Recycled Art Print Fun
Sling, bounce, blow, and crush recycled items for creative results. If you thought none of these verbs were associated with easy arts and crafts, think again! Better yet, have your kids try them out!
Soap Bubble Prints
Normally, blowing bubbles with a drinking straw is taboo for kids. Not this time! Bubble blowing—and lots of it—is mandatory for creating these delicate prints. The thrill of blowing bubbles until they cascade from their container will be second only to capturing the beauty of a soap bubble on paper.
You will need:
- Bubble solution (store bought or blend your own using 3 cups water, 1 cup Joy dish soap and 1/4 cup corn syrup)
- Tempera paints
- Drinking straws
- Disposable shallow containers (a pie tin works well)
- Paper: try copier paper or light-colored construction paper; just about any kind works.
Here’s how to make your soap bubble prints:
- Cover your work surface with a thick layer of newspaper or a plastic tablecloth.
- In each container, blend 1/2 cup bubble solution with 1/4 cup tempera paint. For variety, mix several different colors.
- Provide a straw or two for each child. For younger children, pierce a small hole halfway up the straw with a pin; this will help to avoid accidental swallowing but won’t interfere with the bubble blowing process. To keep the straws from getting mixed up, give each child a different colored straw or mark each child’s name on their straw with a tab of masking tape.
- Now for the fun: with one end of the straw submerged in the bubble solution, have the kids begin blowing. The bubbles will mound up in the container. The best time to take a print is just as the bubbles begin to overflow.
- Gently touch the paper onto the bubbles. The bubbles will pop as they touch the paper, leaving a unique print every time. Continue touching the paper to the bubbles until the paper is sufficiently covered, blowing more bubbles as needed. For a different effect, try printing one color over another.
More Methods for Painting with Panache
Want to continue experimenting with printmaking? Search your cupboards for the following possibilities and claim them for your next art session:
- Bubble wrap: Tape a piece of bubble wrap—big bubbles or small—to your work surface, puffy side up. Paint a design on the bubble wrap and then press paper onto the painted surface to lift a print. Alternatively, create a “glove” of bubble wrap by folding a 6″ x 12″ rectangle of bubble wrap in half, bubble side out, and tape all but one side closed. Dip the glove into paint, then press onto your paper.
- Rice prints: Fill a tray with dry rice. Mix 2 cups water and 1 cup tempera paint in a spray bottle. Squirt rice until it is completely covered. Press paper onto rice, rubbing hands over it to make certain that the paper comes into contact with the painted rice, then lift it off. Some rice may stick to the paper; once dry, gently rub rice off paper.
- Corrugated cardboard: Carefully peel a piece of corrugated cardboard to reveal the ridges. Use a sponge or sponge brush to paint the ribs, avoiding the valleys. Press a piece of paper onto the painted cardboard, smoothing it with your hands to insure contact with paint before lifting it off.
- String: Dip various types of string into paint. Lay string onto newspaper in an abstract design. Gently set paper onto string then press down to transfer your design to the paper.
- Finger painting: Instead of paper, have your kids finger paint on a tabletop or smooth tray. Once the picture is perfect, place a piece of paper onto the picture and rub the entire surface with the palm of your hand or a rolling pin. Carefully remove paper. Remember, letters and numbers will print in reverse.
- Nappy or textured fabrics: Use a brush or spray bottle to paint on upholstery scraps, burlap, lace, or carpet remnants. Press paper onto painted fabrics to lift a print.
- Egg cartons: Tape assorted egg cartons to a table, bottoms up. Paint as desired, then press paper to painted area.
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