Quarantine Activities: Printmaking!

Updated: May 3

It's all about PRINTMAKING this week! As a printmaking artist, I am so excited to share these activities with you! One of the challenges of curating project ideas is to find unique activities that don't require special materials or tools. Here is a variety of projects that you can do with supplies many of you will already have at home!


Muffin Tin Monoprints

Source: @kamini.kamdar

Supplies:

  • Tempera Paint

  • Muffin Tin

  • Paintbrushes

  • Paper

Ages:

  • Preschool to Middle School

Directions:

  1. Paint directly onto the bottom of your muffin tin.

  2. Press a paper on top of the muffin tin. Rub each "bump" to transfer the paint onto the paper.

  3. Peel the paper off to reveal your print!

Why I Like It: This is a great introduction to printmaking. Young artists can simply paint the bottom of the muffin tin with a single color. Older artists can enjoy creating more complex prints by adding multiple colors.



Cookie Sheet Monoprints

Source: @capturing_parenthood

Supplies:

  • Tempera Paint

  • Cookie Sheet

  • Paintbrushes

  • Paper (larger than your cookie sheet)

  • Optional: Q-tips to remove paint

Ages:

  • Preschool to Middle School

Directions:

  1. Paint directly onto the bottom of your cookie sheet.

  2. Press a paper on top of the cookie sheet. Apply gentle pressure across the surface of the paper to transfer the paint onto the paper.

  3. Peel the paper off to reveal your print!

Why I Like It: Though similar to the Muffin Tin Prints (above), working on a cookie sheet brings in more possibilities! Try working reductively (removing some of the paint) to create an image. You can do this with a Q-Tip, scrap of cardboard, cotton ball, or a variety of other materials. Experiment! Have fun!

Potato Stamps

Source: @dustandthings

Supplies:

  • Raw potatoes or root vegetables

  • Tempera paint

  • Paper

  • Cutting and/or carving knife

Ages:

  • Preschool to Adult

Directions:

  1. Cut a potato in half. You can either work with the potato's natural shape (oval), cut it in half (half circle), or carefully cut a design into the potato.

  2. Dip the stamp into a pool of tempera paint.

  3. Stamp the potato stamp onto paper.

Why I Like It: This is a classic printmaking activity. It is easy and fun! You can keep it very simple with basic shapes, or carefully carve into the potato to make more intricate shapes.

Beyond Potato Stamps

Source: @ureadyteddy

Supplies:

  • Raw potatoes or root vegetables

  • Tempera paint

  • Paper

  • Cutting and/or carving knife

Ages:

  • Preschool to Adult

Directions:

  1. Cut your fruit/vegetable in half. If it is a wet fruit, try to remove some of the extra liquid.

  2. Dip the stamp into a pool of tempera paint.

  3. Stamp onto paper.

Why I Like It: Why not use up old produce with this fun activity? Experimentation is a necessary quality for artists, so get creative and see what works!



Found Object Stamps

Source: @woodstockelementaryart

Supplies:

  • Found objects (cardboard tubes, cotton balls, straws, etc)

  • Tempera Paint

  • Paper

Ages:

  • Preschool to Middle School

Directions:

  1. Dip the found objects in a pool of tempera paint.

  2. Stamp the objects onto paper.

Why I Like It: Be resourceful and see how many types of stamps you can make with items around your house? Or see how you can modify simple objects (like cutting a fringe around a cardboard tube) to create new patterns.



Cookie Cutter Patterns

Source: @agirlandagluegun

Supplies:

  • Cookie Cutters

  • Tempera Paint

  • Paper (colorful or patterned paper is optional)

Ages:

  • Preschool to Middle School

Directions:

  1. Dip the cookie cutter into a pool of tempera paint.

  2. Stamp the cookie cutter onto the paper.

TIP: Put a towel or a section of newspaper underneath your paper. This improves the image transfer.

Why I Like It: While similar to many of the other activities listed here, this one is great for enjoy working with recognizable images. Use seasonal cookie cutters to make gift wrap, cards, or gift tags.



Bubble Wrap Prints:

Source: @makingtable

Supplies:

  • Bubble wrap

  • Tempera Paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Tape

  • Paper

Ages:

  • Preschool to Elementary

Directions:

  • Tape a section of bubble wrap to your work space.

  • Paint the bubble wrap with tempera paint.

  • Press your paper onto the painted bubble wrap.

Why I Like It: Bubble wrap is always a favorite with kids, so they will instantly be hooked on this! I recommend having a project in mind for the paper (such as making greeting cards), so that younger artists will have a goal to work towards.



Bubble Roll Prints

Source: @bestideasforkids

Supplies:

  • Cardboard tube

  • Bubble wrap

  • Tempera Paint

  • Glue or tape

  • Paper

Ages:

  • Elementary to High School

Directions:

  1. Glue or tape bubble wrap onto a paper tube.

  2. Paint the bubble wrap.

  3. Roll your texture tube onto paper.

TIP: You can try other textures too. Keep in mind the absorbency of materials. Burlap, for example, would be great to experiment with, but might absorb/dry the paint more quickly than bubble wrap.

Why I Like It: Creating a tool such as a roller synthesizes many printmaking concepts. Along with color and texture, young artists will be challenged to think about structure, integrity, and how diameter affects the end result.



Watercolor Monoprints

Source: @bsm_artdept

Supplies:

  • A sheet of plexiglass or glass

  • Watercolor paint (gouache and tempera can also work)

  • Paintbrushes

  • Water

  • Paper

  • Optional: Printed image

Ages:

  • Upper Elementary - Adult

Directions:

  1. Paint your image directly onto glass or plexiglass. (Remember it will become the reverse image!) If you have a printed image to work from, lay it under the plexi/glass and paint on top!)

  2. Let the paint dry completely (this can take a few hours!)

  3. Dampen your paper by running it under water for 10 seconds and blotting it dry with a towel.

  4. Lay the dampened paper on top of the dried painting. Place a scratch piece of paper or cardboard on top of the wet paper. Gently rub the papers to transfer the paint.

Why I Like It: This is a high-level form of printmaking, but it is accessible to many ages! You can make this very challenging, or experimental and playful! Because detail is difficult to achieve, it is fun to add sharpie or mixed media after the print has dried.


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©2017 By Nan Onkka