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First class stamps

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By Sarah Richardson — freelance art educationalist

Creating personalised stamps using printing techniques

You will need

Paper; pencils; polystyrene tiles cut into 8cm squares (use scissors with a serrated edge for a more effective stamp-like finish); printing rollers, inks and trays.

What to do

The day before you plan to do this activity, ask if any of the children have a stamp collection that they would like to show to the class (if not, try asking friends or colleagues).

Show the selection of stamps to the class and discuss them. What images can the children see? Why do they think these images were chosen? Talk about the idea of making a personalised stamp. Allow children time to draw some quick ideas and, when they have decided on an image, give each child a polystyrene tile. Using a pencil, ask the children to transfer their image on to the tile. On the reverse side they should draw an arrow showing the direction of the image.

Show the children how to squeeze out a small amount of printing ink on to a printing tray and push the roller backwards and forwards until it sounds sticky. The roller is now fully loaded with ink. Roll the ink evenly on to the tile until it is fully covered. To make the print, turn over the tile and place it on to a sheet of paper. With a clean roller, roll over the back of the tile. (It is important to keep the inky roller and the clean roller separate.) Carefully remove the tile to reveal the printed image. Repeat to create a sheet of stamps.

Extension

Make a class wall-hanging. Each child can contribute their own prints to make a rotational pattern on fabric. This is when the arrow on the reverse side is helpful.

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