Painting · Print making · Process art

Process art with print making

In a previous blog post we talked about the importance of process art for kids, which simply means focusing on the creative process, rather than on the finished product.

These process art activities use a range of print making tools and techniques, including bubble wrap, sponges, nuts and bolts, fruit and vegetables, muffin tins, string, forks, potato mashers, cardboard tubes and yarn wrapped rolling pins.  They teach kids how they can use ordinary things around the house for their artwork and experiment with different print patterns and colour combinations.

All you need to do is collect your household tools, give your kids some paint and paper and let them explore and create to their heart’s content.

process art with print making


Photo credits: Picklebums, Rhythms of play, The artful parent, Kids play box, Play based learning, The imagination treeTeaching 2 and 3 year olds

Bubble wrap printing is another classic preschool activity and in this one, it is used as a homemade painting mitt. Kids can paint the bubbles different colours or all one colour and then use the mitt for printing or painting, making each artwork unique – from Teach preschool.

bubble wrap printing

Simply attach wooden pegs to different shaped sponges for some easy to hold homemade art tools. Then just add some paint to some paper plates and let your kids go wild sponge printing, dabbing and painting their own unique masterpieces – from Picklebums.


Nuts, bolts and screws can make some fun, interesting, and sometimes surprising prints with different shapes and patterns, plus they are the perfect size for small hands to use.  When they are finished creating they could turn their artwork into cards or wrapping paper – another great idea from Picklebums.

nuts and bolts printing

Citrus fruit can be used in a range of different ways for print making.  Your kids could choose to use the fruit straight after cutting it in half or squeeze out some or all of the juice to create different patterns.  They could also choose to dip the fruit into the paint or apply the paint to the fruit with a brush.  Remember, process art is supposed to be child led, so let your kids decide how they want to use the fruit for their print making – from Rhythms of play.

citrus fruit printing

Using potatoes and other veggies for print making is always a fun activity for both younger and older kids.  Just make sure the veggies are easy for little hands to hold by cutting out little handles if needed. You could let your kids use single pieces of paper or cover the whole table and let them go for it.  And the paint covered potatoes at the end could also be considered artwork – that’s the beauty of process art! – from Meri Cherry.

potato printmaking

Okra is great for veggie printing, because the cut end makes a perfect flower shape, plus it is easy to hold and great for fine motor skills practice.  Just push the ends into a stamp pad and stamp onto the page.  Kids can cover huge sheets of paper with random stamps of all different colours and even experiment with colour mixing – from The imagination tree.

okra printing

For another fun activity, kids can paint the bottoms on a muffin tin with a paint roller or paint brush, press a sheet of paper onto the muffin tin, then lift it off to reveal the new print. They can try experimenting with different colours and colour combinations, brush strokes and designs before making their print – from The artful parent.

muffin tin printing

Mirror image string prints use a similar technique to making ink blots, but using paint-covered string instead. Dip the string into the paint, arrange it on one side of a piece of paper, then fold over the other side of the paper over and press down.  Open up the paper, remove the string and admire the print – another great idea from The artful parent.

string printmaking

A simple fork can make some beautiful flower prints. Just dip a 3-pronged fork into the paint and press down with the prongs first, then the base onto the paper to make some pretty tulips.  Kids can then paint on some green stalks to complete the flowers.  Or they might enjoy simply making prints with the fork all over the paper – it’s totally up to them what they want to create with the prints – from Kids play box.

fork printing

Potato mashers can make all sorts of fun and interesting prints.  Just put out some paint and different types of mashers and let your kids cover the whole page with their prints.  They could also create some layered effects and experiment with colour mixing – from Play based learning.

potato masher printing

Recycled paper tubes are perfect for circle printing and are easy for little hands to hold. Just put out some paper, paint and tubes and let them explore and create.  They might also like to experiment with some colour mixing and even use the cardboard tubes as telescopes! – from Teaching 2 and 3 year olds.

cardboard tube circle printing

Get creative with wrapping wool/yarn or string around rolling pins to make different patterns. Then put out some paints and let the kids decide if they want to just use one paint colour, or roll the rolling pins over several different colours to create rainbow prints on their paper.  You could also try using different size rolling pins for some fine motor skills practice – from Kids play box.

rainbow yarn prints

What is your kids’ favourite thing to make prints with?

We would love to see their artwork – simply post pics to Facebook or Instagram with #littlegreencrafters 🙂

This post is part of a series about process art for kids.  Check out the other posts here:

The importance of process art for kids

Process art for kids with unique painting tools

Process art for kids with natural materials

Process art with cool techniques


3 thoughts on “Process art with print making

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