How to Print With Children

We’ve been going to a local art class, Story Carousel, for a few months now, and have really been enjoying the different bundle of art we come home with every week – from puppets and masks to musical instruments and story props. The very talented Lorna, who runs Story Carousel, is brilliant at coming up with creative projects week-in, week-out, and is always on hand to grab Grayson when he’s crawling into the giant sensory bin, which is handy when Harper and I are covered in glue, glitter and paint. We asked her to come up with an easy project to do with kids, which would make a brilliant Christmas gift idea. Over to Lorna with how to make a printed picture with your little ones.

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Last Christmas I was struggling to come up with a gift idea for ‘the parents who have everything’. I decided on getting my parents tickets for a trip on The Bluebell Railway but also wanted them to have a gift to open on Christmas Day. With not too much time or money left to spend, I thought I would get my children to make a printed picture of a train – this was the result!

These prints are really cheap and easy to do and if framed, good enough for a unique and personal gift. You can make them alongside very young children to save some of their first drawings, or much older children will be able to do most of the process themselves.

You will need:

  • Drawing paper and pencils
  • Polystyrene sheet (from pizza base, thoroughly washed & dried)
  • Poster paint
  • Paint roller
  • Coloured paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Tracing or greaseproof paper (optional)
  1. Get your little one to do a drawing of whatever they would like to print. If you are thinking of framing the final print it is a good idea to cut the paper to the size of the frame at this stage.

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  1. Place the drawing on top of the polystyrene sheet and draw over the top pressing fairly hard to make an imprint of the drawing. It is best to use a slightly blunt pencil so that it doesn’t cut into the polystyrene. Children from about eight years old would be able to do this for themselves.

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  1. Once you have done this, remove the paper and draw over the lines again to make sure they have made a deep imprint into the polystyrene. Trim the polystyrene sheet to a square or rectangular shape.
    picture printing with kids diy picture printing with kids diy
  1. Use a paint roller to ink up your printing sheet with poster paint.

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  1. Place a sheet of paper on top of the printing sheet and roll the rolling pin over the top to copy the print. Press quite firmly to make sure the paint transfers to the paper.

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  1. Peel away the paper to reveal your artwork! The fantastic thing about printing is that you can print onto lots of different colours of paper. If you gently wash and dry the printing sheet you can also try different coloured paint and paper. Children also enjoy adding extra sequins or glitter to prints. Have fun!

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  1. This method will make a mirror image of your print. If you want to make sure the final print is the same orientation as the original drawing, do the drawing on a sheet of tracing or greaseproof paper. When you transfer it onto the polystyrene sheet turn it over so that the side with the pencil is facing down onto the polystyrene. Then draw over the top (as point 2. above)

picture printing with kids diy picture printing with kids diy
kids craft

I started my classes last year with the aim of providing a friendly and relaxed environment that provided creative, story-inspired activities that children and their carers can enjoy together. I am also keen to stir up some nostalgia amongst the adults in our classes by reading some classic books and telling traditional tales, as well as introducing children and carers to some of the beautiful, more recently published picture books.

Thanks so much Lorna for showing us how it’s done and if you’re in or around Brighton please do come along to Lorna’s class. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what fab activities she’s come up with!

Happy Crafting!

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