Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

4/5: Block Print Stamps

Posted on: March 9, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Fourth/fifth grade: Colonial America

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Block Printing Stamps

Cost per student: $.15

Materials: Rubber (foam works fine, I am using pieces of Nike promo sport court made from ground up recycled sneakers, it is 5”x5”x .25”), base to adhere it to (I am using 4”x 3” acrylic scraps from SCRAP), adhesive (depends on your other 2 materials,  I am using double sided sticky glue dots), scissors, paper, pencil, trays, brayers, something to keep the workspace clean like plastic tablecloths, acrylic paint, paper or fabric to print onto (SCRAP has an overabundance of upholstery samples, I am going to offer those)

Students will create a block print stamp using Colonial American motifs, then use it to create a series of prints.

Elements of art: shape, space, form

Vocabulary: print, motif, series

1. Discuss how the American colonists might have decorated their household goods; embroidery, woodblock stamps, piecework, and painted designs helped them personalize their possessions. We discussed the designs or motifs they often repeated – nature played a large part, and various basic geometric designs were common.

2. I had kids pass out strips of scrap paper from the recycle bin; we drew a plan for our stamps before we cut up the rubber. Once students drew their designs, we passed out the rubber sheets and acrylic blocks. They peeled off the protective plastic from the acrylic and cut out their rubber shapes.

3. They used double sided glue dots to stick the shapes to their blocks. Some kids had design elements that were too tiny or sparse; I had them add more to their stamp. Have them write their names on the acrylic blocks with permanent markers for easy identification.

4. After protecting your surfaces with newspaper or plastic tablecloths, put out trays and squirt acrylic paints on them. Roll the brayers across the trays, and use them to ink the stamps.

5. Have students practice on scrap paper first, then when they can make a good print with their stamp, have them print onto fabric or paper. They can re-ink the stamp and create a series of prints on one page or fabric piece for visual impact!

Note: I divided this into 2 one hour lessons, with us making the stamps the first week, then making the prints the next lesson. While students take turns inking their stamps and creating prints, I had them work on shading colonial reproduction botanical prints with colored pencils so there wasn’t unstructured down time.


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