Paint & Print

Painting and printing are great activities for creative development and fine motor skills. Here's some inspiration for your next painting activity!

CleverPatch Crafternoons: Collagraph Printing

A Collagraph is a basic form of printing using a variety of collage materials and textures glued to a rigid surface to create a “printing plate”. In this step by step, we will take you through the basics of making and then printing a two-plate design. You can then use this as a foundation for experimenting with different materials and textures to create a variety of fun and easy prints!
  • Step 1Put a splash mat or scrap paper down to protect your workspace. To start, you want a nice firm piece of cardboard for your printing plate, so we are using an old box. You could also use something like a cereal box. Use scissors to cut 2 “plates” that are the same size from the cardboard. We have made ours A5. Adult supervision is recommended when using scissors. Sketch up the design you wish to create on a scrap piece of paper. For a two-plate design, you need to create a background and then a foreground image.
  • Think carefully about the positive and negative spaces in your design and how the foreground image will sit over the background.
  • Step 2Cut 2 foam sheets the same size as your plates. Copy your chosen designs onto the foam pieces using pencil. Cut out the shapes and use tacky glue to stick them firmly in place on the cardboard plates. Allow to dry.
  • Step 3Use glue on the foam pieces to add in any details you want to show in your design. The glue will dry and give a smooth, raised surface to create a different texture to the foam underneath. You can also create different textures by scratching back through drying glue with a skewer. Allow to dry.
  • We have kept it simple to show you the basics of collagraph but here’s where you could experiment by adding a variety of different textures using different collage materials such as corrugated card, sandpaper, bubble wrap and textiles!
  • Step 4Once your plates have completely dried, it’s time to print! Choose what colour or colours you want to print your background plate with - we have chosen to roll out 2 colours to create a gradient but you can print a single colour if you wish. Put a small amount of block printing ink down on your splash mat or scrap paper and then use a Lino roller to drag small amounts down, rolling backwards and forwards until the roller is completely inked. Take your background plate and roll the ink over the surface, rolling back and forth until the plate is fully inked.
  • Step 5Take the piece of paper you wish to print on and press the plate face down in the centre of the page. Without sliding or moving the plate, use the palm of your hand to rub firmly over the back, pressing to transfer the ink from plate to paper. Once you are happy, carefully peel back your plate to reveal the print below.
  • Step 6Print as many copies of your background as you wish. Each print will turn out slightly different and you can experiment with how much ink you use and how much time you spend using your palm to rub the back of your plate to see if you can achieve a perfect print! Allow your prints to dry. While they are drying, clean up the ink and roller ready for the foreground print.
  • Step 7Once your background print is completely dry, it’s time to print your foreground! Choose the colour or colours you wish to print and roll the ink out as you did in step 4, then ink your plate. Because this plate is going to print over the top of your background, you may wish to clean up or cover any ink that might have gotten on the plate base with some scrap paper. If it’s not cleaned or covered this will be printed as part of your design.
  • Step 8Take your dry print and carefully align the foreground plate over the background, lowering it onto the paper and pressing it down firmly. Use the same technique as you did in step 5 to print the foreground plate, peeling it back to reveal the finished design. Continue to print the foreground plate then allow them to dry. Clean up any ink and wash the roller ready for next time.
  • Step 9Once your prints have dried, use coloured cover paper and a permanent pen to turn your print into a beautiful artwork. You could even create a personalised card, poster, or invitation - get creative!

Materials used in this activity

Wooden Skewers - Pack of 100
Optional
Product Code: 10014
EACH $3.07 (inc GST) $2.79 (ex GST)
6 or more $1.97 (inc GST) $1.79 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
Splash Mat - Blue
Optional
Product Code: 10715
EACH $17.59 (inc GST) $15.99 (ex GST)
6 or more $14.07 (inc GST) $12.79 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
Foam Sheets - Large - Pack of 10
Optional
Product Code: 10788
EACH $10.99 (inc GST) $9.99 (ex GST)
5 or more $8.24 (inc GST) $7.49 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
Student Scissors - Pack of 20
Optional
Product Code: 10897
EACH $43.99 (inc GST) $39.99 (ex GST)
3 or more $32.99 (inc GST) $29.99 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
Lino Roller - 15cm
Optional
Product Code: 12928
EACH $18.69 (inc GST) $16.99 (ex GST)
6 or more $14.95 (inc GST) $13.59 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
CleverPatch Cover Paper Assorted - A4 - Pack of 275
Optional
Product Code: 13652
EACH $18.69 (inc GST) $16.99 (ex GST)
8 or more $14.95 (inc GST) $13.59 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
CleverPatch Tacky Glue - 250ml
Optional
Product Code: 16494
EACH $10.99 (inc GST) $9.99 (ex GST)
12 to 23 $9.89 (inc GST) $8.99 (ex GST) 24 or more $7.69 (inc GST) $6.99 (ex GST)
Increase value Decrease value
HB Pencils - Pack of 20
Optional
Product Code: 16618
EACH $8.79 (inc GST) $7.99 (ex GST)
6 or more $6.59 (inc GST) $5.99 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
EverZart Permanent Pens - Black - Pack of 20
Optional
Product Code: 19810
EACH $36.29 (inc GST) $32.99 (ex GST)
3 or more $27.16 (inc GST) $24.69 (ex GST)          
Increase value Decrease value
EC Block Printing Colour - 250ml - Set of 9 Colours
Optional
Product Code: 20163
EACH $158.28 (inc GST) $143.89 (ex GST)
Increase value Decrease value