Printmaking is something that I have always wanted to do; yet I’ve never taken the leap and signed up for a class. All of my knowledge about printmaking is self-taught, but I’ve discovered that some kinds of printing are pretty accessible. Monoprinting is especially easy, and this version will have you and your kids churning out prints in no time.

You probably have all of the items you need to do a monoprint in your cupboards right now. Here is what you need:

  • a piece of corrugated cardboard
  • aluminum foil
  • painter’s tape or masking tape
  • tempera paint (or any kid’s paint)
  • a paintbrush or foam brush
  • cotton swabs
  • paper for your print

Start by wrapping your piece of cardboard in aluminum foil. I didn’t measure our cardboard pieces, but they are around 8×10 inches. Make sure you keep the aluminum foil smooth as you wrap the cardboard. Next, tape out a smaller square or rectangle on your foil-wrapped board. Make the square smaller than the paper that you will be using for your print. Use the foam paintbrush to cover the square with paint. Wipe any excess paint from the tape if you want a nice clean edge on your print.

removing paint with swab

Now comes the fun part! Let your child draw in the painted area with a cotton swab. This will remove some of the paint. When your child is satisfied, press your paper over the top, pull, and admire your print.

pressing the print

After we did our “negative impression” prints, we wiped the boards clean with a cloth and let the kids draw on the boards with paint for a “positive impression” print.

You’ll find that your kids will want to experiment with this process…it’s easy to let them try out as many versions of the process as they can think up because the boards are really easy to clean and re-use.

negative and positive monoprints


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