Create a Collagraph

What You Need:

  • Pencil
  • Sketch paper
  • Cardboard
  • Various textured materials, such as burlap, sandpaper, string, or fabric
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Tempera paint
  • White paper
  • Black fine point marker

What You Do:

  1. Before you get started, go online with your child and look at collagraphs by Barbara Garrison, whose works have graced the pages of children’s books such as The Frog House. Note how the different textures she uses affects the look of the finished picture.
  2. Have your child think about how they want their finished print to look, and encourage them to make a few sketches.
  3. Next, have your child use scissors to begin cutting shapes out of the materials, using the sketch as a guide.
  4. Now they can layer the materials onto the cardboard base, securing them with craft glue. Remind your learner to think about how the different textures and shapes will look after they've been printed.
  5. Set the collagraph aside, and let it dry for 2–3 hours.
  6. Once it's dry, it's time to start printing! Have your child paint over the collagraph with tempera paints. They can use as many colors as they want, using different colors for different parts of the painting.
  7. Have them press the painted collagraph onto a sheet of paper to create their print. They can paint and print their collagraph as many times as they like!
  8. Set the prints aside to dry.
  9. When dry, your child can use a fine point marker to add details to finish the artwork.
  10. Let them pick the perfect spot to display their finished print.

Encourage your child to keep experimenting and making new collagraphs. The possibilities are endless with the variety of available fabrics and textures. Sometimes changing one texture can give the print a completely different feel!

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