Monotype With a 3D Printed Press

Monotype Cover


Difficulty: easy-peasy

Materials needed:

. printing brayer
. dry thin cardboard or thick paper
. block ink or etching ink
. cleanable surface to spread ink on
. leaves, ribbons, packaging, foil, etc.

This technique is probably the most rewarding and easiest to do! We love using it at fairs and events, because people can make a print in literally 30 seconds. It’s great for kids, too! Just make sure that kids use the press under supervision only.


1. Roll Out Ink

To get things started, you’ll need a brayer to spread out a little bit of ink on a piece of acrylic or other cleanable surface. We use relief printing ink for this technique, but etching ink should work, too. Don’t go too wild, a little bit of ink will get you a long way!


Monotype 01, Roll out Ink


2. Find Suitable Objects

The idea is to use thin objects as printing plates, such as leaves, ribbons, string, tin foil, cloth, or onion/garlic net, basically anything that is thin enough to roll through the press!


Monotype 02, Find Objects


3. Ink Up Objects

Start by inking up the thing you want to print. Just roll over it with the brayer a couple of times. Keep in mind: You don’t need a whole lot of ink, otherwise it’ll just get messy.


Monotype 03, Ink Up Objects


4. Print

Put the inked up object – with the inky face up – on the print bed, which is covered with a piece of paper to protect it from leaking ink. Now put some dry printing paper on top of it and roll it through the press once.


Monotype 04, Print


Monotype 05, Roll Through Mini Press


Depending on the object you inked up and the paper you used, you might already see an embossing on the back. After that just lift the paper and you have your first print! Depending on the ink, it might take between a few minutes to a few days to dry.


Monotype 06, Embossing on Back


Here you can see some more monoprints to give you an idea of what can be used. Just collect a leaf in the garden, packaging material, or textiles and give it a go!


Monotype 07, Various Monoprints


You can find more techniques and helpful information in our free ebook!

Also, we'd love to see your prints, please feel free to share them on social media with #openpressproject and tag us @openpressproject! Happy printing!