How to Throw a Block Printing Party with Crafty Friends

Gather your friends to do a fun DIY projectThe goal: Everyone creates a stylish block-printed garment or home accessory to keep-while you all snack and catch up. Protect your work surface with craft paper and put tools in the center for easy sharing (see "What you'll need," slide 3). As friends finish designs, hang pieces on a clothesline to dry. Download templates for these projects from slide 4. Photo by Christopher Coppola/Studio D

Related: Check out 15 clever uses for household items.

Invitations
If your friends aren't familiar with block printing, include an inspirational image or two in the invite. Ask guests to bring at least one fabric or paper item to decorate (a T-shirt, tea towel or notebook-anything smooth and flat). Also caution attendees not to wear their nicest clothes and note that "aprons are suggested" (just in case).

What's You'll Need

Foam trays or takeout containers

X-Acto knife

Templates

Masking tap

Wood skewer

Ink roller (from 99¢; Joann.com)

Speedball Fabric Block Printing Inks ($5.39 each; ArtistCraftsman.com)

Fabric or paper item to decorate

Related: Don't miss 9 buys that are cheaper online.


How to Craft
Follow these instructions to block-print your items. Make some stamps (Step 1) before the party so guests can dive right into the fun, then put extra foam containers on the table in case people want to design their own.

Step 1: Trim the curved edges off a foam container; tape one of these printed templates on top. Use an X-Acto knife to score the lines of the design. Remove the template; cut out the design. If necessary, widen the inner lines of the stamp with a wood skewer (see photo on previous page).

How to Craft - Step 2
Add a few drops of fabric block-printing ink to a second foam tray and spread out the ink with your roller. Roll back and forth in the ink several times or until it's evenly dispersed, then roll the ink onto the foam stamp.

How to Craft - Step 3
Press the inked side of the stamp onto your fabric or paper item and carefully use your hands to apply even pressure. Gently peel back the stamp to reveal your print, then repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you've achieved the desired look. A single stamp can create a variety of patterns and effects depending on how it's used.

Food & Drink
Guests can help themselves to these block-inspired bites.

TWO-BITE TREATS

Three kinds of chocolate make these crunchy, no-bake bars irresistible. Mix toasted corn cereal with melted butter and caramel candy bars; let set in a square pan. Top with melted chocolate, mini chips and chopped almonds. Get the whole chocolate cereal bars recipe.

INFUSED ICE CUBES

Place a mint leaf or quartered lemon slice in the bottom of each compartment of an ice cube tray; fill with water and freeze. Set out in an ice bucket or bowl next to the drinks.

SANDWICH SQUARES

Assemble ham or turkey sandwiches on rye bread, then cut into 1-in. cubes. Skewer with toothpicks and serve with honey mustard for dipping.

CHUNKY FRUIT SALAD

Make a sweet and savory fruit salad by sprinkling a pinch of cayenne over cubes of watermelon. Or try a pinch of sea salt over honeydew.

Related: Discover 9 innovative kitchen accessories.


Favors
Send friends home with their dried printed items in a reusable tote, customized by you. Loew Cornell Totally You Tote Bag Value Pack, $9 for 4; Amazon.com

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