Apple Print Tree
Mar 13th, 2013 by Craftylocks


In this part of the world we are heading into Autumn (Fall) and our many many apple trees are laden! I go and pick buckets full of apples and it does not even look like I have been near the trees! So I have been making fruit leather, stewed apple, apple puddings and now apple art.

I hope you remember this craft when it is apple season in your part of the world, or if you cannot wait – you can probably buy apples all year round anyway – they might even be a New Zealand apple.

This craft would be great as a family or class craft. Start with everyone using hand prints to create the leaves of the tree. If there are lots of children involved, a little crowd control of having only a few children with painted hands at a time, will help minimize the mess. To make the hand print you can either press the hand onto some thinly spread paint, or paint soaked into a sponge, or you can use a brush to paint the hand.

While the hand print leaves are drying, cut an apple in half and press a fork into the round part to use as a handle.

Dry the cut side and press it onto the paint, or use a brush to paint it onto the cut surface of the apple. Then press it onto the hand print tree. It works best if you ‘re-load’ the paint onto the apple each time you make a print.

But the print-making does not need to end here! Using a different shade of green paint, make a leaf at the top of each apple with a finger print. For a classroom tree you could instead cut the leaves out of paper and write a childs name on each one and then glue them onto the apples. You could glue them just at the base of the leaf and curl the leaf out a little bit to make them stand out a bit more.

I did think that we could have done the tree trunk with foot prints – but by this stage the paint was starting to spread far and wide so I took the easy way out and just painted it.

We just loved the pattern the apple prints made so we did other apple print crafts as well. Have a look at our beautiful apple print paper.

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Potato Print Making
Mar 5th, 2012 by Craftylocks


I thought this was quite a fun craft for children, to fit in with St Patrick’s day – decorating paper with potato prints.

Cut your potato in half making the cut surface as flat as possible, this will give a much better print surface.

A nifty way to get a nice shape cut into the potato is to use a cookie cutter shape to press into the potato and then use a knife to cut the potato away up to the edge of the cookie cutter.

Then when you lift the cookie cutter shape away you will have a nice shape ready to start printing with.

To get the paint onto the printing surface of the potato, you can either paint it on with a brush, or spread the paint onto a tray and stamp into the tray and then on the paper.

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Set of Greeting Cards
Dec 7th, 2011 by Craftylocks

Some occasions call for a set of greeting cards – so here is one way of making a very special set of invitation or thank you cards. Although there are many many simple print making techniques that can be used, I really like this polystyrene tray print making method. It is simple to do and you are also recycling at the same time. Note that if you want to do text, you will need to do it in reverse so that it prints correctly.

We usually do our simple design onto paper first and then transfer it onto the polystyrene tray by positioning the paper on the tray and pressing firmly with a pencil. The pencil will dent the tray. Then working directly on the tray, go over the image again so that it is firmly dented into the tray.
Apply paint onto the tray, use a roller or dabber.
Carefully place the painted side of the tray onto your paper and press firmly. I usually pick up the two and gently rub with my finger to make sure all the paint is picked up. Do not leave them together for too long in case the paper becomes glued to the polystyrene tray. Then repeat until you have plenty.
Glue each image onto a simple folded piece of card. To continue the consistency theme you could also print out the same message to glue on the inside of each card.
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Paper Doily Screen Prints
Oct 11th, 2010 by Craftylocks

This is a fabulous way to make a beautiful pattern on some paper. If you can still find paper doilies, buy them so you can do this too!

It is a great introduction for children to the technique of screen printing as you have an already intricately cut piece of paper to use for your printing. I am sorry I do not have all the step by step photos as this is a print I did a few years ago. I was visiting a very cool site – http://creativejewishmom.com/ and saw that she had crocheted a Doily which I am so impressed by. It reminded me of my version of doily as art and I hunted though my stash of old art and found a doily print. I used to make lots of them, cut them into quarters and use them on cards.


To do the screen print you need a framed screen, a squeegee, paper, a stack of newspapers and some printing ink or paint. I just use good quality acrylic. Make a small stack of newspaper so the printing base has a little give in it. Put your clean paper on the newspaper stack. Place the paper doily on the paper and then the printing screen. Squeeze some paint on the screen, above the item to be printed, and then drag it over the doily with the squeegee. Repeat until all the white has been covered. Carefully lift the printing screen off the paper. The doily should stick to the screen enabling you to replace the paper and print again. I will take photos of the process one day!

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Plasticine Printed Paper
Jul 21st, 2010 by Craftylocks

plasticine_print-closeThis is a very easy way to make a very effective print block.

As well as being a great way to introduce printmaking, it is also one of the many ways of creating decorated paper for use in other paper crafts for children. You create a plasticine printing block or stamper that is very durable – I have some that I made years ago and only need a quick dust before using and a wash up before storing away again. If you have not come across plasticine before, it is worth having a play with some. It is a modeling clay that does not dry out – it really does stay pliable, I am sure there are other brands of this sort of modeling clay but plasticine is the one that I have used for years and can confidently recommend . It is available at Amazon and probably art/craft shops and toy shops.

Start with a lump of plasticine and shape it so it has a knob at one end. Bang it on a table to create a flattened surface.

Use some tools like a nail, blunt knife, a stick, or even a textured surface to create a pattern on the flattened surface.

You may need to gently flatten the surface again.
Apply some paint to the patterned surface and stamp onto some paper.

Wash the plasticine stamper and use again with a different color to create a lovely piece of patterned paper.

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Dabber for Applying Paint
Jun 2nd, 2010 by Craftylocks

A very handy tool for children’s art, used for applying paint to make decorative paper for lots of crafts, and art too.

I used to use these a lot when in what seems like a previous life, I taught art to my new entrants. They are easy to make and easy for the children to use. They are used to apply the paint by ‘dabbing’ or gently pressing the dabber in some paint and then ‘dabbing’ it onto the paper. It is a very good way to control the paint and it keeps fingers reasonably clean.
You can make them with a scraps of fabric or with a piece of foam and an elastic or rubber band. You bunch up the fabric or foam and secure one end with the rubber band as pictured. If you are using fabric it will work better if you pop some fabric scraps inside another square or round piece of fabric so that the dabber has a firm ball to dab with.

I find that they are brilliant for printmaking arts and crafts where you need to apply paint around a template or inside a stencil as we have done with the leaf template printing.

As they are so easy and cheap to make, you can make one for each color you are using and once you have finished for the day you can throw them away! Gotta love paper crafts involving painting that is easy clean up!

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