Fun Printmaking Rubbings Craft for Children to Create and Treasure

rubbings craft from Potters Yard

We have teamed up with Potter’s Yard Press to bring you a sample lesson plan to try at home with your children. This fun printmaking rubbings craft for children to create and treasure is from their Primary Printmaking book by Wexford art teacher, Orla Bates. Rubbings are perhaps the oldest form of printmaking. By rubbing a crayon or soft pencil across a textured surface, and reproducing the raised elements, you are making an accurate print of it. To children it’s like Magic!

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This fun project is easy to do at home with your child, and they will enjoy the “magic” of the patterns appearing.

Rubbings Craft for Children Step 2

For this Rubbings Craft you will need:

  • A5 or A4 White paper; 4-5 pieces per child
  • Texture rubbing plates (pre-made or home-made*)
  • Flat objects from around the home with a textured surface*
  • Peeled crayons or oil pastels
  • Newspaper
  • Watercolour palettes
  • Large watercolour brushes

Rubbings Craft for Children Step 3

*We are surrounded by textured surfaces from a wall or tree in the garden to embossed wallpaper samples or an oven sheet with mini squares in the home. So if you don’t have any texture rubbing plates, don’t worry, get creative with buttons, leaves, wool and other objects found at home. Simply glue them to a sheet of cardboard and you have created your very own texture plate.

How to Create your Rubbings

Rubbings Craft Step 6

  1. Place a piece of paper over the texture plate/textured surface and hold the paper with one hand so that it doesn’t move. Ask ‘what would happen if the paper moves?’
  2. Show your child how to take a rubbing using their crayons in a ‘sleeping/flat’ position. Press down firmly and pull the crayon across the paper surface. Your child may need help to hold the paper while pulling the crayon.
  3. Get your child to fill one piece of paper with one texture. Then fill another piece with another pattern and use different colours also.
  4. Your child can also fill a piece of paper by drawing a pattern with oil pastels. Fill one page with one pattern, so they have a selection of drawn and rubbed patterns.
  5. Once everyone has made several different texture patterns show them how to paint over the surface of the paper with watercolours. This is called a watercolour resist. Wet the brush and rub the paint until the brush is loaded with lots of watercolour paint. Try not to have too much water as this dilutes the paint too much and can make the paper really soggy.
  6. Gently glide the brush over the surface of the rubbing or pattern. The watercolour paint will only fill in the areas where there is no wax from the crayon. Try to move the brush quickly and gently over the pattern as the more you rub the wax with the paint brush the more it will disappear.
  7. Let the papers dry. If you wish, you could create a collage using bits from each page or simply enjoy the rubbings as they are.

rubbings craft text

At Potter’s Yard Press, our aim is to empower children in the exploration of the wonderful world of arts and crafts, both at home and in school. Each book is uniquely set out with easy-to-follow steps, using simple tools, to give your child all they need to make beautiful creations that they can be proud of forever!

Check out the full range of books from Potter’s Yard Press and look out for more exciting crafts coming soon.

Did you try this sample lesson plan with your children at home? What textures did you use for your rubbings craft? Let us know in the comments box below. 

Fun printmaking rubbings craft for kids

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