Collagraph Prints

A collagraph is a type of relief print. This means that you are adding pieces (in this case cardboard) to a surface plate instead of subtracting or carving into a surface plate. Basically, you are making a small sculpture or collage using cardboard as your primary material, you can experiment with other materials around your house as well. I have added a printable template with the basic shapes you need to help guide you in making a bee, but I invite you to make it your own. After you have the shapes arranged on your surface plate (just a flat piece of cardboard), you will glue them down. Wait for that to dry and simply paint the color of your choice on top of your bee. Usually I recommend using a thicker paper when we are doing things like painting or gluing, for printing I recommend a lighter weight paper. Printer paper or construction paper will work great. After you paint the bee you'll place your paper on top of the bee and then press down, or burnish, the surface of your printing plate. You can lightly lift the paper to see if you are applying the correct amount of pressure or if you might need more ink/paint.

For younger kids, you can cut out simple shapes and let them arrange their plate. Buttons, bubble wrap and textured fabrics work great as well. For older kids, you can encourage them to cut more pieces and make their plate more intricate. For example, for my bee's wings, I peeled off the top layer of cardboard so that the wings would have a pattern. I've added a diagram with details on bee anatomy so that you can customize your plate!

Another idea could be to cut some hexagons out of cardboard and use them as stamps for a background!




scissors or knife (adult supervision)

thin paper

paint and paint brush

template or extra drawing paper


Printmaking Vocabulary





Printing Plate

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