Monoprinting: Three Ways

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Three monoprinting methods for children of all ages.

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

Monoprinting is a process whereby only one print is pulled from the printing plate.

What You Need:

  • Printmaking ink (for older kids – if you have it) or a water-based paint. (Acrylic or tempera).
  • Paintbrushes.
  • Sheets of plexiglass (approx 12″x12″) You can sometimes find plexiglass for next to nothing at your local lumber yard or hardware store. Just ask for the off-cuts they normally throw away. You can also use old garage sale signs (the plastic ones) for this activity.


  • Styrofoam trays (veggie or meat trays)
  • Paper.
  • A covered work area.
  • Optional: Soft rubber brayer or small paint roller.
  • Popsicle stick or pencil with eraser.

What You Do:

Method 1A

Monoprint pumpkin.
  1. Using the brayer, roll ink out onto the plexiglass, covering it completely.
  2. Using the end of a pencil or a popsicle stick, draw an image on the plexiglass.
  3. Place paper on plexi and rub lightly.
  4. Peel away paper.

Method 1B

  1. Using the brayer, roll ink onto the plexiglass, covering it completely.
  2. Place paper over plexiglass.
  3. Using a pencil, draw an image on the paper.
  4. When you peel away the paper, the image will have transferred itself.
  5. This is very similar to using carbon paper.

Method 2

Monoprinting on plastic or glass

  1. Using your paintbrush, paint a design onto the plexiglass using as many or as few colours as you like. Work quickly … don’t let the paint dry!
  2. Place paper over the plexiglass and rub lightly with the palm of your hand.
  3. Peel away paper.
  4. Sign your work.

Method 3

Monoprinting on foam

  1. Prepare your paints. Start with primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and from there, mix our secondary colors (orange, violet and green).
  2. Using a pencil, “carve” lines into the foam (or leave the foam as it is).
  3. Begin adding paint to the printing plate.
  4. When the paint has been applied, lay a sheet of paper over the painted plate.
  5. Rub your hands over the paper, carefully.
  6. Lift the paper to reveal the completed print.

Monoprinting with styrofoam