Collagraph Printmaking Lesson

Collagraph PrintCollagraph printmaking can be adapted to any grade level. The possibilities are endless! This lesson is based on a relief printing method.

Supplies: Cardboard or foam core, poster board, scissors, X-ACTO Z Series #1 Knife , cutting boards, printmaking inks (tempera paint can be substituted-dries really fast though), brayers (foam rollers can also be used- Speedball Mona Lisa 3-Inch Sponge Roller), 12×18″ colored paper, Elmer’s liquid glue, varnish or clear acrylic spray (Collage materials: paper crimpers, various THIN found objects to glue on printing plate: drywall tape, doilies, keys, leaves, fabrics, etc.) Keep in mind that various textures will give the appearance of different values depending on how much color actually prints from the surface.


Prepare Collagraph Printing Plate:

  1. Cut a piece of cardboard or foam core for the base.
  2. I have my older students pre-design their plate before they start so they have an image/concept they are trying to portray. They need to roughly draw in major outlines of their image. Younger children can simply enjoy the experience the process of the creating the plate using objects they find interesting. This leads to great discoveries for them.
  3. Create a low-relief image out of collaged materials. You can use layered poster board, exposed corrugated cardboard, &THIN found objects that have interesting textures. All collaged materials need to be relatively flat, less than 1/8th of an inch thick, or you will run into problems printing.
  4. Glue all collage materials to the base using Elmer’s glue. Let dry.
  5. The plate must be dry before sealing it. Seal the front and back of the plate using varnish (paint on) or clear acrylic spray. Dry overnight before printing.


Printing by hand:

  1. Ink plate with various colors using a brayer (work quickly),
  2. Place paper onto the plate (precut paper to size of base)
  3. Burnish from the back with a barren other burnishing tools that would be used in printing a linocut.
  4. Place on a drying rack or some flat surface to dry. Do not stack wet prints on top of each other!
  5. Sign prints when dry.
  6. Collagraph Printing PlateCollagraph Printing PlateInked collagraph plate

This lesson was created by Michelle C East. If you choose to re-blog or use this lesson in any way (written or photos), then please make sure to link/credit to Create Art with ME.

  1. Jillian
  2. pauline
    • micheast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.