Versatile Veined Prints


Create an aluminum foil printing plate then design a collage with your printed papers.


1. Find out what prints are, and how they differ from original art. Why do artists produce prints? What materials can be used as printing plates? List uses of prints in everyday life (newspapers, wallpaper, fabric, books, posters, photographs). Imagine what life would be like if the printmaking process had not yet been invented.

2. To make printed papers, select a regular sheet of white drawing paper. With Crayola® Scissors, cut a piece of aluminum foil about a finger's length larger than the paper all the way around. Crumple the foil, then open and flatten it, leaving wrinkles on the surface.

3. Cover a flat work surface with newspaper. With Crayola Tempera Paint and large Crayola Paint Brushes, paint and mix colors on the surface of the foil.

4. Dip the drawing paper into water, or wet it with a clean brush. Lay the damp paper on the painted foil. Roll a rubber brayer or foam roller over the paper. Pull the print away from the foil to see the "veins" produced by the wrinkles. Repeat the process. Lay wet paper flat to dry.

5. Select a project in which to use the printed papers, such as these:

  • Alternate prints with solid-colored paper to make a patchwork quilt design.
  • Use prints as backgrounds for topographic maps, fantasy or outer space scenes, or dioramas. Add figures and details with tempera paints and Crayola Markers.
  • Cut or tear paper shapes suggested by the printing texture (vegetation, coral, rocks). With Crayola School Glue, attach these to a background for a collage.

    6. To make a mat for a photo with the printing plate, wipe the painted aluminum foil with a damp paper towel to reveal shiny surfaces on the high ridges. Dry on a flat surface.

    7. Choose a favorite photograph. Cut a rectangle that is 3 or 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) larger than the photo from a recycled cereal box or other cardboard. Choose a standard frame size, such as 8 by 10 inches if a frame is available.

    8. Spread Crayola School Glue evenly on the cardboard. Place the unpainted back of the foil on the glued surface and smooth. Turn the cardboard over. Smooth down the foil edges and glue. Trim away any ragged edges and excess foil on the corners.

    9. Spread glue evenly on the back of the photo. Press it in the center of the painted foil. Prevent warping by placing a heavy book on top of the picture and frame until the glue dries. Glue a paper clip to the back for hanging.

    Safety Guidelines

    Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

    Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

    Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

    Sponges and Foam—Sponges, foam, and other expandable materials should not be used with children 3 years old and younger.


    • Visit a local industry that makes prints and/or paper. Compare and contrast how the industrial equipment works with the hand-made process. Trace the development of printing from its invention to current technology.
    • Take original photos especially for this project. Focus on a curriculum subject, such as healthy foods, leaf structure, or transportation systems. Arrange a show of the art created.
    • What a great technique to share with the broader school community. Document each stage of the printing and mounting processes with photographs. Demonstrate printing and mounting at an open house.

    Related Lesson Plans

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    crayola supplies
    • Paint Brushes
    • Markers
    • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
    • No-Run School Glue
    • Pointed Tip Scissors
    • Construction Paper
    household supplies
    • recycled newspaper
    • aluminum foil
    • paper clips
    • paper towels
    • foam paint rollers
    • recycled boxes (optional)
    • container(s) of water
    • photograph (optional)



    • Grades 4 to 6
    • Grades 7 to 12


    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Visual Arts


    • Multiple Sessions


    • Children identify different types of printing processes and examples of printed products that are used in daily life.

    • Students create printing plates with aluminum foil to print veined paper.

    • Children design collages with the printed papers and include the printing plates in their artistic displays.


    Research Canada Standards
    Research UK Standards
    Research U.S. Standards