Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Print Play

Screen printing inspiration for your life and home

Jessie Wright & Lara Davies

Published by Hardie Grant

Published by Hardie Grant

Print Play is the perfect description of this book. It is about printing and and at the same time playful and fresh.

The authors Jess Wright and Lara Davies are “Home-Work” – two textile designers and screen printers from Melbourne, Australia. The creative duo have worked together for the past 7 years teaching screen printing and design, as well as bringing their own colourful textile designs to life! Jess and Lara’s obsession with colour and pattern is tangible and is evident in everything they create! Enthusiastically converting ideas from their imagination to reality (usually with music playing in the background), the pair produce screen printed textile prints that are thoughtful and fun.

Adding a little objet d’art to the simplest everyday items, these textiles become functional and are turned into tote bags, make up bags, cushions and even wallpaper. The book opens with a really great contents page, a real appetite wetter, with small images of some of the projects you can make.

The instructions for printing are very clear and easy to follow. There is a section on different kinds of inks, things to consider when choosing colours, and both the authors describe their own preferences when it comes to colour and design and they also show their own design processes.

You are told about creating an inspiration board and then you start on the projects that on the whole are easy and incredibly effective.

This is hand holding at its best. A really great book especially if you are new or inexperienced when it comes to printing.


Potato Printed Wrapping Paper

Print your own Christmas wrapping paper.

If you’ve been reading the press recently, you may have seen the headlines about how many Christmas wrapping papers are none recyclable. So we waste lots of resources on something we then cannot get rid or reuse. So apart from it being fun why not print your own Christmas wrapping paper and save the planet at the same time.

You will need

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Tape or string

Acrylic or poster paint


Kitchen paper

Spare sheet of paper to practice on

Brown wrapping paper

Lid of a food storage box

½ inch Paint brush


Step 1 

Using the kitchen knife cut the potato in half and then score and cut out your design from one half. Choose a simple design such as a star or a stylized Christmas tree.

Step 2

Press your potato onto to kitchen paper to get rid of the excess starch. Pour some paint onto the lid.Using a paint brush apply paint to the stamp you have just made. Try the design out on a piece of scrap paper. Print on the brown paper.

Step 3

Leave the paper to dry and then wrap it round your parcel, tying it with stringand adding a bit of foliage as decoration.


Eight easy fabric prints using low tech materials including string, pencil erasers, pipe lagging and vegetables

As many of you may have seen in one of my previous posts it is very simple to create patterns using little more than things you find around the house or in the garden. I have a you Tube video that shows using  a pepper to make a print. The designs below have been made with all different items. Some of the designs use  the same method but are printed in a different colour way. They are all printed onto fabrics using Dylon fabric paint. The prints are  fixed by ironing onto the back of the fabric once the paint had dried


This first print is made using pipe lagging to create a circle and a dot from an eraser at the end of the end of a pencil.  The second print uses the same method but in a different colour way.


The print below was printed using a small red cabbage cut in half. IMG_2942

The next design was made in two stages. First of all a halved potato was used to create the pink back ground. This was left to dry before the next part of the design was added. This is a celery end, the bit you usually throw away or put in a stock pot.  The celery head was dipped in red and applied on top of the pink potato dots. It looks quite rose like.


The blue and lime design below has been created using a small block of wood with elastic bands wrapped round it dipped in blue paint and then the lime dots were added later using the pencil eraser once again.


Pipe lagging and pencil erasers came into their own again for this design. IMG_2944.jpg

The  circular design is made up of a new potato cut in half and that old pencil eraser making dots round each circle. IMG_2946

I love this design it is another block this time wrapped in string printed in black and, yes you’ve guessed it, that old eraser again this time creating red dots.