Stamping is a very simple printmaking technique that can produce intricate and beautiful results through the use of color, pattern and repetition. You can even let your children create their own stamps using common materials found around your home.
Part 1: Creating Stamps
1. Assemble the materials. You can create stamps using cardboard or foamboard, glue and small objects such as pasta, yarn, buttons or straws.
2. Cut the board into small pieces that can be held easily in your child’s hand.
3. Put glue on the board and let your child add an arrangement of small objects to create a relief on top of the board’s surface. Objects of similar size and shape that create an interesting texture or pattern work best. For example, you can make a grid using cut straws or a series of lines using yarn.
4. Let the stamps dry.
Part 2: Making Prints
1. Assemble your stamps, paint or stamp pads, and plain paper. If using paint, you’ll also need paintbrushes and/or a shallow container to hold the paint.
2. Dip your stamp into the paint container or stamp pad, and then begin making impressions on the paper. Alternatively, you can use a paintbrush to apply the paint to your stamp.
3. Use the same stamp to create a pattern on your paper. You can alternate colors for added visual interest.
4. If your children are like mine, this activity will eventually (d)evolve into a much messier version of printmaking: hand printing. No matter how hard I try, nothing beats beats the feel of squishy paint between their fingers.