Spring Sink Mat Prints

I spend a lot of time at the hardware store. And last week I spotted this flower mat — the Blumz Sink Mat! — I love that exclamation point! — It’s an exciting sink mat! — and it looked like something that could be fun to print with!

In honor of Spring’s inevitable arrival (yes, it WILL get warmer) and St. Patty’s Day (I married a “Doorley”, after all), we used green and yellow paint. The green is Biocolor and the yellow is tempera, for no other reason than that’s what was handy. Oh, and wait ’til you see the Leprechaun at the end of the post…

I also found a bag of ten foam brushes for one buck, so the luck of the Irish was clearly with me. I covered the work space and then my daughter painted the mat with our fresh Spring palette.

And then we added a sheet of paper, pressed it down with the palms of our hands, and pulled our first print.

Ooooooooh!! This was an experiment that worked!

We pulled three prints, which frankly was more than I had bargained for, and then the real fun began! If you followed our Jello experiment, you’ll recognize a common thread here…

And maybe you picked up on the addition of an apron. I love that focused expression.

There’s a leprechaun in my house!

What we used to make it happen:

  • Rubbery plastic sink mat
  • Paint
  • Foam brushes (roller brushes or wide brushes will also work)
  • Paper (I like the 80# sulfite paper from Discount School Supply)
  • Palette (Dinner plate covered with foil)

How are you getting ready for Spring? And have you printed with any unexpected materials lately?

Happily shared with Kids Can Craft, Made by you Mondays, Marvelously Messy

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  1. says

    That looks like so much fun! I think printmaking is really the best thing you can do with your time. Why do we bother doing anything else? My birthday treat to myself is a screenprinting refresher course, can’t wait. Beautiful blog as ever, Miriam x

  2. says

    I am getting ready for sprint by finishing “spring cleaning” before the spring arrives. When is that again?
    I absolutely like this print, I could see it as a background to an even bigger project. Thanks for sharing with the rest of the creative world.

  3. rachelle says

    Thanks for all of the thoughtful comments ๐Ÿ™‚ Miriam, I love printmaking too. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a course in it, and would love to live vicariously through you. I agree with you Cristina, this would be an amazing pattern behind a bigger painting — it has definitely crossed my mind too!

  4. Lori says

    These are great prints and a great idea! Makes me think you could cut up the mat too and make stamps. Have you tried collagraphs? I think they are successful with young ones. See ideas here: http://www.cycleback.com/collo.htm. We like using different textured papers to make the matrix and a rolling pin to apply pressure when transferring the image.

  5. rachelle says

    Hey Lori! I considered cutting up the mat, and bet we’ll do that at some point. I haven’t tried collagraphs with N yet — Great idea! And I forgot about using a rolling pin. That would take this project to the next level! Thanks.

  6. says

    I love this idea! I will be on the lookout for a cool plastic mat to print! We probably have something around the house that I don’t even realize we could print! I love this whole post and how your daughter ended up all green! My daughter loves making handprints and painting on her hands when that is her purpose! Love how you made them into cards too!

  7. says

    This is so fabulous! What a fun print. Then as I’m looking at this right now, my son was loving the pics of your little one lathered up in green! So fun.

  8. says

    Hi there!
    I so enjoyed your description of this activity, the process looks like so much fun, and the result is very lovely.
    I am doing a couple specific art projects on a green theme, and one is quite close in idea; using bubble wrap, mixing colours to make green, and making a print. We also started making tissue paper suncatchers, in various colours, my small children love glueing.

    Last year, on the night before St. Pat’s Day, I stencil painted tiny green feet walking all about my room, the floor, walls, up onto shelves, etc., and it was truly a bigger hit then I expected. My children believed that a tiny leprechaun had visited. Several older children brought their parents in to see the feet at the end of their day. So I plan to do this again, I loved the look of wonder on my children’s faces. I t was worth the hour or two it took to do.

    • rachelle says

      My daughter isn’t quite 3, and we haven’t “done” St. Patty’s with her yet. The tiny green feet would probably be a perfect “good morning” teaser. I can’t wait to try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. says

    my 8 year old’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day – we’ve had so much fun with it! This year is a magic theme. You have the best ideas – if only she were a bit younger . . .

    • rachelle says

      Ooh, a St. Patty’s Day Magic Birthday! How fun. This will be my first St.Patty’s day experience with my daughter, and I look forward to experiencing it through her eyes. We made magical green milk on March 1 to get her excited about the upcoming holiday, and she’s asked for it every day since! Happy birthday to your 8 year old!

  10. says

    The first thing I noticed was your daughter painting in a Naartjie dress! GASP! We have the same one in purple ๐Ÿ™‚

    This is such a cute idea!

    • rachelle says

      I recently discovered the Naartjie store, and I absolutely adore everything they carry. Now if only my daughter would stop running around in her jammies all day!

  11. says

    You’ve been featured as the Kids Can Craft Party idea at this week’s Craftastic Monday! Stop by & grab a Featured On Craftastic Monday button:)

  12. Karenb says

    Love the art projects you do with your daughter!!! When my 2 kids were her age and through elementary school, I also did creative art projects with them. This REALLY helped them in school when they had projects to do. They were able to think of creative ways to conquer these assignments and needed very little(if any) parental help!!! Now, both of my kids(college age) are very creative and still enjoy dabbling in mixed mediums. This is such a GREAT way to enrich your child!!! My kids have a lot of good memories from these experiences.