Archives for posts with tag: printmaking


Ingredients: string, PVA glue, strong card, scissors, paints and brushes, brown paper / newspaper, tissue paper

The Big Sell: Did you know Santa’s elves have to design & print their own wrapping paper? Lets give them a hand!

Strategy: Simple printmaking idea which is perfect as a Christmas activity. Simply glue string in the pattern of your choice (heart, gift, tree, star, etc..) onto squares of hard cardboard with PVA glue to make your stamp.Then cover in a layer of tissue paper and leave a while.
Once dry, ink up with sticky paint and print merrily away (with Jingle Bells accompaniment if you wish!) on reams of brown paper or news print. Hang up to dry on washing line.

Verdict: A very pleasing, economic and therapeutic way to create beautiful personalised wrapping paper or cards. Kids tend to like stamps as much as stickers, which helps, and relatives will love the personal touch. You could even make individual letter stamps to label everyone’s presents with their own initials.

Catchphrase: ‘let’s gets a factory line going like inside Santa’s workshop!’

Left wanting more?
You could always make a secret Santa stamp to decorate those extra special gifts that arrive down the chimney (just make sure you hide the stamp away!)


Ingredients:  A roll of wallpaper; pens / paints / crayons etc…

The Big Sell: Let’s make a Secret Hideout door!

Strategy:  It’s been growing on me for a while how useful it is to have a roll of wallpaper in your art tool kit. I often see them in charity shops for pennies, because they have old patterns that no one wants, and they are such incredible good value for money. A cheap roll of thick high quality paper is priceless and very versatile. Here are some of the many uses:

1)      For Halloween we drew around my son’s body outline, coloured him in as Dracula in a coffin and pinned it to his bedroom door.

2)     In group work with children or young people, create a Wallpaper Walk evaluation by noting down the reflections of student each week as they undertake a project, then rolling it out to re-step the journey for group discussion at the end.

3)     For younger children, draw out a road or railway and let it roll down a hallway or garden path for them to play on with toy cars.

4)     Or roll it out with markings / puzzles leading to hidden treasure (they must work out clues along the way).

5)     Use it for large scale print-making – use foam stamps, potato stamps, broccoli stamps (!) anything that takes your fancy.

6)     Bring it out for birthday parties for a group doodling session. Can they work as a team to draw the most colourful multi-layered birthday cake ever?

7)     Easy peasy set design – pin it to a wall and devise the background set of a play written by your children to perform for everyone.

8)     Or my son’s choice this week (as he had watched the hilarious Young Frankenstein for the first time and was hankering after a secret bookcase revolving doorway) was to draw the image of a boarded-up room with ‘Caution’ and ‘Keep out’ signs and then pin it to their play room door so that only those who know the password are allowed entry!

The verdict:

Arts materials with BIG impact are always popular. A long roll of wallpaper carries an inherent property of unknown possibility which is a firelighter for the imagination.

Catchphrase: Rolling, rolling, rolling… keep those ideas rolling!

Left wanting more?

  • If your children love The Wizard of Oz, why not make your wallpaper roll into the yellow brick road to add value to their play?
  • Glue string lines down the length of the wallpaper to make tracks and create a marble race game.
  • Create a landscape to feature your child’s latest lego creations.