A beginners step by step guide to the lino printing process that answers how to lino print

How to Lino Print Guide

Before you begin, you will need to have the following items:

  • A piece of lino
  • Lino cutting tools
  • Ink
  • A brayer (similar to a paint roller but used to roll out ink)
  • A sheet of glass to roll the ink onto. The glass from an old photo frame would work here.
  • Paper
  • Pen/pencil
  • Tracing paper

Once you have all the items above, you are ready to get started and learn how to lino print.


Pick a design and draw it on to a sheet of tracing paper.

Draw the image as you want it to appear in the final print on to the tracing paper.


Turn over the tracing paper and place it on top of the piece of lino. Rub over the back of the design using a pencil, in order to transfer the design to the lino sheet.

Any design drawn on to the lino will be backwards when printed, which is why the tracing paper is turned over. There are alternative methods when doing this, such as scanning in the final design, then flipping the image using a program such as Photoshop. Once the reverse image is printed, a piece of carbon paper is placed between the design and the sheet of lino, so that when the design is traced, the carbon paper applies the design to the lino sheet. This method is slightly more involved, so it is probably best to use the tracing paper method on the first few attempts.


Cut the design out of the lino piece

Remember, the parts that are cut away will not have any ink applied to them. All parts that are cut away will show the colour of the paper that the lino is printed onto.


Apply ink to the glass sheet, then roll it out using the brayer.

Not too much ink is generally needed, although how much will depend on how big your design is. About 2cm squeezed from the tube generally works well for a print about 15cm x 15cm (6 inches x 6 inches).

When using the brayer, alternate between rolling from left to right to up and down.

Once the ink is rolled out to the correct thickness, it will make a tacky sound similar to velcro. Once you hear this sound, roll the ink on to the piece of lino.


Place the paper on top of the lino and apply pressure to transfer the ink on the lino to the paper.

Apply pressure with your hands, rubbing in circles. If this doesn’t transfer enough ink, you can use the back of a spoon and apply pressure in circular motions.

Once you have done this, peel away the paper and you should have a complete print!

Now you know how to lino print…

The above method is great for beginners, but it may be that you want to develop your skills further. The full process of lino printmaking and the variety of tools and techniques are beyond the scope of this website, but more information can be found in a range of great books available on Amazon. Below are a few of my favourites that I have found helpful in learning more and understanding the process in full.

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