials, fun products, downloads, giveaways etc!
I was trying to convince Brett to make me a printing press one day when all the sudden it clicked that I could probably make a printing press from our old panini press. I haven’t made a panini in a long time and this old Cuisinart was just sitting around in the basement. Really you could use any type of food press that has a floating hinge, one that will angle the griddle parallel. Here’s a quick animation of me using my press:
So first you’l need an old panini press or some type of floating hinge press:
Two piece of felt and two flat pieces of 1/4″ wood will make up the inside of the press:
I use my press to print linoleum block prints or speedy carve blocks. Here are a few in progress:
Designing a block print:
Using the linoleum cutter to carve out the print:
Speedball offers this starter kit for block printing that has all the tools you need:
When you have a linoleum block ready to print you just make a sandwich of layers inside the press starting with one of the pieces of wood:
Then a layer of felt:
Then I roll a layer of ink onto the block making sure to roll in all directions so that every part of the block is covered:
Then I place a sheet of paper onto the felt and carefully place my block face down onto the paper:
I add a layer of felt and another piece of wood:
And close the press:
The floating hinge of the press allows the top of the press to come down at a flat angle and the leverage results in an even firm pressure:
I open the press and remove the block and paper. Then carefully peel the paper away from the block:
It’s an easy way to make print after print without killing your palms and getting an even consistent press:
I love how these turned out:
This is my Foshizzle print. I offer it here on Etsy:
Proceeds from my Happy print go to Happy the Happiest Dog’s medical expenses:
You can read more about Happy here! She’s the sweetest addition to our family.
Also, you can find more tutorials on printing and stamp carving here or below:
Today is the reveal day for this year’s Michaels’ Dream Trees. And it’s snowing at my house…for real.
This year I went with a Scandinavian theme:
Dala horses, DIY ribbon ornaments, rustic Santa and reindeer ornaments and much more:
I love how it turned out. The whole family helped with this year’s theme: cutting, staining, stamping, etc.
On November 14th I’ll have tutorials for each of the ornaments and the supplies I used to make them! But for now you can get a head start by following this tutorial below and using the free template download for the Dala horse image!
Click here to view the past two years of Christmas Trees!
These hand stamped leggings are so easy to make and a great gift idea for the holidays. I made this pair for Boo using a lightning bolt shaped stamp. (Click here to see how to make the stamp)
Here are the products I used:
$5 leggings from Target
Jacquard Fabric Paint (it’s the perfect consistency to go through the paint roller)
Boo loves writing letters to family and friends. She needed a stamp for all those “hand delivered” love notes. I carved her a personalized “postage” stamp:
I cut the Speedy-Cut block in half:
I sketched a simple postage stamp shape and added in Boo’s initials. Make sure to draw your image in reverse!
I used the tool to slowly start carving out my image:
I tested my stamp to make sure there weren’t any areas that needed more carving:
Now Boo can add her “postage” stamp to all her letters and they look so much more official!
Want to see more? Visit this introduction to block printing I did last year….it includes a free Dala Horse graphic download: