Friday, November 14, 2008

More fun with printmaking

From more printing
div>We had so much fun with the print making, that I decided to go out in search of real printing ink.  It comes in big tubes and is the consistency of toothpaste.  Each tube costs around $6.  Michael's didn't carry these, but we did find them at the local art store. 

This worked so much better.  I think because the ink is thicker and stickier.  We had so much fun playing with the colors and making a mess.  The ink is also water soluble so it washes up really easy should you happen to get it everywhere.  ahem.

This time around, we did relief printing which is a fancy way for saying we scratched some designs into a piece of Styrofoam, rolled ink or paint onto it, and then pressed it onto a piece of paper.  This would be such a fun way to make Christmas cards, thank you cards or anything else that children like to send off to their grandmas and grandpas and aunties and uncles.


  • Styrofoam sheets (we used cut up meat trays. you can also use styrofoam plates from the grocery store, or fancy sheets from the art store)
  • Printing Ink (called Block printing ink), or thick paint like tempera, or ink pads. I think even finger paint would work in a pinch.
  • Rubber brayer for spreading the ink onto your Styrofoam plate (you could use a paintbrush too if you don't have a brayer, but it's not nearly as fun).
  • Waxed paper 
  • White paper 
1. Tape some waxed paper to the table. I taped down a piece about the length of my arm.  

2. Cut out a piece of styrofoam to the size you want.  I found a small square or rectangle worked great (maybe 4 inches wide).  A circle would be really fun to do too.  

3. Using a blunt pencil or ball point pen, draw a picture onto the styrofoam, making sure you are drawing firmly enough to make an indentation.

4. Squeeze a bit of paint onto the waxed paper. (a bit more than you'd put on your toothbrush). 

5. Roll the paint with your brayer to cover the brayer in an even layer of paint. 

6. Roll the freshly inked brayer onto your styrofoam drawing making sure to use good pressure to get lots of ink onto your drawing.  Your drawing should stay white while everything else becomes inked.

7. place your styrofoam face up on the table and place a piece of white paper on top.  Carefully rub your fist all over the paper with good pressure to make the print.  

8. Peel it off and Voila! admire your beautiful creation.  
From more printing

Kids think it's fun to make lots of different prints. You can experiment with color variations (mix colors together, or ink one part of the styrofoam a different color than another) varying amounts of ink, and varying colors of paper.

Afterwards, cut them out leaving a white border around the edge (maybe 1/2") and mount them on colored cardstock or to the front of a card for grandma.  

From more printing
From more printing

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so did elizabeth write BACKWARDS on hers? because it reads correctly!