One of the most satisfying craft endeavors is to take something that would have gone into the garbage and use it to create something beautiful! This gives me a great excuse to behave like a pack-rat, and my kitchen cabinets are filled with empty containers waiting to assume new roles. With the help of this blog I feel quite confident that I'll finally have incentive to put to use my stash of jars, cans, boxes and cartons!
This is the very first installment of many craft projects to come using recycled materials. I hope you will join me on this exciting journey. And maybe find an out of the way place in your home to start collecting all the supplies we are going to need: food boxes, medicine boxes, cereal boxes, tea boxes (all boxes can be stored flat), cardboard tubes from aluminium foil and toilet paper, cans with lids, interesting glass bottles and jars, wine corks, plastic spice bottles, milk cartons- small and large, large round bleach bottles and detergent type bottles, and anything else that looks like it might have some purpose!
Printing With Recycled Styrofoam Trays:
This is a wonderful project for all ages, and a good way to teach children that perfection in art is not always the goal. The imperfectness of these prints is what gives them their charm! The basic idea is to use pieces of styrofoam as printing blocks. The image is drawn onto the styrofoam, the styrofoam is painted,
pressed down on to a sheet of paper, and voila! you've made a print.
- Styrofoam trays, or any other source of hard styrofoam, such as cups, or the containers holding those delicious ice cream mini bars (here I gave you a good excuse to buy some, don't you love this blog?)
- Acrylic Paint, or any paint that is stiff — if you can shake the bottle it's too runny!
- Paper: nice cardstock for you to make beautiful cards, something simpler for the kids, can be white or colored
- Scissors and ball-point pens
- Cut off sides of trays to obtain a flat piece of styrofoam, cut cups in half and cut off bottoms
- Draw a design or picture onto the styrofoam piece using a ball-point pen, and applying pressure so that your drawing causes an imprint in the foam. Alternatively, cut shapes from the styrofoam and use those for printing (top image in this post was done that way)
- Paint a thin coat of not-runny paint to your styrofoam piece, carefully place on paper, press down with your fingers, gently lift from paper to see your print. It takes a bit of practice to get the right combination of amount of paint and how much pressure to apply, but don't get discouraged the results are worth it! Note:If you are using pieces of styrofoam cup that aren't totally flat, print using a rocking motion.
Printing with styrofoam is a simple way to introduce the concept of printing to your children. There are so many ways to use this technique: cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, stationary, envelopes etc. You can even write a message and print it, just remember to write backwards!
Oh, and one more thing, any project with paint generally involves some mess, so be prepared and when you are cleaning up after those too tiny to do it themselves, just remember you're investing in their future as creative beings! What a great mom you are!
Did you and your kids enjoy printing? Me too! I'll be posting some more printing projects over the next few weeks, so stay in touch. And by the way, is any one out there? I'd love to hear your thoughts!