Mono-Printing for Kids

By freshlyplanted - 1:51 PM

I've always loved teaching print-making to kids. There's something so special about transferring an image to a piece of paper or cloth. So many are intimidated by print-making, thinking of methods that involve wood-carving tools or chemicals. These mono-prints don't require either and are a perfect place for kids- and their parents!- to start.

Mono-Printing for Kids

The first thing you'll need is a "plate"- this is the surface you will be drawing your image on. Isia used an acrylic plastic piece that was leftover from one of my sculpture projects. It was bought & cut to size at the hardware store. You can also use a piece of cardboard (mod-podged first would be ideal for rolling paint onto) or even a baking sheet as long as your paper is smaller than the pan.

Roll ink onto your plate using a brayer or a small paint roller. We used printing ink for ours, but thinned acrylic (especially with a dab of paint retarder) or tempera would work too. A thin, even layer is ideal. You could also paint a fine layer of paint onto your plate- just know that that the brush texture might show up. 

Now draw your image! I let the kids use small wooden sticks for ours, but toothpicks, cotton balls & q-tips also deliver great results. Experimenting is essential to creativity. (wink)

Mono-Printing for Kids
Mono-Printing for Kids
Now place your paper on top of your plate and lightly rub it on top. Isia rubbed hers with the back of a wooden spoon, but fingers and palms work fine too. When your image has transferred, carefully peel your paper away and set aside to dry. You just made a print! If you work quickly you might be able to get one more print, but not always. Besides, rolling more ink and drawing another design is part of the fun!

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