Nov 11, 2013

Posted by | 165 Comments

Great Giveaway: Printmaking Starter Kit

{This giveaway is closed. Congrats to the winner, Nicole Servanda, who’s tip included using discarded prints for collage later on. Love it! }

For today’s great giveaway, our friends at Blick Art Materials have the perfect ‘Printmaking Starter Kit’ for one lucky reader’s classroom.

Printmaking Giveaway

The Kit Includes:

Blick Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink
Blick Lino Cutter Set
Blick E-Z Cut Printing Blocks
Blick Master Printer Paper
Blick Economy Baren
Inovart Soft Rubber Brayer
Metal Inking Plate/Bench Hook
Gyotaku Replicas

To Enter: 

1. Comment below and tell us one printmaking tip, trick, lesson or idea you love to do in your classroom! One entry per person.

2. NOTE: Be sure to sign in with your email address or social account when you fill out the comment form so we have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner.

3. This giveaway will be closed Friday, November 15th at Midnight, Central Time. The winner will be chosen by This article will be updated announcing the winner on Sunday, November 17th.

Good luck and happy printing!  

Psst – AOE isn’t paid for giveaways- we just do it because we love our readers and want you to win some cool stuff! 


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  • Marla

    At this time of year, I like to have younger children stamp with corks and make snowmen (

  • Kathy Hughes

    When block printing I use old cookie sheets to roll out the ink. Students lay the brayers down with the handles over the edge to keep them clean for the next person to use.

  • Sarah Paluzzi

    i like printing with multiple materials – foam, linoleum, potatoes, even carved erasers

  • Bronxartteacher

    I am starting a printmaking elective class next semester for the first time. I really appreciate the articles and the posts. I plan to try to up cycle. I will have my students save the foam trays from lunch to use as a printing plate. They work just as well as the foam sheets you can purchase and you give the Styrofoam a new life. Save the environment and create art all in one!

  • K Hyman

    My favorite printing method is with an embroidery hoop and works like a stencil. Usually students cut snowflakes and lay them inside the hoops that have beenstretched with an inexpensive cotton cloth. Ink is applied to the back of the snowflake with a brayed and it seeps through the fabric on the hoop to make the print. The paper snowflake causes a resistance.

  • Bonnie Willcock

    I use 8 x 10 in. pieces of plexiglas to roll the ink out on. They wash up super easy and stack, so they don’t take up much room.

    • Ariel

      I do this also, works great!

  • Sarah

    Use a registration table to help with getting everything lined up.

  • Diane

    With younger students, I have them trace their blocks and color their print paper with various light and bright colors of marker. Then we print with black ink only because of limited space, limited clean up facilities and a limited budget. With older students, we create mixed-media paintings that includes printmaking. We create “stamps” with shapes cut from foam sheets glued to foam board scraps. The “stamps” are sealed with gloss medium or elmer’s glue that has been watered down. Before printing, the students prepare an abstract painting by using student acrylics scraped across mat board scraps using foam board or mat board squeegees. (You could do brayer printing instead.) The “stamps” are hand brushed with student acrylics and printed onto the painting repeatedly. Details can be added with Elmer’s painter’s markers. I get the mat board and foam board scraps free from a local framing shop.

  • Karla

    Always keep your fingers behind the knife. You can’t cut yourself if your fingers are already out of the way.

  • carolyn

    Using meat packing trays for students for rollers and ink works great, and then you can throw them out after…no messy clean-up!

  • DES

    I use cookie sheets for elementary monoprints…the mess stays on the tray and they are easy to carry and rinse off.

  • Tricia Fuglestad

    Printing is in reverse. Students who have added words to their designs have found that how the hard way. I have them hold it to a mirror to check to see if it reads correctly. Great time ti tie in a DaVinci reference too.

  • Shannon Lauffer

    My lifesaver in printmaking is baby wipes! For cleaning hands and for cleaning tables. It takes a big crowd away from the sink while students are washing trays and brayers!

  • Mallory Gerstacker

    I usually demonstrate with a block that features text, so students can get an early grasp on the concept that their print will be reversed!

  • Rachelle

    I like the kiddos to draw themselves and print in neon colors like Warhol!

  • Jane Langenfeld

    I use cheap wooden spoons as a burnishing tool when doing relief printing with high school students. I have my maintenance guys cut the handles off so the students naturally apply more even pressure and get a better print.

  • Norene Schreiner

    Printmaking is a class favorite, so, make sure you have plenty of materials. Several of my 8th grade students ask to cut a second or third block. I’m always happy to oblige!

  • Kristin Adolf

    I try to cover an “artist of the month” each month. My 3rd graders this year were studying Andy Warhol one month, and Frida Kahlo the next. First, we used digital images of the students to create printed self portraits using foam rectangles (Andy Warhol). The images were just basic outlines of facial features, hair, shoulders, etc. After making a number of these prints in a variety of colors, we will study Frida Kahlo. The students will add more personal details to their foam block and print again…some also to be printed over previous prints in a different color…this time to see the additional details an artist can use to tell about himself/herself in a work of art.

  • Devin Auricchio

    Printmaking is always a hit at any grade level. I just finished a linoleum relief print with my high school students. I had them develop their own “symbol.” An image that would represent who they were and be meaningful to them. To add a bit more of a challenge I required that there must be text to get that idea of a reversed image across. it’s always important to go over safety though! We don’t want any poked fingers!

  • Janine

    I LOVE printmaking and have been doing it with my Middle Schoolers for several years now. My biggest tip is to have them wear gloves, even if they are not protective/thick because it reminds them they have hands. Once I started this, there have been no accidents with the cutting tools – it really works. Here are some additional printmaking resources:

  • Sarah Guzman

    I love to incorporate mono prints with my middle school students! Recently, we studied different portrait artists and used monotype prints to reflect Matisse’s expressive, line portraits. Using ink and plexi glass we drew an expressive line portrait in the style of Matisse on paper. We pulled two prints from our glass, including a ghost print that we altered with various other art materials.
    For advanced art we use linocuts and print embossing. For the print embossing we cut out shapes out of matt board and paste them on top of a flat piece of matt board. We run the matt board with printing paper through the print press. The matt board piece creates indented grooves of the shapes cut out. Using found objects we adorn our project with small, natural objects to create an overall composition.

  • Georgia

    This is my second year teaching art and I did not do printing with my classes last year, but am planning to this year. I have been collecting lunch trays and some of the styrofoam plates that some vegetables come in. I am a little intimidated about starting and was so glad to see this article and the great comments. Thanks.


    I love printmaking and after 3 years of teaching MS, I found success in a few strategies like creating a printmaking station where they can get the ink and bring it back to their table on a palette; or classroom shifts like opening shift and closing shift to help with the management of it all – treating them like they have a job. Also giving them something that challenges their details and accuracy in the carving is great because it slows them down a bit and helps them appreciate the nature of printing. It was a great success and I anticipate employing similar skills and ideas in my elementary classroom to help not only foster creativity but also enhance some of those 21st century skills. A better explanation could be found here:

  • Amanda Murphy

    I use the lids of non-recyclable styrofoam take out containers to roll the ink out, one for each color. I feel good about reusing something bad for the environment,and the sides are low enough that my fourth-sixth graders can roll out the ink without making a huge mess. I also have students work in partners to complete the inking/pressing so one person’s hands are always clean in case of accident, or just for lifting paper without finger prints.

  • Dana

    You can also carve white erasers to make prints with. I have my students create a personal stamp at the beginning of the year/semester to stamp their work with.

  • Jessica

    For my middle schoolers printmaking unit, I love to create Poster Potraits incorporating text and personal symbols using both Demuth and Fairey as references for inspiration.

  • laura j

    I love making monoprints with gel printing plates…so quick and easy yet stunning results…and no need for a press!

  • Janice Skivington Wood

    I am new to printmaking, although it is my 5th year of teaching. The reason for this is that I never took a printmaking class while in college. What a shame, printmaking is so much fun. Last year I did several printing lessons, and I was learning right along with my classes. My upper school class did a lesson on Durer and we drew trees, I was hoping for an etching effect with foam plates! We sort of got an etching in reverse. My most successful lesson was with the fifth graders. We made an illustrated landscape for the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. We then, after lessons in how to draw horses, made foam plate horse images and filled our landscape with lots of galloping horses and soldiers.

  • Jodi Youngman

    Start small with younger kids. Not every printmaking project has to be only printmaking. For example, with my kindergartners we use stamping with circles to print gumballs and then collage them into gumball machines like Wayne Thiebaud.

  • Heather Ramos

    I am actually trying printmaking for the first time this week! This is only my second year teaching art and I was, as has been said in several articles, really too scared to try printmaking last year. We are making drawing journals and printing leaves on the front! It is an elementary form of printmaking for sure. We are just using paintbrushes to apply paint to the leaves and then pressing them down with our fingers. I don’t actually have any budget for art at my school and so it would be an amazing blessing to get a start-up kit to get my kids doing printing more often. Especially since that is the form of art that I personally love the best!!

  • Ronda Dugan

    I love printmaking with my middle schoolers! We use old phone books to lay our plates on to ink them up. When the student is finished with their inky page, they just flip it to the next clean page for the next person. The mess is contained and I can recycle the book when we are finished!!!

  • Jill La Grange

    I love using Styrofoam meat trays for spreading ink with a brayer and then tossing them at the end of the project!

  • Mary L.

    I have been recycling k-cups and letting the Kindergarteners stamp print with them. Both ends make interesting prints!

  • Karen Crown

    Printmaking is always a good way for my high school students to learn a new technique while illustating current events….one of my favorite teaching units.

  • christy

    I have used styrofoam meat trays donated from one of our partners in education!

  • Michele Gorham

    I mix a little hand soap into my ink before putting it out at the stations. This works like ink retarder and prevents the ink from drying out…plus it makes clean up a bit easier!

  • KatieP1388

    My major in college was not only art education but printmaking so I LOVE printmaking! I teach PreK-8 and Ive been using printmaking to teach types reflection and symmetry. My favorite material to use is sheets of foam or lunch trays I’m always trying to reuse and recycle anything I can since our school is a nonprofit, and the kids really feel involved during collecting!

  • Faith Knudsen Bongiorno

    Planning on using printmaking lesson to teach symmetry and reflection but also to make cards at Christmas time to send overseas!

  • Allison Carver Kleinsteuber

    I set up a print station, with precut colored paper ready. There is a glass plate and roller for each color. The students are to pull 4 prints of 4 different colors of ink on 4 different colors of paper. I emphasize the importance of presentation and will not accept any work with fingerprints or smudges. They put the prints on paper towels to dry. I show then how to cut a simple mat, which are also precut to the correct size to frame the prints. They then mount the work into a composition. The excitement in the room is palatable as they finish their blocks and reveal their success via each pulled print. The students find it to be one of their favorite units and it is a great way to end the year.

  • Sue Maloney

    I like to have the students print on paper that they have done a watercolor wash on so that they can create their own paper effect. This allows us to print with one color ink and have a variety of results.

  • Mike McCurdy

    I teach 3, 4 and 5 year olds, and I do not subscribe to the cleanliness camp, it can be futile in some cases. Instead, I use painter’s plastic on the floor whenever we do anything extraordinarily messy. Easy to lay out, easy to wad up and trash. Floor=clean. Me=happy.

  • Samantha Salenger

    I use plexiglass pieces as plates to ink up. Easy clean up and don’t take up much space to store. I have students do a practice on styrofoam plates to get the idea of printing. That way they understand the backwards idea and it prevents them from using words in their final print. I allow them to use true carving tools, stressing the dangers involved. It creates so much possibility for really paying attention to what they are doing.

  • Mike Hadfield

    I like having 3-4th Graders create monochromatic monoprints of faces. Then incorporate mixed-media to create the rest of the monochromatic themed portrait.

  • Rebbie Carleton

    Printmaking can be a wonderful opportunity for collaborative projects that emphasize a purpose of making prints is to make multiple copies. I use a lot of
    silkscreen with younger K-2 students in this way using paper stencils.
    We choose a simple shape that coordinates with a curriculum unit…. Snowflakes or butterflies or fancy hearts have worked well. Each student cuts out their
    shape and we make a collaborative design using those paper shapes. Each student pulls a print with the group design as their finished project. Having them add their name to the blank paper before the print is made is helpful and the only
    clean up is a single silkscreen and squeegee. Don’t overlook that this is an
    exciting form of printmaking and there are examples of how it is used on lots
    of student t-shirts.

  • Sarah

    Using a thin piece of foam as a printing block is a cheap and easy way
    to get a nice print. Use a skewer or toothpick as the tool.

  • Mrswilcox

    I love printmaking, because, usually, the kids have never done it before, so I really feel like I am teaching them something brand new to them! We spend a few days making all kinds of paper backgrounds, then use those papers for our prints. I’ve also used ceramic tiles, spread out in a square shape, for the kids to paint on, then pull a print from. Super easy clean up with the tiles, too.

  • Kelly Eggleston

    I majored in printmaking, so it always has a special place in my heart. We begin our printmaking unit with stippling to introduce them to different ways to add value. Then, we focus on positive and negative space in our block printing project. Students must use a value system (hatching, cross hatching, stippling, etc) somewhere on their print AND have equal parts positive and negative space. When printing, students are encouraged to use more than one color on their brayer to print. They love this project!

  • mlambeth

    I use the flat top part of Styrofoam egg cartons for making printing plates, easy to carve into with just a pencil and recycling.

  • Jill Bailey

    I use the Plexiglas for ink plates as well, however, one good tip to help keep the Plexiglas from sliding around while rolling out the ink – I cut out pieces of “Grip It Shelf and Drawer Liners” to place under the Plexiglas.

  • Angela

    get grocery store or meat market to donate styrofoam for cheap surface to use as printing plates & especially easy to carve on for little ones!

  • Sasha

    Gyotaku (fish prints) are so fun to start the texture conversation (also good for warm and cool color lessons) My tip: tear pieces of craft paper or hard paper towl rolls and place behind the fish fins so they spread out wide for a great print!

  • Micahangelo

    I use thin foam that has been cut and taped back together to create a tesserae. My students 8-11 years old print their own tessellations. It’s cheap, and they learn so much!

  • Mel Jones Bushner Kolstad

    I make sure that my students follow the #1 rule of carving – hands behind the block! :) I also use rice paper for artist proofs – it’s so strong that a beginner can use it with a baren without the paper tearing. :D

  • Andrew Crum

    I use a template under a sheet of acrylic for lining up the plate with the paper. First you trace the outline of the printing paper onto a sheet of larger paper. Then trace the printing plate inside that, making a rectangle inside a rectangle. Label the interior rectangle #1, and the outer rectangle #2. Place the sheet of acrylic over the template. Students place their inked plate ink side up on #1, then a sheet of clean printing paper on #2. The print is then rubbed with a barren or rolled with a clean brayer, and the print is pulled. The acrylic is easily cleaned for the next print.

  • Jessica Brunow Holloway

    I love to have students use textured paper cut outs to make a monoprint. We create a template, tracing each of their cut out shapes. Students ink a shape, place on its template spot, register their paper to the top edge of the template, and burnish, repeat for each shape. This looks especially cool if they have a printing paper that is more than one color.

  • Liz

    Another way to get the kids involved is to have them collect the foam. Reusing trays, egg cartons, and sometimes packaging material is a great way to recycle. It shows students the many possibilities for art materials.

  • Geena Teo

    I like having kinder kids create Ed Emberly style fingerprint creatures and people with colorful fingerprints! It’s low mess, and importantly for me, low cost. I’d love to try more printmaking- some cool ideas here! :)

  • Linda Knoll

    This summer I did a camp where the kids produced a collaborative book, then illustrated with printmaking so that each kid could taked home an original copy. It was crazy, but turned out wonderfully.

  • tony

    When printing I have my kids work in pairs: one w/clean hands to handle the paper and baren pull the print while the other w/brayer rolls on the ink. They switch jobs as they switch plates.

  • Cara

    we enjoy making our own printpaste with Aardavrk pigments and rice flour for book making with our own handmade paste papers

  • Victoria

    When I am first beginning a unit on printmaking, I use a very simple printmaking technique to whet their appetite, I pass out small pieces of styrofoam and allow the students to draw a simple design on these with a blunt pencil or ink pen, using gentle pressure to ensure that the design is carved into the foam. They then choose a color(s) and color over the foam with a marker. Give the foam piece a quick “hot breath” and place a piece of paper over the foam, rubbing gently. Presto!! A quick, successful print! The beauty of this “quickie print”
    is that it creates no mess, and students can even use more than one color at a time. Mr. Sketch markers or Crayola regular markers work fine.

  • Victoria Smith

    I use foam paper plates and let the kids redraw their favorite still life onto the plate. Then we ink them with either markers or tempra paint if we have the supplies.

  • Beth Ryan

    I would love to learn tips to leave! I kinda need the starter kit first! We have NO printmaking supplies and I have been trying to request a budget for them for years! Thanks for the offer :)

  • Laura

    Before students clean the brayers, I always emphasize cleaning the ends of the brayer!!!!

  • Liz

    As someone with a Textile Design degree, I would love to have this set to help integrate more printmaking into my lessons. This year students made their own stamps using foam craft sheets.

  • Haven

    I give each student two 2″X2″ squaresI have the students print on black or white fabric, alternating colors to make a pattern for African Adinkra cloth. We talk about the symbols that tell about the village or the chiefs. The kids love it and they are quite beautiful.

  • Alison Zwick

    I have checklists with all the directions and supplies for my middle school students to use. This allows them some independence at the press. I also marked the calibration settings on the press for each type of print so there is no confusion. All students take a printing quiz before they are allowed to use the press. This allows me to use the proper terms with them and I know they understand.

  • lk1118

    I love doing styrofoam plate printing! It is cheap to get the plates, and you can use a pen to indent the drawing into it. –

  • victoria

    when desperate i use old laminated items or excess lamination trimmed off pieces to roll out ink. If it gets completely messy I can throw it away and it is easy to clean in the sink.

  • Cynthia Nelson

    I would like to do a printmaking unit with my classes because most of my students have never tried printmaking. It would be nice to do linoleum prints.

  • Corby Blem

    In our Paint & Draw Workshop, we use craft foam with sticky backs to create our print blocks. It’s easy to cut, especially for younger participants.

  • Amy Thomas

    I use cheap dollar store baking sheets to roll the ink out on. They clean very easy and the slight edge is perfect to make sure that a brayer does not get accidently knocked off the edge like it would on a flat plexiglass sheet.

  • Lauren

    Here’s a tip to save ink: kids use a mirror to roll out the ink on and I draw a sharpie square on the mirror pretty much the same size as the brayer, so they don’t spread out the ink pile so huge and waste ink. I also mix retardant with the ink so it doesn’t dry out too fast.

  • Janis Nunnally

    We have made plates using found objects. Makes very interesting artwork.

  • Autumn Britt

    We make collograph prints with cardboard and scraps from the art room as a study of implied texture vs. actual texture. I would love to branch out into other types of printmaking.

  • Christopher Schneider

    I have the students create abstract designs on 4 x 6 lino blocks. They then print their design, and when dry, swap with each other and print over the top with a classmate’s design to create an interesting design. Looks like a reduction print in many respects.

  • Anndi

    I use a bottle cap glued to the styrofoam block to create tessellated prints. Simpe for all sizes of hands and works well for all grades.

  • Doc

    I have used non-cloth garden gloves for students to wear on their non-carving hand. This helps prevent cuts from slipped tools.

  • Heather

    We use small scrap pieces of mat board to spread the ink out before rolling with a brayer. Also, use mat board, the interior hole cut to the size of the linoleum and the exterior the exact size of printing paper, for registration in reduction prints! Also, use rolled up duct tape on the fabric side of the linoleum for “handles” to lift it out easily from the mat after printing!

    Just started teaching my true passion this year (art!). I have been a Social Studies Special Education teacher for the past 6 years. Would love anything to make that transition an easier one!

  • justine

    We love printmaking using veggies, foam shapes,found objects, and traditional methods. We have also had great success in younger grades using markers and foam with a light spray of water.

  • Colette Alexandra

    Our school cafeteria uses styrofoam trays (and doesn’t recycle- sad!) so I wash and save these to use for printmaking with students. They cut off the curved edges and use a dull pencil to carve their designs.

  • kt

    I do shaving cream mono prints on Styrofoam plates. They com out looking like marbleized paper and the students are very excited and get great results!

  • Catherine G

    I have used my plexiglass drawing mirrors as inking plates. I have also done mono prints pulling the image from their surface. I have also taped out a spot on the table using masking tape. Surprisingly this worked well. Just alot of table wiping.

  • Amber

    For first grade I’ve used printmaking with card stock squares and foam shapes. The students learn about balance and radial designs using the foam shapes to create their own design. They glue shapes to their square and print away! Iv’e used foam plates with 4th grade to create animal prints incorporating contrasting colors and focal points that stand out bold! I’ve done self portrait prints with 5th grade and Dia de los Muertos skulls as well. Printmaking is an amazing technique to create art with! It can be a cheap and resourceful medium with wonderful results!

  • Hope Knight

    Oh me, me… Pick me! My printmaking season started today for my 3-5 kids. My tip is for students to prep papers by writing names, selecting colors, etc. the week before printing begins, so that on printing day you can dive right in and spend every minute printing! I have been a Blick customer for 20+ years :)

  • Rachel M.

    I love screen printing onto fabric! Such a fun project and kids love coming up with their own design!

  • Alisa Blundon

    What do I have the kids roll on? MAGAZINES! The slick surface it smooth enough for the ink to roll on and clean up is ridiculously easy! Just rip off the page and throw away, no washing at all (except the brayer)! Perfect for my elementary guys.

  • Melissa N

    I too, use the plexiglass for the students to roll the ink out on. I also have old rolling pins that I picked up at Goodwill for them to use to apply pressure to the back of the paper. Works well.
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. i love to do printmaking with my students!!

  • Anna

    I set up stations with one color each and have my students rotate around the room so they are not constantly washing supplies to change colors. What a great giveaway!

  • rsmelko

    I have my students share a foam tray of ink and they normally print for 2 days so they can use two colors and take turns washing the trays. I place old sponges in the sink for tray clean-up. That way my good sponges don’t become yucky with all the ink.

  • Christy Humpal

    I like to introduce printmaking with marker monoprinting – kids draw right on the table, which they LOVE! Then transfer to damp paper

  • Clare Butler

    When I finally gave printmaking a try I had the kids partner up. I made sure to have printing stations set up……2 at each table. The students had to help each other out through the steps. I also had pre made “printing mats” so the knew where to place the paper and it also had the steps to print on it. This is where I got the idea for a printmaking placemat…….

  • Ariel

    Printmaking tip: Pen holders for calligraphy are much easier for lino cutters to use for large groups so you don’t have to worry about small parts.

  • Stephanie

    I create a printing area…using a large piece of white paper marked with size of the paper to be printed on and the size of the printing plate to line up (register) so the prints come out centered on the paper. I tell my students this is the clean printing area… no inking, so it reminds them to use the layer newspaper to ink on instead of their printing area. It helps keep their prints clean with no stray ink marks.

  • Katy Ohmes

    I use magazines to roll ink out on, donated item so no cost and easy clean up.
    Plus I love using recycled items to print on, the kiddos are amazed at what the prints look like.

  • Idie Weinsoff

    I am doing kitchen litho with my middle school students. I found a bunch of metal plates. They draw using a No. 1 litho crayon. I soak it in a vinegar bath for 3o minutes or more. They wash the plate, wet it again, ink it with oil base etching ink and brayer, wet it again and ink it again, and then we print it using a hand barren and drawing paper. It is SO fun! Kitchen Litho is a great addition to my repertoire!

  • Mariah

    We enjoy printing on newspaper, or pages from old books. Adding a watercolor wash before printing gives some nice color too!

  • Mrs. Petersen

    I love letting my students “break the rules” and draw with washable markers right on the tables. We then use a damp piece of paper to collect our mono prints right off of the table.

  • Mrs.C

    I use any and everything I can find to create a print! We use a lot of recycled items, marker/glue/bottle caps, bubble wrap, sponges,Lego’s, utensils( forks, potato mashers, pieces of rolled up cardboard,the bottoms of empty water bottles, toilet paper/paper towel tubes….you name it if it will create a mark we use it!!! :)

  • Sbolinger

    I have the kids carve out the Lino cut then after we do our paper prints we also print on a clay slab. I think of it as a two-for-one project.

  • Lisa Brown

    For younger students, using styrofoam trays work great for rolling ink onto brayers. It makes for an easy clean up! Also, I tell my students to roll until they hear the “crackling” sound of the brayers rolling over the ink

  • Michelle Salmans

    The magic of printmaking for me is that I can allow a full class of elementary kids to move around the room at their own will, since I set up different colors at each table, and there’s never any behavior problems. They are too fascinated with the process, and know that time is limited so they better not mess around and get to work. Like I said, printmaking is magic!

  • baldaufa

    The one printmaking I use is we make stamps out of clay and print with clay stamps. I’m not sure that is real prinmaking

  • Matt Foutch

    I come from a very low income school so with my 1st through 4th grade, I use oil pastels and scrap paper to make mono-prints. Take oil pastel and color the entire side of a scrap piece of paper, flip it over onto another paper and tell the students to draw whatever they want. They get a kick out of what happens when they lift the paper up. :)

  • Adrienne

    In my middle school art room, we use old cafeteria trays to roll out ink – they clean up easily. We have printed on everything from old book pages to neon construction paper – we have also “tipped in” the finished prints into an altered book. Love printmaking!!

  • Katrina Bray Bullington

    I use meat trays, yarn and paint to do prints in my class the students get very creative with it.

  • Lisa Lang

    I use Styrofoam plates and a blunt pencil. cheap and easy for little kids.

  • Pam Boudreaux

    Love printing with my 4th through 7th graders. We do relief prints, collagraphs, mono prints, gyotaku and screen prints. We screen print our art t-shirts using embroidery hoops, polyester lining and squeegee.

  • Danielle Morgan

    Love printmaking! I set up different color stations around the room. The students love the process and movement around the room. At the end of class Styrofoam plates are dropped into a soapy bucket or the sink and quickly rinsed off ready for the next day.

  • Clara Crosby

    I do printmaking during the holidays. It becomes a new station as students learn the art of printmaking and create greeting cards at the same time!

  • Nicole Servanda

    I collect all the prints that students don’t like and use them for collages later on.

    • Kathy

      This is great! Can’t wait to do this in class.

  • Kathy

    An inexpensive material you can glue to cardboard and make your own printing plate is- truck or tractor inner tube. They are a bit thicker then a regular inner tube and easy to cut with scissors.

  • Jami Shumate

    I use cheap metal cookie baking trays (from the Dollar Store) for inking. The lip on the tray keeps the mess contained and makes a nice edge on which to prop the brayer so the handle doesn’t get ink on it. When limited with ink colors, I offer a variety of paper colors…..less mess than multiple colors of ink and still gives students color choices. A phone book works great for producing a clean surface each time a new student inks their plate….just flip to a new page for each student.

  • Jen

    Something I like to do with printmaking is have my classes color the foam printing plates with markers. They then print with white ink and the colors transfer.

  • Christina Yocca

    The second graders do collagraph prints. We start with a recognizable shape. Fish shapes work well/ They draw a big fish shape on tag. Cut it out. Cover this shape with scraps of foam, burlap, corrugated cardboard, woodsies, etc. THen print on colored paper. They can make a big picture with these, adding prints to a watery background and sharing fish prints with others.

  • Art Teachers Hate Glitter

    I use printing stations (much like the one featured in your 5 Secrets for Managing the Mess… post). It really, really helps keep things under control, and fairly clean and neat.

  • Jen

    Use an old phone book to set your printing plate on when you are inking it up. Turn the page and you have a clean space ready to go for the next person!

  • Jen Matott

    I have color coded tables so I took 18 x 24″ colored construction paper, added 4 sheets of paper (one for each student at the table- also with centered rectangles on the paper for placement of printing plate on the paper) and sent them to be laminated in-district. Now, they can be used to print on at each table and can be wiped clean and reused. Easy to set up.

  • Jen Matott

    I have color coded tables so I took 18 x 24″ colored construction paper, added 4 sheets of paper (one for each student at the table- also with centered rectangles on the paper for placement of printing plate on the paper) and sent them to be laminated in-district. Now, they can be used to print on at each table and can be wiped clean and reused. Easy to set up.

  • Mary Burch Vacek

    I teach HS art and see 178 students every day for only 45 min for each class. It is so important that I am organized and prepared or I lose a lot of instructional time. One great printmaking project that I am going to try this year is for the kids to each make their own personal set of playing cards. Their relief print is the back of the card. I would love to find some old number printing blocks to use on the other side as a stamp. My emphasis in college was printmaking and I enjoy sharing these methods with the kids :)

  • Teresa Mallett

    I tried printmaking on a watercolor wash once and it was really nice. Great silhouette against a sunset awash.

  • River Wylde

    After watching the Lorax I have my 6th graders do a “homework” assignment that requires a walk and gathering of leave species. The following day we identify the leaves and then print them on black mat board. A great introduction to printing along with an environmental awareness! I use Plexiglas as the
    pallette. It is so easy to clean up!

    River Wylde. West Orient Middle School.

  • artmarcia

    I have done the styrofoam plates with my students, but would love to step up our game to have students carve a relief print in the reductive process.

  • akrone

    Cut paper collagraphs- ink full sheets of oaktag (lots of different colors), cut the inked sheets into shapes, and arrange on cardboard “plates.” Moisten printing paper (I also use 80# drawing paper- it’s cheaper) and place over the cut/inked paper. Run through a press or hand print with wooden spoons or barens. Peel off the cut paper! Beautiful!

  • michelle

    With my 4th graders- we combined science and art and made the life of the frog prints and then downloaded them into iMovie with music and made movies out of the prints. We then held a movie night for the parents to see what the kids have been working on and the popcorn/refreshments helped buy a camera for the art department. It was really fun!

  • liz

    I do a ton of Pop Art with my students but have NEVER been able to do the print making portion due to lack of materials. It would be wonderful to study the art and artists and then actually be able to do the same techniques they used.

  • Lily Clay

    I use old cafeteria trays to have students roll out their ink; they only spread the ink on half of the tray so that they can set the printing plate on the other half as they ink it.
    I also found somewhere that you can mix flour with tempera paint (to thicken it) as a substitute for printing ink. It works pretty well. My class used it with collagraphs. It doesn’t roll quite as smooth as printing ink, but it definitely works better than tempera paint alone if you are using a brayer.
    This is a link to one of my favorite printmaking lessons about Islamic Tiles:

  • Matt Tully

    In class, I like to show primitive methods of printmaking using a variety of methods and having the students do these as well just to understand how “good” they have it in our instant gratification world….I truly love AOE!!

  • Brea Wadel

    I do a reduction process with my 6th graders for the holidays. We make snowflake prints with multiple layers of ink, carving away from the styrofoam block as we go. They turn out absolutely beautifully!

  • Becky Vaughn

    One thing I LOVE to do, is crazy paper! The kids do all sorts of prints (stamps, fruit, rollers, etc.) on paper. I use this paper for MANY projects including an Eric Carle one with 2nd grade. i also found it helpful to create stations and have the kids move. my classes are about 23-29 so it can be tough, but I actually TEACH them how to move before we even start:)

  • Tammy

    I do styrofoam prints. I get these from the cafeteria trash. Yes, i dig through the trash and wash them. I also use a piece of plexiglas to roll out the ink.

  • sarah

    I love fish prints with my self contained class of exceptional kiddos! best part is the day I bring the real fish after practicing on the rubber fish.

  • laursink

    I use the phone book trick too! Clean space after each student!

  • Sandy Borkowski

    I just finished a printmaking unit with my students using old book pages for the printing surface. Now because I like to have a little bit of fun with the students I brought out this stately old book, reviewed relief printing, then because I “forgot” to grab paper to print on I just tore a page out of this book. The looks on their faces, and their worry that the librarian would “get after me” we’re priceless. We had a good laugh when I explained the book was being recycled instead of thrown away, which lead into a good curiosity on what else can be done to “art recycle” books! The assignment of the day was to print owls on old book pages. They want to do more and asked to do more than one that day! Of course I explained appropriate, and responsible book use (they’re all on the hunt for their own books to upcycle now :). This lesson was definitely a great way to catch their attention…and by just a few devilish grins I noticed while everyone else’s jaws were dropped was a good tell of my secret destructive art room crew. ;)

  • Kendall Gamelin

    In middle school I had taken old laminated posters and drawn on them with sharpie setting up different printing stations around the room. I am exciting to try printmaking with my printmaking with my elementary kids this year. Last year we did some monoprints, but I am seeing that I may need to be snatching up Styrofoam lunch trays for some relief! Thanks for chance to enter and for everyone’s helpful comments!

  • Melanie Bradshaw

    I love doing an easy monoprint lesson where students tape a rectangle of tinfoil to the table, put a dot of acrylic (I don’t have printing ink at the moment) at the top, roll it out with a brayer, draw their design with a q-tip (could fit a theme or could be experimental – always fun to see kids figure out that their print comes out backwards), then place their paper over the top and rub. Peel and voila, easy, insta-print! I usually cut paper into 1/4ths and have kids do a bunch of prints (10-12). When they’re done you just peel up the tin-foil and toss it in the trash. Then a quick table wipe down and we’re done. We then do a critique to figure out which ones turned out best and why. Pretty cool and easy intro to printmaking!

  • Jennifer Patterson

    For younger students, I used a piece of foam and have them create their design with a dull pencil. Next they color with watercolor markers (like Mr. Sketch.) Next, they mist the paper that they will print on with a spray bottle of water. (I do the misting with a parent helper.) Finally, they press the image on the dampened paper.

    check it out!

  • mrspicasso26

    I love doing gadget printing with my younger students. Some very ordinary items make wonderful printing stamps: plastic receipt rolls, wooden spools, old marker lids, small yogurt cups, Legos, and small cookie cutters. All of these dipped in paint make wonderful marks.

  • Jenn bowman

    At the moment I am using old baking sheets for rolling out ink. I have been having them print on construction paper. Last year we used Styrofoam plates and this year we are moving onto softKut blocks. I also have printing stations so there is less to clean up and we don’t waste as much ink. I give them an extension project to do if they are the first group to print. I demonstrate the process and go back over it with the first group, then they teach the next group.

  • lwdevin

    I use the one inch white erasers for a great printing project. The students develop their own Chinese “chop” using their initials and then carve it into the eraser. With two sides, they can make a mistake without too much heart ache-or- do two designs. They use this to sign the Asian brushstroke paintings we have already done. We use regular ink pads instead of rolling ink. I go this idea from an art teacher at a conference in southern Maine- I regret I do not remember her name to give her credit.

  • lwdevin

    ps- tried to log in but couldn’t….?

  • Kyndall M Elks

    I really want to do a print and screen print combo lesson. Having the students do the background in a print and then screen on the detail. It will get them to do layers and have to work out positive and negative. So far using the meat trays from Food lion has been our best bet.

  • spencefi

    My students make mono print plates with cardboard, yarn, etc. Then we roll out the ink on old cafeteria trays.

  • Ashley Hammond

    Collagraph prints are my students favorite to create! They love glueing down shapes and textures onto poster board or matt board and then printing from that. Plus, it’s easy to accumulate materials. Foam, cardboard, yarn… all usually free!

  • Zipper Van Frey

    Lean Cuisine food trays are the best for inking trays!

  • Guest

    I love working with fish prints – especially the day the real fish comes to school!

  • Christianne Langford

    My first graders made amazing snowflakes using white tempera on 6×6 squares of navy construction paper. We started with 2×5 pieces of Matt board and the children dipped the long edge to make a cross in the center-3 lines, six arms. The details were added with found bits and pattern blocks. Note! We first studied gorgeous photos of real snowflakes, and used color pencil to practice our 3 line cross and radial symmetry. You add a detail to one arm then repeat it on the other 5. Fantastic results. Hope I win!

  • Rachel

    For younger student I have them draw a picture and then put glue on their lines as if they were going to do a foil relief. Once the glue dries you can add ink and print away. I used construction paper and let them print in different colors. The contour lines made it look similar to Andy Warhol work.

  • Megan

    For younger students I like using found objects (buttons, coins, etc.) to create stamps for printmaking

  • Jessica

    I’m a first year teacher and I recently did a printmaking lesson with my 4th graders. The only printing material I had was a set of 8 rubber brayers. We used pencils on styrofoam dinner plates for the print, closed zip-loc bags to roll the ink, and tempera paint for ink. It was AWESOME. They loved it, super high engagement, and very cool prints. We made a bunch and they got to trade with each other! Will repeat next year.

    • S. White

      Can you explain the closed zip lock bags to roll the ink?

  • Michelle

    I use craft foam to creat printing plates. Students can cut up the foam and glue it to cardboard to create their design. They can also create their own stamps by cutting a shape out of the foam sheet and using a pencil to draw textures and lines into the shape. Great way to teach texture, line and negative/positive space. You can use stamp pads or homemade stamp pads to apply the color.

  • Julie Bulissa Kohl

    I’m doing a Day of the Day Reduction print project and the kids are loving it. My tip is to us easy to cut linoleum and keep band aids handy!

  • DeAnna Morgan

    I love using softground with feathers for a first layer on zinc plate, it’s always neat to see all the different designs that show up!
    Also I like using homemade paper. I like to add something associated with the print image in the paper that will be used. For instance horse hair in abaca sheets for a horse image print, sheep wool added in the paper for sheep images. It adds a nice relationship as a whole.

  • Jasmine

    I love printing leaves with gelatin. Just make up a few disposable aluminum cake pans(shallow ones) of clear gelatin / Knox (like 12 packets). Then, put the leaves veiny side up and ink over everything with a brayer. Place paper on top and lift a print for lots of oohs and ahhs. Take the leaf off and then you can do a reverse print. Hang both the negative and positive prints together for a dynamic presentation. The gelatin last two days as many times as you want to use it. You won’t be sorry:)

  • stephanie dowdy

    With 2nd grade I recently did monoporints and I had students create a sketch, a practice run, and a final print. This was hard for my students, but once they got it they loved looking at their sketches next to their final prints to see how much they looked alike. I used extra laminating film for students to paint their “ink” (black paint) onto and they used q-tips to draw into the “ink”. The film worked pretty well and was quick to clean up. I’m on a cart, so any less mess I take with me to the next class the better!!!

  • Miranda Zahn

    I tell my students to keep both hands on their linoleum cutter at all times. If both hands are on the tool, there is nothing out in front of it to get cut.

    • marilynpeters

      I like this. I am constantly calling out, “hands behind the blade” or having partners do “hand-checks”

  • lux_arts

    i love to do monoprints. instant gratification and anybody at any skill level can do it!

    • marilynpeters

      My kids like monoprints as well. We use discarded transpanency and laminating film to do the prints.

  • S. White

    I love printmaking in the classroom! In first grade, I do an Andy Warhol lesson with bright paper and have the students trace their hands and cut them out. Then we discuss contrasting colors and they glue their cut out hands onto contrasting color blocks. Last we PRINT their actual hands on their cut out hands. It is quite a dynamic finish.

  • marilynpeters

    I came to printmaking totally clueless and without a printing press. I found thru a workshop that you can print using a slab roller–which I have to do clay so I invested in a set of pusher blankets. We do our first intaglio print by scratching a design into a discarded CD. I take them through the whole process doing this project and they think it is so cool when the finished product comes out.

  • Joslyn

    My students enjoy carving erasers with gouges and making prints from them . Hope to win!