Simple Block Printing for Kids

This is an art project with possibilities as big as your imagination! For this tutorial, I will show you how to do a simple spiral block  print, using a bit of  recycled cardboard and yarn. Simple Block Printing for Kids usually uses a medium like wood, but this is a great introduction for anyone for whom carving is not yet appropriate and/or it is a very economical and  environmentally friendly introduction. You could make multiple blocks from one mailing box!

Older kids can adapt this printmaking project with some craft foam for more a more advanced art activity!

This is a project that has two parts. First, you create your block and let it dry. The next day it is ready for lots of play and experimenting.

You will need:

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Approximately 4×4″ cardboard square
  • Yarn
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • White (or color) paper

Simple Block Printing for Kids

Note: If you use color paper, be sure to offer paint in contrasting colors so that the print shows up.

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To begin, use your pencil to draw your design on the cardboard. Trace the pattern you created with white glue.

While the glue is wet, carefully press the yarn right into the pattern you made with the glue. Let it dry overnight.

Once your block is dry, it is time to play with printing! You only need a small amount of paint to create a nice print.


Make sure that the whole pattern is covered. It is perfectly fine to get paint on the block.

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Once you have paint over the whole pattern, it is time to carefully pick it up and place it on your white paper.


A quick press and rub across the back of the block should help make sure the pattern is transferred to the paper. You can also experiment with keeping the block on the table and rubbing your paper over it. You may notice that some of the paint that got on the block shows up too. That’s ok. Practice makes perfect, but the imperfections are really beautiful too!

Voila! You have made a print! If you have used a small amount of paint, then your block can handle you trying another paint color. I chose red to show how cool it can look to play with multiple prints in  different colors.

Once everyone participating has a print that they are happy with, it is a wonderful idea to display them altogether. Whether everyone does the same pattern, or creates a unique pattern, a display of block prints always lends a fresh and even sophisticated feel to your classroom.

Make sure the artists sign their masterpiece (or you can write it for little ones!)

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