Woodblock Printing Grades K-5

Project theme:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • Paper
  • Glass plate
  • Ink
  • Wood blocks
Tool list
  • Brayer (roller)
  1. Encourage the children to look and feel the woodblock shapes. Move them around to see how they look beside each other. Find the same shapes in the Northwest coast art designs provided.
  2. Use any size or colour of paper you would like to print on.
  3. Set up your inking area on a clean sturdy table. Get your glass plate, brayer(roller), ink, and barren ready. Make sure all items are clean, without dust or dirt on them. Have the children arrange the blocks into a design, so that the blocks are 'good side up', the side you would like to print up. Keep in mind that the image you print will be backward to what is laid out
  4. Apply water-based ink to glass. Use only enough to apply a thin coat onto the glass plate. To begin with, use about a teaspoon of ink or a blob the size of a dime.
  5. Use the brayer to roll out ink on your glass plate. The brayer/roller should be left on its back when not in use, roller side up.
  6. Keep rolling ink until it is no longer slippery, has a sticky consistency, and hisses like a snake as you roll it. The lines being formed in the ink being pulled up on the brayer (roller) will be close together when ready.
  7. Apply ink to woodblocks in thin, even coats, then rearrange them if they moved.
  8. With clean hands, put the paper onto woodblocks, press straight down with barren, moving around until you have covered your whole design.
  9. Gently lift the paper off the block, peeling from one side and being careful not to smudge the ink as you lift it off the block. Gently peel off any blocks that might be stuck.
  10. With clean hands, make sure not to smudge the ink. Hang the print with clean wooden clothes pegs, or lay it flat to dry.
  11. You have created your woodblock print! Don't forget to be proud of yourself for learning something new!

  12. Clean all items used with soap and water. Put the blocks somewhere to dry, they need to be completely dry before using them again. 13: When the prints are dry, don't forget to title and sign your work!
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