My children had two days off from school recently and I decided to take a day off from work and spend a full day with them. I am still looking for art for the walls of our house, so I decided that the four of us could work on a project together and use it as art in their TV room. I remembered printmaking in art class in elementary school and decided that would be our project for the day. I purchased all of the necessary supplies on Amazon and was super excited! Printmaking with kids is fairly simple and the resulting artwork is pretty amazing!
Scratch Foam Board – I purchased 9×12 boards by Melissa and Doug
(you could even use styrofoam plates if you were doing smaller pieces of art)
Printing Ink – I purchased Jacquard Versatex Printing Ink Set #2
You can freehand your print design, but I decided to have the kids each pick what they wanted to make a print off, then I located a picture online and printed it out onto 8.5×11 paper. You can also look in books for images!
Tape the printout onto the foam board, and with a dull pencil trace JUST the outline of the picture. Remove the paper and deepen your trace line if necessary.
Pick a lighter color for your background and using the brayer paint over the entire foam board.
Flip it over and stamp it onto a clean sheet of paper, rubbing softly. Remove the foam board from the paper and set the paper aside to dry. We made 2-3 prints of each so that we had a choice of which one to hang up at the end.
Next, tape the paper back onto the foam board, making sure to line up the outline with the print. Now using your pencil, trace any details that you want to include – eyes, nose, hair, wrinkles, teeth, etc. Remove the paper and deepen any lines as necessary.
Adult supervision required (I actually did this part for my younger two): Using your Xacto knife, cut along your original outline, removing the background.
Pick a contrasting color to your background and using the brayer paint over your foam board. Flip the foam board over, line it up with the outline on your print and stamp it on, rubbing lightly. Remove from the print and admire your print!
You can stop here as my youngest did with her elephant, or you can choose to add a third color. My son decided he wanted his minotaur’s horns to be a different color, so we cut the horns out, painted them a 3rd color and then flipped them over and stamped them onto his print.
Set aside to dry completely before framing.
We did our project while my husband was in Israel on a work trip. The kids couldn’t wait to show them their creations when he got home. They were so excited they even talked him into trying his hand at it! I was so happy when they walked him through, step-by-step, how to make his Yoda Print:
A friend of ours just bought a house so when she expressed her love of my kids creations, my daughter decided she wanted to make one as a housewarming gift. This is the result, which we framed and hand delivered, and is very much loved: