Earth Day is in less than a month. Let’s celebrate by making some glue prints using recycled cardboard. This project
couldn’t be easier.
You will need:
water soluble printing ink
drawing paper or construction paper
brown paper or newspaper
1. Prepare your work surface.
Cover your table with newspaper or brown paper to protect it. This process is slightly messy, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Don’t forget to put on your apron!
2. Sketch out your idea.
Cut out a piece of cardboard to the size of the image you want. Sketch your design on the cardboard. The trick is to make the image simplistic. Details tend to get lost.
3. Make your printing plate.
Once you have an image you like, trace it with glue. If young artists are working on this project, remind them not to squeeze the bottle too hard or they will get glue blobs. Of course, glue blobs could be an interesting effect, but only if desired. Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before proceeding.
4. Ink your tray.
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the center of the plastic tray. Smooth out the ink with a brayer. Don’t have too much fun squishing it around! The ink dries quickly.
5. Ink your printing plate.
Roll the ink across the surface of your printing plate. Move your brayer in different directions to get the best coverage possible.
6. Make the print.
Center your paper over the printing plate and press into place. Run your hands across the surface of the paper adding pressure. If you have another brayer you can roll it over the surface or use the back of an old wooden spoon. Once you’ve pressed the paper all across the printing plate, peel it back to see your print.
You can see from these two samples that the image on the left is darker, more ink has been transferred from the plate to the paper. A brayer was used to press the paper onto the print plate. The image on the right illustrates how it will look when you only rub your hands across the surface.
The vertical lines are caused by the under surface of the corrugated cardboard. If you want less texture, make your plate from old file folders, tagboard or cut up shoe boxes. Their surfaces are smooth and will provide a more neutral background.
7. Clean up.
Place your art aside to dry. Use warm, sudsy water to wash your tray and brayer. Allow to air dry. Recycle the newsprint.
Frame your prints, add them to the refrigerator gallery or use them as the highlight of a handmade card. Hint – this process is also perfect for making Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards!
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